Meet the Management Team
Our stores are backed by experience
Jim Creel, President
Jim Creel joined Taco John’s International in January 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 joined Taco John’s International in July of 2013 and brings with him over 30 years’ experience in the food service industry. He previously worked with Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, and as an owner of his own coffee shops and hardware store. His experience as a small business owner, along with many years in operations, gives him a unique perspective of both franchisee and franchise support. As Vice President for Operations, Rocky’s primary focus is to enhance the guest experience for each guest every time they visit a Taco John’s restaurant.
Alan Wright, Vice President for Marketing
Alan joined Taco Johns 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.
Van Ingram, Vice President for Franchise Development
As Vice President for Franchise Development, Van Ingram helps support new and existing franchisees. “Some franchisees have been with us 20 to 40 years,” he says. “We want to give them a chance to grow within the Taco John’s brand. We will also aggressively pursue multi-unit franchisees of other concepts and new franchisees entering the industry.” Van brings 18 years of franchise sales experience to Taco John’s from YUM! Brands, VIOC, Arby’s Restaurant Group and Volvo Rents.
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 with companies including Long John Silver’s, Jerry’s Restaurants, Village Inn and Boston Market.
Renee Swisher, Vice President for Accounting and Technology
Renee has been with Taco John’s for over 20 years and is currently our Director of Finance. 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 June 2010 as general counsel and corporate secretary and leads TJI’s internal legal department. Before joining TJI, 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.