NASHVILLE, TN--(Marketwired - May 18, 2015) - American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH), one of the largest full service restaurant holding companies in the United States, today announced the hiring of information technology (IT) industry veteran Jeffery Kent as Chief Information Officer. Kent will relocate to Nashville, Tenn. to lead the strategic IT efforts of ABRH and its six distinct brands which include O'Charley's, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Max & Erma's, Village Inn, Bakers Square, and Legendary Baking.

"Throughout Jeff's more than 35 years of systems design and IT experience, he has earned an exceptional reputation for not only his deep technical abilities but also his strong business acumen and leadership qualities," said Anita Adams, chief financial officer of ABRH. "Jeff has been instrumental in leading the evolution of technology wherever he has worked, making him the perfect fit for ABRH during a time of continued growth and opportunity for our company."

Kent joins ABRH from Yankee Candle Company based in South Deerfield, Mass. As Vice President of Information Technology, he was charged with leading a 70 person IT department and spearheading major system enhancements including recent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation. Prior to his time at Yankee Candle, Kent acquired considerable restaurant experience serving as chief information officer for Carrols Corporation and Fiesta Restaurant Group based in Dallas, Texas. He also spent eight years with Wendy's International as vice president of solutions delivery where he lead the implementation of a new ERP system and deployment of new Point of Sale (POS) and back-office systems for Wendy's 1,600 corporate restaurants.

Kent graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a degree in computer engineering. He held progressively more responsible positions with Allen-Brady, Texas Instruments and Huntington Bancshares, where he transitioned from computer engineer to IT professional.

"Jeff's strategic IT leadership experience will be critical as we continue to advance a comprehensive and synergistic IT system that is seamless and scalable across ABRH's footprint, ultimately leading to the continued enhancement of the guest experience at all of our restaurants," added Adams.

Earlier this year ABRH announced a partnership with FIS, a global leader in banking and payments technology as well as consulting and outsourcing solutions, for support of key IT functions for the company including infrastructure, help desk and database administration. Kent will oversee the continued integration and partnership between FIS and ABRH.

"Our partnership with FIS will allow us to deliver superior IT services and efficiencies to all of our distinct brands while concurrently enhancing data and credit card protection for guests of our company-owned restaurants," said Hazem Ouf, president and chief executive officer at ABRH, at the time of the announcement of ABRH's partnership with FIS.

About American Blue Ribbon Holdings
American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) is a diversified restaurant company that operates or franchises more than 630 company and franchise restaurants in 42 states. ABRH brands include O'Charley's, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Max & Erma's, Village Inn, Bakers Square and Legendary Baking. For more information on American Blue Ribbon Holdings, please visit

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Justin Wilson