Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Arie Kotler serves as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Arko Corp. since the closing of the merger transaction with Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II on December 22, 2020. Mr. Kotler also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of GPM Investments, LLC (“GPM”), a role he has held since September 2011 and GPM’s President, a role he has held since April 2015. From November 2005 through December 2020, Mr. Kotler served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Arko Holdings Ltd., a publicly traded company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and GPM’s controlling owner until it merged with Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II to form Arko Corp. After forming GPM and initiating and managing the acquisition of fas mart and shore stop in 2003, Mr. Kotler served as the Chairman of GPM through November 2005. From 2011 to 2014, he served as a director and, from 2012 to 2014, he served as Chairman of Malrag 2011 Engineering and Construction Ltd., a publicly traded company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Since 2011, Mr. Kotler has served as Chairman of Ligad Investments & Building Ltd., a corporation which was publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange until it was taken private in January 2013.
Michael J. Gade
Lead Independent Director
Michael J. Gade has served as a Senior Advisor to the Global Consumer Group of Boston Consulting Group since 2007. He has been serving on the Board of Directors of Rent-A-Center, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII) and of the Crane Group, Inc., a 4th generation family office. Previously, he has served on the board of the following corporations: MACS, Inc, a private equity owned convenience chain and gasoline distributor in the Mid-Atlantic region; One Network, Inc, a leading software developer in the area of Demand Based Supply Chains as part of a Total Logistics solution; and Strive Group & Strive Logistics, a promotional group serving the consumer products industry. Additionally, Mr. Gade was the Senior Partner and Chairman of Coopers & Lybrand’s Retail and Consumer Practice (now PWC) as well as a senior executive at 7-Eleven, having been responsible for merchandising, marketing and business development.
Andrew R. Heyer, President and a Director of Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II since inception through the closing of the merger transaction, is a finance professional with over 40 years of experience investing in the consumer and consumer-related products and services industries, as well as a senior banker in leveraged finance during which time his clients included many large private equity firms. Mr. Heyer was an officer and director of Haymaker Acquisition Corp. I until it completed its business combination with OneSpaWorld Holdings (NASDAQ:OSW) in March 2019, and has remained on its board since such time. Currently, Mr. Heyer is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mistral Equity Partners, a private equity fund manager founded in 2007 that invests in the consumer industry. Prior to founding Mistral in 2007, from 2000 to 2007, Mr. Heyer served as a Founding Managing Partner of Trimaran Capital Partners, a $1.3 billion private equity fund. Mr. Heyer was formerly a vice chairman of CIBC World Markets Corp. and a co-head of the CIBC Argosy Merchant Banking Funds from 1995 to 2001. Prior to joining CIBC World Markets Corp. in 1995, Mr. Heyer was a founder and Managing Director of The Argosy Group L.P. from 1990 to 1995. Before Argosy, from 1984 to 1990, Mr. Heyer was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham Lambert Incorporated and, previous to that, he worked at Shearson/American Express. Mr. Heyer also serves on the board of several private companies owned in whole or in part by Mistral, including Worldwise, Inc., a pet accessories business from 2011 to the present, and The Lovesac Company (NASDAQ: LOVE), a branded omni-channel retailer of technology-forward furniture, from 2010 to the present. Mr. Heyer also serves on the boards of Tastemaker Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: TMKRU), AF Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: AFAQ), and Haymaker Acquisition Corp. III (NASDAQ: HYAC).
Morris Willner served as Chairman of the board of GPM from January 2015 through December 2020. Mr. Willner is the founder of Willner Realty & Development (WRDC), a full service, multi-faceted real estate development company focused on value-add adaptive-reuse projects spanning the east coast US and Israel. He was also a certified public accountant previously associated with the accounting firm of Arthur Young & Co. and the investment firm Fidelity Bond & Mortgage Co.
Sherman K. Edmiston III
Sherman K. Edmiston III has served as a Managing Member of HI CapM Advisors, a consulting firm providing strategic and financial advice to corporations, private equity firms and hedge funds, since August 2016. In addition to our Board, Mr. Edmiston is currently serving on the board of directors of the following corporations: GTT Communications, Inc. (NYSE: GTT), a multinational provider of telecommunications and internet services; Key Energy Services, Inc. (OTC: KEGX), a leading provider of oilfield services in the Permian Basin and California; and SpecGX LLC and related entities (subsidiaries of Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE: MNK)), a leading developer and manufacturer of high-quality specialty generic drugs. Mr. Edmiston formerly served on the boards of Arch Resources (NYSE: ARCH) and Centric Brands and is also a director on several private company boards. From November 2009 through December 2015, Mr. Edmiston served as Managing Director of Zolfo Cooper LLC (now Alix Partners), where he provided financial and operational advisory serves to corporations and investment firms.
Since 2012, Ms. Johnson has served as a consultant to the restaurant and entertainment industries, through SBJ Advisory Group, LLC, working with private equity companies, industry service providers, company-owned and franchise brands in addition to a focus on emerging brands. From January 2019 (following the acquisition of Lucky Strike Entertainment Group by Wellspring Capital Management) through October 2020, Ms. Johnson served as a board member and as Interim President of the Company, reporting directly to the board. From October 2015 to October 2016, she was President and Chief Executive Officer for a primarily franchised owned portfolio company of Front Burner Restaurant Group in Dallas and continued to serve on the board of the parent company through 2018. From June 2006 to September 2010, Ms. Johnson served both on the Board of Directors and as President and Chief Operating Officer of Dave & Buster’s, Inc. She joined the company, also under the ownership of Wellspring Capital Management, as Chief Strategic Officer with responsibilities for Human Resources, Marketing and Development. She assumed the role of President/COO in April of 2007, and led the Company’s Human Resources/Training, Sales, Amusements, and Strategic Initiatives departments in addition to Operations. In June of 2010, Wellspring Capital Management sold Dave & Buster’s to Oakhill Capital Partners. Ms. Johnson serves on the board of Tastemaker Acquisition Corporation (NASDAQ: TMKRU), a special purpose acquisition company focusing on the restaurant, hospitality, and related tech and services sectors. Ms. Johnson also serves on the board, the Audit Committee, and as Chair of the Nominating/Governance Committee for Chuy’s Inc. (NASDAQ: CHUY), a full-service casual Mexican chain. Ms. Johnson also served as a member of the board and Chair of the Audit Committee of Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits (NASDAQ: BOJA) from March 2016 until the completion of its go-private transaction in January 2019. Ms. Johnson also serves as a director of several private companies.
Steven J. Heyer, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of Haymaker Acquisition Corp. II since inception through the closing of the merger transaction, has over 40 years of experience in the consumer and consumer-related products and services industries, leading a range of companies and brands. Mr. Heyer has applied his experience and analytical skills in a variety of leadership positions across diverse industry groups, including broadcast media, consumer products, and hotel and leisure companies. Over the past eight years, he has been acting as an advisor and director to, and investor in, several private companies across the consumer subsectors of health and wellness, restaurants, technology, marketing services and technology and furniture. From its formation until it completed its business combination with OneSpaWorld Holdings (NASDAQ:OSW) in March 2019, he was an officer and director of Haymaker Acquisition Corp. I. Since its business combination, he has served as Vice Chairman on the board of directors of OneSpaWorld Holdings. Mr. Heyer’s operating experiences include: leading the turnaround of Outback Steakhouse as an advisor (from 2010 to 2012); as Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (from 2004 until 2007); as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company (from 2001 to 2004); as a member of the boards of Coca-Cola FEMSA, and Coca-Cola Enterprises (all from 2001 to 2004); as President and Chief Operating Officer of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and a member of AOL Time Warner’s Operating Committee (from 1994 to 2001); as President and Chief Operating Officer of Young & Rubicam Advertising Worldwide (from 1992 to 1994); and before that spending 15 years at Booz Allen & Hamilton, ultimately becoming Senior Vice President and Managing Partner. For the last five years, Mr. Heyer has served on the boards of Lazard Ltd, Lazard Group, and Atkins Nutritionals Inc. as well as investing in a private capacity in early stage and venture consumer and consumer media companies.