“We learned early on that to attract top talent to our organization we would have to provide significant and diverse growth opportunities. Our unwavering focus on how to deliver development to our people personally, professionally and financially has become part of every decision we make.”
– MICHAEL KULP,
PRESIDENT & CEO, KBP BRANDS
Michael Kulp, President & CEO, KBP Brands
For more than 20 years, Michael’s passion for creating a great place to work, a great place to eat and a great place to own has created a unique culture at KBP. Through his leadership, the company has realized exceptional growth and ensured that key employees can become equity partners, reaping the benefits of their own hard work. Michael’s vision for growth has catapulted the company from $7 million to over $1 billion in annual sales.
Today, KBP exists in more than 25 states and employs more than 15,000 employees. Michael has long been a supporter of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City and is an active member of the Board. Michael resides in Overland Park, Kan. with his wife and three children, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado Mesa.
Christie Hughes, Senior Vice President Of Development
Christie is responsible for all aspects of new store development as well as ongoing facility/asset management. She brings more than a decade of development experience within the food and beverage industry to KBP, having served in various development functions at The Wendy’s Company, Starbucks Coffee Company, and most recently as Vice President of Development at Shrimp Basket.
Christie has extensive experience in developing and executing holistic and strategic short and long-term new store market growth plans, site selection, geographic information systems, construction, architect-engineer services, project management, design, reinvestment planning and execution, property management as well as vendor and facility management. She enjoys participating in industry conferences and round-table discussions, as she passionately believes that we are all better when we are sharing and growing together.
Nancy Fox, Chief People Officer
Nancy oversees all Human Resources functions, including labor and employee relations, HR technology and information systems, recruitment and retention, regulatory compliance, benefits and compensation. Prior to joining KBP, Nancy led Human Resources, Communications, Environmental & Administrative Services at Triumph Foods, a $1.6 billion global food manufacturing business. She also served as Senior Risk Officer overseeing safety, security as well as having oversight of corporate social responsibilities, including charitable giving.
Previously, Nancy has served in a variety of progressive executive roles in both environmental services organizations and for Sprint, where she spent over 19 years in leadership. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Personnel Administration and Organizational Communication from the University of Kansas.
Kristi Macaluso, Chief People Officer
Kristi is responsible for developing and executing human resource strategy in the KBP portfolio, which comprises our home office and three restaurant brands with a combined total of over 1,000 locations, including recruitment/retention, total rewards, employee relations, DE&I, organizational and leadership development and HR technology. With more than 20 years of experience, Kristi joined KBP in 2021 as Vice President of Talent Management. Kristi started her career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and most recently worked at H&R Block where she had an impressive and progressive 14-year career.
Kristi holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Missouri State University and she serves on the board at Giving the Basics.
Barry Dubin, Chief Strategy Officer
Barry has a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting, Finance and International Business from Indiana University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is responsible for capital partner development and management, franchisor relations, and mergers and acquisitions for KBP.
Prior to joining KBP, Barry served as the COO of an $80 million window fabricator focusing on turnaround operations, marketing, and business development. Barry was also a Capital Provider in Private Equity Transactions for Merrill Lynch Capital and has also worked in Corporate Restructuring Advisory for Arthur Andersen.
Ben Johnson, Chief Legal Officer
Ben serves as Chief Legal Officer for KBP. He has a wealth of experience representing the restaurant industry, and his areas of expertise include franchising, supply and distribution, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, advertising and promotions providing general business transactions and securities.
Prior to joining KBP, Ben was at Bingham Greenebaum Doll, LLP where he served as the Managing Partner of the Louisville, Ky. office and as a member of the firm’s Corporate & Transactional Department. Ben received his Bachelors from the University of Kentucky and graduated cum laude from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law. He was named to Louisville Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” List in the area of Business/Commercial Law in 2016. He has also been recognized several times as one of the “Kentucky Rising Stars” in the Kentucky Super Lawyers®.
Anthony Gianino, Senior Vice President of Marketing
Anthony has worked in the Quick Service Restaurant industry for over 20 years. Prior to his work with the advertising agency, Anthony served as Field Marketing Director for Domino’s Pizza International.
Anthony’s expertise in data analysis is critical to the innovation of local store marketing efforts. Anthony was considered a pioneer in the evolution of POS for Dominos and the implementation of data-based decision making. He has a MBA from the University of Missouri and a BA from Missouri Valley College.
Adam Wright, Chief Financial Officer
In the CFO role, Adam is responsible to provide financial oversight and strategic leadership to all functions of our finance teams, to include FP&A, business analytics, tax, accounting, and IT. Adam has been a key part of the KBP team since 2019, serving in the role of VP/Financial Planning and Analysis. Prior to joining KBP, Adam held roles with increasingly significant responsibility in the Yum! organization for over a decade, serving in both brand roles and corporate Treasury and Global Planning roles. Prior to YUM!, Adam worked in analytical and strategic planning roles at Ecolab and HSBC. Adam is a member of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF).
Adam holds a B.S. in Marketing from Miami University of Ohio and an M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he had a concentration in finance.
Heather Stege, Brand President
Heather Stege is currently the Brand President of KBP Inspired and responsible for the operations and growth of the Arby’s brand. Most recently, she was President of Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Previously, she ran Marketing and Wholesale for Paper Source, a nationwide retailer. She has over 20 years of expansion experience with deep marketing, digital and operational capabilities.
Heather started her career in the Retail/Restaurant Practice at McKinsey & Company after graduating from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management.