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Pasadena-Based Kitchen United's Key Hires Signal Nationwide Rollout

Published on Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 5:43 am

Pasadena-based Kitchen United has recruited corporate finance attorney Michael Montagano to join its executive team as chief financial officer. Montagno will head up a group of new executives the company recently hired to support its national rollout and expansion plans.

The company, which is located at 55 South Madison Avenue, plans to open 15 kitchen centers by the end of 2019.

“We are very proud to have built a first class leadership team at Kitchen United as we continue on our path toward becoming a national brand that serves an important function in the growth of leading restaurant brands,” Kitchen United CEO Jim Collins said.

Montagano’s background is in concept scaling. His last stint was at Mopro where he was charged with priming the technology firm’s brand. He served as a lead management and acquisitions and corporate finance attorney for Faegre, Baker and Daniels, LLP, and was a Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana.

Also hired was Craig Cochrane as executive vice president (EVP) of marketing. He will spearhead all marketing efforts on a local and national basis, and will also advise restaurant partners on maximizing their relationship with United Kitchen.

Cochrane’s resume entails the creation and implementation of multi-channel marketing strategies for various brands in the entertainment, technology and real estate industries. He most recently served as the senior vice president of digital strategy for the Special Olympics World Games.

Jessi Moss has signed on as EVP of Information Technology. Moss’ expertise is in development and application of customer facing systems and infrastructure. He brings experience in the restaurant, retail, food and beverage supply chain industries to Kitchen United.

Prior to Kitchen United, Moss led the business technology initiatives for Pick Up Stix, Leeann Chin, Mandarin Express, and City Brewing Company. He is a graduate of Viterbo University.

Joy Chang-Lai is joining as Kitchen United’s EVP of data strategy and revenue growth, the company said. She most recently served as VP of corporate strategy for Internet Brands and previously held positions at The Wonderful Company, Bain and Company, and Chevron.

Kitchen United, which bills itself as a “culinary on demand” startup, opened its first facility in Pasadena in May 2018. Regional and national food and restaurant brands now use the facility to produce fresh food for takeout, catering and delivery.

To learn more about Kitchen United, visit

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