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Blaze Pizza Adds Top Level Talent to Executive Team

Published on Thursday, May 28, 2020 | 12:39 pm

Blaze Pizza, the Pasadena-based fast-casual pizza concept, has added new team members to its executive line-up, appointing Marie Zhang as Chief Supply Chain Officer, and Ed Yancey as Vice President of Franchise Development. 

“I am thrilled that Marie and Ed have joined the Blaze leadership team,” Mandy Shaw, Blaze Pizza CEO, said in a statement.  “Their individual 25-plus years’ experience building world class organizations with some of the best brands in the business will help propel us into the next phase of growth. Their talents and experience also dovetail perfectly with personal commitments to quality and integrity that are the core values at Blaze.”

Blaze Pizza has two locations in Pasadena, one in the Renaissance Plaza on Fair Oaks Boulevard and a second on Colorado Boulevard.

As Chief Supply Chain Officer, Zhang is leading the enterprise-wide supply chain function including sourcing, distribution, demand planning, manufacturing and quality assurance to support the company’s growth strategies in the U.S. and international markets. 

Her immediate task would be to develop and maintain good relationships and partnerships with suppliers and distributors, ensure acceptable product cost, quality and service, and build the scalable supply chain and quality assurance infrastructure that can take Blaze Pizza to the next level as a global brand.

“I’m thrilled to work alongside such an intelligent and driven team, especially during the nature of our industry today,” Zhang said. “Obviously, the entire modern supply chain has been disrupted, but there’s a tremendous opportunity to evaluate and adapt. I’m looking forward to leading the charge on this with Blaze Pizza in the months and years to come.”

Yancey joins the company with a demonstrated history of working in the restaurant industry. He has grown from an owner/operator to a skilled franchise sales leader and brings a breadth of knowledge and skills to his new job. 

Before joining Blaze Pizza, Yancey earned his development stripes working for notable restaurant brands such as Jersey Mike’s, B. Good and Dunkin’ Brands. As Vice President of Franchise Development, he will focus on expanding Blaze Pizza’s footprint nationwide through multi-unit deals.

“Continuing to connect, on a personal and professional level, with leads is important now more than ever,” Yancey said. “We’re having genuine conversations about their long-term goals as it relates to financial security, and there are promising developments coming down the pipeline. I’m honored to work with a brand that stays true to its authentic roots no matter the circumstance.”

Blaze Pizza continues to serve up fast and affordable artisanal pizzas, all while “Blazin’ It Safe,” the company said. Some of the new safety protocols at their branches include plexiglass partitions, social distancing markers, wellness checks for team members, and bags to safely store masks while diners eat. 

Most locations also have a designated host in the dining area to assist guests throughout their visit.

At Blaze Pizza, guests can customize one of the brand’s chef-driven Signature Pizzas or build their own, choosing from a wide selection of real ingredients. Pizza fans with specific dietary needs can enjoy gluten-free and keto crusts, vegan cheese and plant-based spicy chorizo. Blaze pizzas can be ordered in-restaurant or online for carryout or delivery.

The rapidly growing chain is backed by private equity firm Brentwood Associates and founding investors that include LA Laker LeBron James, Maria Shriver, movie producer John Davis and Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner.

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