overview restaurants management bios


Wood Chatham
Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Mr. Chatham has served as Clean Plate’s President and CEO since inception. Prior to Clean Plate, he spent 13 years researching, analyzing and investing in discretionary consumer companies. Most recently, he was a Partner and Sector Head at Alyeska Investment Group where he managed the consumer sector portfolio for five years. From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Chatham was a member of the consumer sector group at Maverick Capital where he held the position of Managing Director. Prior to this, he was an analyst on the consumer team in the Global Investment Research Division at Goldman Sachs.

Much of Mr. Chatham’s investment experience has been focused on the casual dining, fast casual and quick serve restaurant industries. He served as a board member of FreshDirect, a New York Metro internet grocer. He is currently a member of the advisory committee for Chicago’s largest investment conference, Invest for Kids.

Mr. Chatham is a CFA charter holder. He graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University.

Tony Kamin
Executive Chairman

Mr. Kamin’s career blends private and public market investing with a focus on consumer brands and technology. His current executive responsibilites at Clean Plate focus on acquistion activity. From 1997 to 2011, he served on the board of Real American Restaurants. In 2007, Mr. Kamin was appointed Chairman of this board while also assuming the CEO role of the group’s flagship brand: Tomatina International. Tomatina is an Italian casual dining chain created by Top Chef Master Michael Chiarello.

Mr. Kamin is President of Eastwood Investment Management, a multi-strategy and multi-asset-class family office. He served as a Venture Partner for Venture Strategy Partners from 1998 to 2003, helping the firm launch its original venture operations.

Mr. Kamin completed his undergraduate studies at Tufts University and then earned a Master’s Degree from Yale University in International Relations with a concentration in International Law.

Bob Peterson
SVP – Operations Department

Mr. Peterson’s career encompasses both the entrepreneurial and corporate ends of the spectrum, including vast experience as an independent restaurateur and as a divisional leader at three large publicly traded restaurant companies.

Most recently, he was the Regional Operations Director for Panera’s Southeast division, which comprised over 100 bakery-cafes generating over $200 million in annual revenue. Prior to that, Mr. Peterson held the position of Division President for Steak’n’Shake’s Atlantic Division, which produced $85 million in sales per year where he contributed to the brand’s turnaround. Prior to that, he was the Regional Vice President for Sonic Drive-In’s South and East Divisions, which generated $100 million and $85million respectively in annual sales.

In 1994, Mr. Peterson founded Desmar Management Services, an independent restaurant company which, over the next decade, grew to 18 restaurants in three different states under eight different brands. Prior to Desmar, he was one of the founding partners of The Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Mr. Peterson graduated from North Carolina State in 1985.

Michael Nicholas
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Nicholas joined Clean Plate as Chief Financial Officer in November 2015. He has over 15 years of CFO experience in the restaurant industry, working for companies that range in size from $30 million to $400 million in annual sales.

Most recently, he was CFO for Roti Mediterranean Grill, a fast casual concept based in Chicago that he helped grow from five to nineteen units. Prior to Roti, Mr. Nicholas served as CFO for two large, private-equity-sponsored Burger King franchisees. He was also the CFO for Lettuce Entertain You, a multi-concept restaurant operating company based in Chicago.

Earlier in his career, he held a variety of strategy and finance roles with Sears, where he focused primarily on specialty retail growth initiatives. Mr. Nicholas began his career as a consultant with Arthur Andersen, where he worked on engagements in the areas of M&A, due diligence and damage claim analysis.

He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and earned his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Neal Tench
Senior Director, Human Resources

Mr. Tench brings a wealth of human resource knowledge to Clean Plate, which is supplemented by his earlier career experience as an operator.

Prior to joining Clean Plate, he spent eighteen years with Sonic Restaurants, Inc. As Director of Field Human Resources at Sonic, Mr. Tench led a team that supported the HR needs for over 500 company-owned restaurants.

Before Sonic, Mr. Tench’s career focused on operations. He was a district manager for seven combination C-store/restaurants for A.T. Williams in Winston-Salem, NC.

Prior to that, Mr. Tench spent two decades with Long John Silver’s where he was an area supervisor for fourteen company-owned restaurants and a franchise business consultant for twenty-two franchise restaurants throughout the Southeastern United States.

Clean Plate Multi-Unit Leaders

Gerald Seward

— North and Central Florida

Robert Donahue

— Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio & Texas