Kenneth L Pendery, Jr. has served as a director since August 2017 and as Chairman Emeritus of our Board since December 2019. Mr. Pendery has been a key leader of First Watch Restaurants, Inc. for over 30 years. He has been instrumental in evolving the brand from a simple concept into a successful, multimillion dollar enterprise. Today, in his role as Chairman Emeritus, Ken ensures that the company’s principles are upheld daily. He serves as a liaison between First Watch’s management team, board of directors and private equity partner. He is a restaurant-industry veteran with extensive executive experience, including the creation of several restaurant concepts throughout his career. Ken majored in Finance at Indiana University and is an operator at heart.
Chris Tomasso has served as a director since December 2019.
Chris was named Chief Executive Officer of First Watch Restaurants, Inc. in June of 2018 after serving as President since December of 2015 and Chief Marketing Officer from 2006 to 2015. Chris brings more than 25 years of restaurant industry experience to the role, including executive leadership positions at both large-scale public and private domestic and international multi-unit concepts.
Prior to joining First Watch, Chris led national and international marketing efforts for renowned brands such as Cracker Barrel and Hard Rock Café International. He was honored on Nation’s Restaurant News’ Power List in 2017 and named a Top Private Company CMO in 2012 by ExecRank.
Chris earned a B.A. from the University of Central Florida in Orlando and is an active alumna who currently serves on the University of Central Florida Foundation Board of Directors. He was inducted into the university’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media Hall of Fame in 2016.