Meet the Taco John’s Management Team
Our leadership team members are experts in foodservice and franchising
Jim Creel, President
Jim Creel joined Taco John’s International in 2000. Jim is a certified public accountant and a member of the AICPA and Wyoming Society of CPAs. He has served on the board of directors for more than 15 nonprofit organizations and is the president of the board for Stride Learning Center. Jim is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and was a partner at RSM McGladrey Inc. for nearly 20 years.
Rocky Clark, Vice President for Operations
Rocky Clark joined Taco John’s International in 2013 and has more than 30 years’ experience in the foodservice industry. He previously worked with Arby’s and Chick-fil-A, and he once owned coffee shops and a hardware store. His experience as a small business owner, along with many years in operations, gives him a unique perspective on both franchisees and franchise support. Rocky’s primary focus is to enhance the guest experience for each guest every time they visit a Taco John’s restaurant.
Van Ingram, Vice President for Franchise Development
Van joined Taco John’s in 2013 and has served as the Vice President for Development since 2016. He has experience with Arby’s, Yum! Brands, Valvoline Instant Oil Change and Long John Silver’s. He is responsible for leading growth of the brand with new and existing franchisees.
Alan Wright, Vice President for Marketing
Alan joined Taco John’s in 2018. His marketing leadership positions have been with legacy franchise brands including Hardee’s, Krystal, Newk’s Eatery, Rent-A-Center and Olan Mills. A strategic and creative brand leader, Alan has led management teams through the social, digital, mobile and brand journey processes. He believes “it’s better to be different, not just better,” which leads to a unique brand personality. Alan has served on the Technomics Operational Advisory Board and Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association Board.
Bob Karisny, Vice President for Menu Development
Bob Karisny joined Taco John’s in 2008, and he has been in the food service industry for more than three decades. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bob has honed his profession from line cook to vice president. After years of working in and leading individual kitchens, Bob started his career in research and development and worked with companies including Long John Silver’s, Jerry’s Restaurants, Village Inn and Boston Market.
Stephanie Gooden, Vice President for Human Resources & Training
Stephanie rejoined Taco John’s in 2016 as Vice President for Human Resources & Training after spending 1-1/2 years with the Wyoming Department of Corrections as Deputy Human Resources Manager. Before that, Stephanie was with Taco John’s for 33 years, primarily in Human Resources. Her areas of expertise are staffing, compensation/benefits, employee relations and training/development. Stephanie is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and served as President of the Chain Restaurant Total Rewards Association.
Renee Swisher, Vice President for Accounting and Technology
Renee has been with Taco John’s for over 20 years. A graduate in Accounting from Mankato State University, she is a Certified Public Accountant. Prior to coming to Taco John’s, Renee gained valuable accounting experience at Unicover Corporation and McGladrey, Hendrickson and Pullen. She has served on the Board of Directors of United Way of Laramie County as well as other non-profit organizations.
Patricia Hays, General Counsel and Secretary
Patt joined Taco John’s International in 2010 as general counsel and corporate secretary and leads TJI’s internal legal department. Previously, Patt was assistant general counsel of TBC Corp., parent company of Big O Tires LLC, a retail tire franchisor, as well as parent company of Tire Kingdom, Merchant’s Tire & Auto, and National Tire and Battery, where she was responsible for litigation management, real estate and franchising matters.