Board of Directors

Michael G. Maselli
Chairman and Director

Michael G. Maselli has been Chairman of our Board since 2011. Mr. Maselli is a managing director of Trimaran Fund Management, L.L.C. ("Trimaran Fund"), a position he has held since 2006, and is also currently the Vice President of Acquisitions of GX Acquisition Corp., a position he has held since May 2019. Before joining Trimaran Fund in February 2006, Mr. Maselli worked in the Corporate and Leverage Finance Groups of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC") World Markets. Prior to joining CIBC in 1997, Mr. Maselli served as a Managing Director in Bear Stearns’ corporate finance group and, prior to that, as a Vice President at Kidder Peabody & Co. Incorporated. Mr. Maselli served on the board of ChanceLight, Inc. (f/k/a Educational Services of America, Inc.) until 2018. From 2013 to 2015, he served on the board of directors of Norcraft Companies, Inc., and also served on the board of managers of its predecessor company beginning in 2003. Additionally, Mr. Maselli served on the board of directors of Standard Steel, LLC, and was director as well as Chairman of the Board of CB Holding Corp. Mr. Maselli received an MBA with distinction from The A.B. Freeman School at Tulane University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado. 

    Bernard Acoca
    Director, Chief Executive Officer and President
    Bernard Acoca has served as our Chief Executive Officer and President since March 2018. Mr. Acoca joins El Pollo Loco after seven years at Starbucks as a member of its Executive Team. From 2015 to 2018, Mr. Acoca served as President of Teavana, Starbucks’ global tea brand, where he was responsible for the overall operations of over 375 Teavana specialty retail stores in North America as well as its e-commerce business.  Before that, Mr. Acoca served as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Category for the Americas, Starbucks’ largest region, where he was responsible for managing categories totaling $9B in sales.  Additionally, he served as Chief Marketing Officer for the Americas for L’Oréal and spent 10 years at YUM brands in marketing roles of increasing responsibility.
      Douglas J. Babb
      Director

      Douglas J. Babb has been a director since 2018. From 2007 until his retirement in 2014, he was Chief Executive Officer of Cooper Clinic, P.A. ("Cooper"), one of the largest multi-specialty, physician-owned clinics in the Arkansas region. Since his retirement as Chief Executive Officer, he has served as an adviser to the board of Cooper. Additionally, from 2010 to 2014, he served as an Adjunct Instructor for the College of Business at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith. From 2015 to 2017, he served as Managing Director for Babb Strategic Services, L.L.P. ("Babb Strategic"), a consulting and strategic planning services company that he formed in 2006. Prior to forming Babb Strategic, he served as Executive Vice President - Chief Administrative and Legal Officer, and Secretary of Beverly Enterprises, Inc., a leading provider of healthcare services to the elderly in the United States, from 2000 to 2006. Prior to that he served in various roles at Burlington Northern, Inc., a diversified transportation company and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, from 1978 to 1999 and as Staff Counsel for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office from 1977 to 1978. Mr. Babb is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United States Marshals Museum and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Foundation. He holds a bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University and a J.D. from University of South Carolina.

      Samuel N. Borgese
      Director

      Samuel N. Borgese has been a director since 2011, and served as Chairman of our Board from January 2011 to December 2011, while he also served as our Executive Chairman. Since 2017, Mr. Borgese has been President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Shari's Management Corporation and Shari's Restaurant Group, a multi-location family dining company. From 2011 to 2017, Mr. Borgese was Managing Partner of Aceneca, LLC, a restaurant investment and restaurant brand operating holding company. From October 2014 to August 2016, he was President and Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors, of LRI Holdings, Inc., and its affiliates Logan's Roadhouse, Inc., and Roadhouse Holding Inc., collectively known as Logan's Roadhouse, a casual dining steakhouse chain. In August 2016, the Logan's Roadhouse entities and several of their affiliates filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Borgese left Logan's Roadhouse in August 2016, following the declaration of bankruptcy. From 2011 to 2014, he was Chief Executive Officer of Max Brenner International, a chocolatier. From 2008 to 2011, he was first Interim President and Chief Executive Officer and then permanent President and Chief Executive Officer of CB Holding Corp., the parent of Charlie Brown's Steakhouse and other chains, which was owned by Trimaran, one of our principal investors. From 2003 to 2008, he was employed by Catalina Restaurant Group, first as Chief Development Officer and later as President and Chief Executive Officer. Before that, Mr. Borgese was Chief Executive Officer of an enterprise software company that supported 300 restaurant, retail, and hospitality businesses in the lifecycle management of their real estate assets. Mr. Borgese holds a Certificate of Director Education from the National Association of Corporate Directors.

      Mark Buller
      Director

      Mark Buller has been a director since 2015. He was appointed Executive Chairman of Superior Cabinets in July 2018 and from 2013 to 2015, Mr. Buller was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Norcraft Companies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of kitchen and bathroom cabinetry in the United States and Canada. Beginning in 2003, Mr. Buller was the Chief Executive Officer of the predecessor of Norcraft Companies, Inc., Norcraft Companies, L.P., as well as a member of the board of managers for that entity’s general partner, Norcraft GP, L.L.C. Mr. Buller’s executive experience in the home furnishings industry is longstanding. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Buller served in various management positions at Kitchen Craft Cabinets, a Canadian cabinetry maker. From 1996 to 1999, he served as President of Kitchen Craft. Following the acquisition of Kitchen Craft by Omega Cabinets, Ltd., he continued in that position from 1999 to 2000. In 2000, Mr. Buller was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Omega. He remained in that position until 2002, leaving Omega after it was sold to Fortune Brands, Inc. In sum, Mr. Buller has over 26 years in the home furnishings industry, and spent 18 years as a chief executive officer or division president.

      William Floyd
      Director

      William R. Floyd has been a director since 2016. From 2012 to 2019, Mr. Floyd was a director of Korn/Ferry International, a major executive recruiting firm and talent consultancy, as well as Pivot Physical Therapy, a regional outpatient physical therapy provider. In addition, he served as a business development corporation board member of Muzinich Capital LLC and a broker-dealer affiliated with Muzinich & Co., Inc., a global institutional asset manager specializing in corporate credit from 2016 to 2019. Since October 2017, Mr. Floyd has served as Chairman of Busaba Restaurants, a U.K. based Thai restaurant concept for which Muzinich is the principal debt holder. From 2009 to 2012, he was Chairman of the Board of Buffet Holdings, Inc., which, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates a chain of restaurants in the United States. Before his retirement as an executive, from 2007 to 2008, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Physiotherapy Associates, a leading provider of outpatient physical rehabilitation services. From 2006 to 2007, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark Medical, Inc., a predecessor to Physiotherapy Associates. From 2001 to 2006, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beverly Enterprises, Inc., a leading provider of eldercare services. From 2000 to 2001, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Beverly Enterprises, Inc. From 1996 to 1998, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Hotels International. From 1989 to 1996, he served in various executive positions within PepsiCo Inc.’s restaurant group, including, from 1995 to 1996, as Chief Operating Officer of Taco Bell Corp., and, from 1994 to 1995, as Chief Operating Officer of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Mr. Floyd holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where, since 2006, he has served as a member of the Board of Overseers of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing.

      Dean C. Kehler
      Director

      Dean C. Kehler has been a director since 2005. In 1998, he co-founded Trimaran Fund, one of our principal investors, where he is a Managing Partner, and serves as a Manager of Trimaran Fund II, positions he has held since 1998. Mr. Kehler is also currently the Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GX Acquisition Corp., a position he has held since August 2018. From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Kehler held senior positions at CIBC, including Vice Chairman of CIBC World Markets Corp. Mr. Kehler currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Portman Ridge Finance Corporation (formerly KCAP Financial, Inc.), and Security First Corp., of which he is Vice Chairman. He also serves as a Member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and formerly served as its Chairman. Within the last five years, he has served a director of Inviva Inc. and Graphene Frontiers, LLC. He holds a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

        Carol Lynton
        Director

        Carol Lynton has been a director since 2016. In December 2019, Ms. Lynton became a director of Gaming & Leisure Properties, Inc., a gamingfocused real estate investment trust, and in September 2019, became a trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee of CIM RACR, an SEC registered interval fund. Since 1992, Ms. Lynton has been an operating partner for The Dinex Group, which operates Daniel Boulud branded restaurants, and which she cofounded. From 2012 to 2019, Ms. Lynton served as director of PR NYC, LLC, a restaurant owner and operator based in New York City. Also, since 1987, Ms. Lynton has served as the chief investment officer of HD American Trust, a family investment office. In 1990, Ms. Lynton co-founded Telebank, an internet banking pioneer sold to E*Trade in 1999. From 1987 to 1990, Ms. Lynton was an investment analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. From 1983 to 1985, Ms. Lynton was an M&A analyst at Lehman Brothers. Ms. Lynton is an advisory board member for The Hamilton Project; a member of the boards of trustees for East Harlem Scholars Academy, East Harlem Scholars Academy II, and East Harlem Tutorial Program; a board member for The Bail Project; and a board member for the New York City Hospitality Alliance. From 2009 to 2011, Ms. Lynton was a senior vice president with the New York City Investment Fund. Ms. Lynton also holds positions at other private or closely-held organizations, including Lynton Asset LP, HDA 2015 Trust, and the Lynton Foundation. Ms. Lynton holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

        John M. Roth
        Director

        John M. Roth has been a director since 2007. He has been with Freeman Spogli & Co. (collectively with certain funds managed by it, “Freeman Spogli,") one of our principal investors, since 1988, and has been a General Partner there since 1993, where he now serves as Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since 2016. From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Roth was employed by Kidder, Peabody & Co. Incorporated in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group. Mr. Roth has served on the board of directors of Floor & Decor Holdings, Inc. since 2010. From 2005 to 2017, he served on the board of directors of hhgregg, Inc. Mr. Roth received an MBA and a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.