NEW YORK (May 7, 2020) — Allegis Partners (AP), a global executive search firm, announces the placement of Damien Varela as Chief Financial Officer at Pentex Restaurant Group in Fargo, ND, a leading franchisee of two national restaurant chains, Taco John’s and HuHot Mongolian Grill. The search was led by Robert Lambert, Managing Director, and Rebecca Herbster-Chen, Director.
Damien is a uniquely qualified finance executive with more than 15 years of highly relevant experience working with some of the best restaurant franchise systems in the United States. As Chief Financial Officer, Damien will play a key role in guiding the growth and expansion of Pentex’s Taco John’s, one of the largest Mexican quick-service restaurant brands in the U.S., and HuHot Mongolian Grill, a national create-your-own stir-fry concept.
“Bob and his team at Allegis were great partners during our search,” said Brett Itterman, Chief Executive Officer of Pentex. “Their expertise allowed us to conduct a national search that produced multiple candidates with the skill sets we need to continue our growth trajectory. I know we would not have been able to identify, recruit and hire Damien without Allegis.”
“Pentex represented a unique opportunity for Allegis Partners—one that was right in our wheelhouse—as a family-owned, founder-led business looking for their first outside CFO,” said Bob Lambert. “Brett was a great partner throughout the search; we learned a lot from each other.” Rebecca Herbster-Chen added, “Damien is uniquely qualified for this role. It was his work with the McDonald’s franchisees that, in the end, put him well ahead of many other candidates.”
Before Pentex, Damien served as Director of Global Financial Planning & Analysis for McDonald’s Corporation. Prior to McDonald’s, Damien held several auditor roles with the consulting firm Protiviti, Home Depot and Arthur Andersen LLP. Damien has an M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in finance from the University of Florida Warrington College of Business.