The WaBa Grill franchise leadership puts franchise owner success first!
Andrew Kim, President & CEO
In January 2021, Andrew Kim was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer and President of WaBa Grill Franchise Corp. Previously, he served as Chief Legal Officer from June 2018 to January 2021. Prior to that, Andrew spent 29 years in private law practice specializing in franchise law. Until joining WaBa Grill in 2018, he served as WaBa Grill’s outside counsel for franchise matters since 2005.
Renny Freet, Chief Organizational Officer
Renny has been in the position of Chief Organizational Officer for WaBa Grill since January 2022. Prior to that, he served as WaBa Grill’s Senior Vice President from 2018 – 2021. Before WaBa Grill, Renny served as Senior Vice President for Togo’s Restaurants for 5 years. Renny also worked 12 years as the Senior Director of Training for Dine Equity, (Applebee’s and IHOP Restaurants) and before those 12 years as a Regional Director and vice President for Starbucks Coffee. Renny was also a Market Manager 9 years for Taco Bell and ran the Tucson, Bakersfield, Los Angeles markets.
Afshin Compani, Chief Operations Officer
Afshin Compani was appointed as the Chief Operations Officer of WaBa Grill Franchise Corp since January 2022. Previously, he served as Chief Restaurant and Development Officer from February 2021 to January 2022. He also served as Vice President of Franchise Operations from December 2017 to February 2021. Prior to that, he worked in El Pollo Loco for 5 years in Franchise and corporate operations. He also spent over 27 years with Taco Bell and Yum Brands International in operations.
Steven Wang, Director of Real Estate, Development & Construction
Steven Wang was brought onboard WaBa Grill in May of 2014 to pioneer and establish the Real Estate Department within the company as the Real Estate Manager. Shortly after, he was then assigned to the role of Director of Development in January 2017. Steven’s role and responsibilities expanded even further when in April of 2019, he was appointed Director of Real Estate, Development & Construction. Prior to joining WaBa Grill, Steven was an Investment Consultant with Citi Personal Wealth Management and winner of the CitiStars award for his outstanding performance. Steven believes that Franchisees are the foundation of the WaBa Grill business and makes it a priority to maintain strong and friendly relationship with all Franchises in the system.
Vivian Mendoza, Director of Marketing
Vivian Mendoza joined WaBa Grill’s Operations Leadership Team in 2013 and currently heads the Marketing Department. Vivian’s enthusiasm towards establishing the brand’s growth and long-term success led her to create the framework for new departments including Training, Operations Services, and Product Development, many times in hybrid roles. Vivian worked cross-departmentally on landmark projects resulting in fundamental functions of the WaBa Grill Support Center. Initialized by the intertwining regional cuisines of Hawaii, where she was born and raised, Vivian savors learning and sharing about food and drink via various media applications. When not in search of the delicious across the multicultural foodscape of Southern California, Vivian enjoys attending music events and taking way too many pictures of her silly puppy.
Erik Heckman, Director of Supply Chain & Product Development
Erik Heckman joined WaBa Grill in March of 2018 had moved early on from field responsibilities into the procurement role. He now oversees the supply chain and product development departments where he enjoys optimizing products from inception to execution. Erik comes from a 20-year background of restaurant operations experience, most notably with Starbucks for 11 years. He stays active and disciplined with health and overall wellness which WaBa Grill enables with its food and culture. Erik lives in Aliso Viejo with his family of two spirited young girls and creative wife.
Adam Kinsinger, Director of IT
Adam Kinsinger is the Director of Technology at WaBa Grill and has more than 15 years of technology management experience, specific to the restaurant industry. In his current role at WaBa Grill, Adam is responsible for delivering scalable technology solutions to the franchisee and corporate environment. Adam has been a pioneer in the use of next-generation technology to deliver a seamless guest experience and serves on various advisory boards.
Jonathan Aguirre, Senior Franchise Consultant
Jonathan Aguirre is currently a Senior Franchisee Business Consultant at WaBa Grill. He started at WaBa Grill in 2014. During his tenure at WaBa Grill, Jonathan has developed his experience in roles such as a General Manager, District Manager, and Field Training Manager. With his experience and knowledge, he has mastered operations, allowing him to lead and support franchisees in all aspects of their business and achieve their business goals. Jonathan believes in building trust and maintaining professional relations with franchisee partners is the key to brand growth and success. Jonathan is a baseball fanatic and during his spare time, he attends multiple baseball games a year. One of the items on Jonathan’s bucket list is to watch a game at each major league stadium.
Romik Nazarian, Senior Franchise Consultant
Romik Nazarian joined WaBa Grill in July of 2019 as a Franchise Business Consultant. Prior to joining WaBa Grill, Romik was a multi-unit franchisee for Togo’s Sandwiches, with three locations across Southern California, and previously worked with an IHOP franchisee in Texas. With WaBa Grill, Romik works with a group of over 24 franchisees, with nearly 50 restaurants in California and Arizona. Since joining WaBa, Romik has worked with franchisees and assisted them with their growth within the brand, and has helped implement several new brand initiatives. Romik believes in providing the franchisees with exceptional support and fostering relationships that will help the brand continue to grow throughout the country.