Leadership

About

Kitchen United was founded in 2017 by a team of restaurateurs and leading industry experts to help restaurants succeed in the world of pickup and delivery. Today, we are a GV-backed business committed to the success of our restaurant partners and launching the largest restaurant build in history.

Leadership

Comprised of restaurateurs and industry experts, Kitchen United’s leadership team is committed to delivering real value to our restaurant partners.

Michael
Michael Montagano

Chief Executive Officer

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Michael is the Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors of Kitchen United. Prior to his role as CEO, Michael served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for the company, where he led capital formation initiatives securing institutional financing partners, Google Ventures, Fidelity Investments, and G Squared, as well as the major strategic partners, RXR Realty, DivcoWest, and Rich’s Food Products.

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Joy
Joy Lai

Chief Operating Officer

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Joy Lai oversees Member Success, and Operations at Kitchen United. She brings two decades of experience driving growth for Enterprises and SMBs, including launching/scaling products, partnerships, and optimizing omni-channel strategies.

Before Kitchen United, Joy has run several digital/eCommerce businesses in various verticals, including Travel & Leisure, Dental, and Florist. She also previously held strategic leadership roles at Internet Brands, The Wonderful Company, and Bain & Company. Joy received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree from Stanford University.

Jessi Moss

Chief Technology Officer

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Jessi brings vast experience in the restaurant, retail, food and beverage supply chain industries. He is a highly accomplished Technology Executive with deep expertise in developing and implementing customer facing platforms. Prior to Kitchen United, he led digital transformations that included, online and instore self-service, consumer loyalty and payments, for Pick Up Stix, Leeann Chin and Mandarin Express. At City Brewing Company, he doubled capacity through facility acquisitions and expanded technological capabilities to support global distribution of manufactured goods. As the project lead, developed a state of the art multi-million dollar liquid operation center that increased service capability and top line production sales for flavored malt beverages, teas, and energy packaged beverage categories.  Accumulation of 10+ years of convenience store technology experience with Kwik Trip, Inc and Fastrip, Inc. An emphasis of vertical product and service integrations such as global product catalogs, DSD, bakery, commissary, dairy production, fleet management, petroleum products, and large distribution centers. These key initiatives helped differentiate these companies by extending their reach to new consumers of their core products and services.

Atul Sood

Chief Business Officer

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Atul Sood is the Chief Business Officer for Kitchen United and is responsible for spearheading sales, investment discussions, and strategic partnerships for the company. Prior to his role with Kitchen United, Atul was the Director of Business Development for McDonald’s Global Digital organization, where he was responsible for launching and managing McDonald’s global food delivery partnerships. Atul began his career in investment banking and has, amongst other roles, founded, grown and sold his own start-up.

Janey Chu

Chief People Officer

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Janey Chu has been with Kitchen United since January 2019 and has built up the HR function over the last couple years to support the growth and scalability of the company.

With over 20 years of experience in human resources, Janey is a skilled and proven HR leader, having worked and had opportunities and experiences with various organizations big and small helping to restructure, supporting mergers and acquisitions as well as building and scaling their teams in startup companies. Prior to Kitchen United, Janey held the role of Director, People Partners and Operations at OpenX, and previously held Sr HR Business Partner positions at tech companies such as Broadcom, Acer/Gateway/eMachines Computers and has also worked in the Entertainment Industry at Miramax Films and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Janey is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara.

Katie Wollrich
Katie Wollrich

Chief Marketing Officer

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Katie is the Chief Marketing Officer for the company and oversees all marketing strategy and execution for the DTC business, Kitchen United MIX, and its multiple B2B divisions. She is a senior marketing leader who has developed and executed industry-leading advertising programs that delivered both sales results and improvements in brand health attributes for a diverse list of clients.

A restaurant industry veteran, Katie gained vast experience working with multiple brands such as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Papa John’s, and Joella’s Hot Chicken. With a fervent approach to creating advertising that leverages the power of digital media and consumer insights, she has produced more than 250 TV commercials – including four Super Bowl spots – and earned multiple international awards, including three Cannes Lions and a Gold Effie. Katie is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio

Kwame S. Brathwaite

SVP, Real Estate Development

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Kwame S. Brathwaite is the SVP of Real Estate Development for Kitchen United and is responsible for strategic expansion for mix locations nationally. In partnership with the BD team, Kwame ensures the growth of the brand through an omnichannel approach to new site development. Prior to his role with Kitchen United, Kwame was the VP of Real Estate Development for Citibank Realty Services and Regional Portfolio Manager for McDonald’s USA. In those roles, he was tasked with new sites acquisition, disposition and asset management of existing portfolios and managing partnerships from internal stakeholders to vendors. He is an executive with almost 20 years of experience in real estate and a native New Yorker. Brathwaite has a B.A. from Amherst College and an MBA from Marshall School of Business. He founded and has grown his own company and continues to pursue his passion for fine art and his family business.

Christy Ford
Christy Kord

SVP, Sales & Planning

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Christy Kord oversees the Sales Team for Kitchen United responsible for the curation and leasing of our kitchen centers.  She has over 15 years of experience in the retail commercial real estate industry with an expertise in restaurant transactions . Prior to Kitchen United, Christy was the VP of Leasing for URW where spearheaded the lease up of the company’s largest active development project. As a sales executive at GGP and The Irvine Company, she was responsible for driving value and growth for the portfolio via innovative and effective deal making with some of the restaurant industry’s most lauded players.

Corey Manicone
Corey Manicone

SVP, Strategy

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Corey Manicone grew up in the industry as his parents owned restaurants in Northern Colorado, where he learned first hand the good, the bad and the ugly that comes with operating. In 2015, Corey joined New York City based Relay Delivery as the first employee, helping define the optimal delivery playbook used by hundreds of restaurants. Seeing a need in the market to further enhance the off-premise business model for restaurants, he co-founded Zuul in early 2018, New York’s first ghost kitchen solution. Zuul was recently acquired by Kitchen United. Moving forward, Kitchen United will license Zuul’s proprietary ghost kitchen technology, allowing restaurant operators across the country an opportunity to achieve a much-improved economic model for delivery while also enhancing the consumer experience.

Founders

With distinct backgrounds in technology, finance, marketing, and the restaurant industry, Kitchen United’s founders came together to build a company that transforms industry disruption into restaurant success.

John Miller
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Founder

John Miller is Chairman & CEO of Cali Group. Prior to founding Cali Group in 2011, he was the second employee at Arrowhead (NASDAQ: ARWR) where he was responsible for formation, growth, and sale of Arrowhead’s electronics business unit. John graduated Order of the Coif from Stanford Law School and is an author of The Handbook of Nanotechnology Business, Policy, and Intellectual Property Law as well as various other publications related to nanomaterials and nanoscale electronics.

Harry Tsao
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Founder

Harry Tsao is a serial entrepreneur and investor. Having started two Inc 500 businesses, Harry is laser focused on operational efficiency and scale. Harry formed Avista Investments LLC in 2009 and primary invests in startup and growth-stage businesses. In the last ten years, Avista has invested in three general categories: Internet (eSalon, Baller.tv, Stylehaul, Chegg, etc), Sports & eSports (Golden State Warriors, LAFC, aXiomatic) and Food Tech (Kitchen United, Miso Robotics). In the Food Tech space, Avista Investments focuses on technology and infrastructure that can disrupt the traditional food industry.

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