meet the leadership team

Linda Chadwick

President and CEO

A dedicated professional in the franchising industry, one of the things Linda Chadwick is most known for is brand transformation. Before becoming Rita’s CEO in 2017, Linda served as President and CEO of Dessange Group North America, where she developed a new vision and strategy for the brand in a highly dynamic industry. She was also COO of Dessange’s brand Fantastic Sams, where she implemented new growth strategies capitalizing on the opportunities in the chain and the industry. Prior to her time in the beauty industry, Linda spent over 20 years with Burger King Corporation, where, as Division Vice President, Southeast, she inspired, energized and connected with franchisees and customers. As a proud sponsor and former member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and IFA, Linda is passionate about franchising and developing people at all levels.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: Lemon Ice

Kevin Kruse

Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer

Kevin joined Rita’s in September of 2018. As Chief Development Officer, Kevin is responsible for managing Franchise Sales, Real Estate and the Construction and Design teams.

His 30 plus years in the hospitality and franchising industry includes Senior level corporate positions in both Operations and Development with national brands such as Arby’s, Dairy Queen and Einstein Bros. Bagels, as well as spending time as a franchisee.

Kevin received his B.S. degree in Business and Hotel Administration from Cornell University. He also holds an MBA in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University.


Favorite treat at Rita’s: A Gelati with both Mango and Cherry Ice

Lauriena Borstein

Executive Vice President of Operations

As Executive Vice President of Operations, Lauriena Borstein is responsible for leading Rita’s operations and education departments, as well as Cool University, Rita’s corporate store and training center. Lauriena and her team are responsible for supporting Rita’s franchisees from the time they sign their franchise agreements through development and during the entire time their store is in operation. Lauriena began her career with Rita’s in March 2006 as a Franchise Licensing Associate and was promoted in 2009 to Director of Franchising. In this role, Lauriena led the Franchising Department and successfully grew Rita’s to 550 stores in 19 states. Prior to Rita’s, Lauriena worked as a Financial Advisor for Ameriprise Financial.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: Wild Black Cherry Gelati or a Lemon Ice

John Dombroski

Senior Vice President and CFO

As Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2013, John is responsible for leading Rita’s financial, IT and human resource functions. His 30-year career spans extensive expertise in finance, supply chain/purchasing, operations and strategic planning. He most recently served
as the CFO for Sancoa International Company. Prior to Sancoa, he held senior financial positions with Hasbro, Inc. and Campbell Soup Company. He is a Coopers & Lybrand trained Certified Public Accountant, as well as a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: Mango Ice

Kathy Deal

Director of Training

Kathy Deal joined Rita’s as a teenager in 1989, working in one of our stores as a Treat Team member, and loved it so much she never left. She joined the corporate team in 1996 and has held many roles over the years, including Corporate Trainer, Franchise Service Manager and Director of Operations. In her current role as Director of Training since 2012, Kathy is responsible for ensuring that franchisees are set up for success when they get ready to open a Rita’s, and provides ongoing training to franchisees and their teams to ensure consistent execution on all brand standards.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: half-Lemon, half-Wild Black Cherry Italian Ice

Jim Ruggieri

Director of Product Innovation & Development

Jim’s career in the QSR industry spans 30 years, primarily in the frozen treat category. His longest tenure in this category was his 20 years with Ben & Jerry’s Franchising Inc., where he was a multi-unit owner/operator, Franchise Business Consultant, Corporate Trainer and Associate Brand Manager of Product Innovation. Jim’s concept development projects include the menu development and store design for the KISS Coffeehouse, a licensed concept with Sony Signatures and acclaimed rock band KISS. He has also worked with Wetzel’s Pretzels and Hoffman’s Chocolates. He joined Rita’s in 2016 and currently oversees R&D, quality assurance and product development.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: Cherry Gelati with Chocolate Custard

Madalyn Weintraub

Director, Brand Marketing

Madalyn Weintraub joined the Rita’s family in 2003 when she began her first job scooping Italian Ice at the very first Rita’s location outside of Philadelphia. Madalyn has developed a true passion for the brand, and for the last eight years, she has brought that passion to life through various initiatives in Rita’s marketing department. Currently, her focus is on developing results-driven marketing programs, advertising strategy, creative development, public relations, communications and working closely with the marketing team to provide 360-degree support for Rita’s franchisees.

Favorite treat at Rita’s: Banana Gelati with Chocolate Custard

Find out more about our franchise opportunities 

To learn more about the Rita’s franchise opportunity, fill out the form on this page to access our Franchise Information Center, where you can find detailed financial results, startup costs and more.

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