Sasnak restructures its management

Sasnak Management, the Wichita-based parent for Carlos O'Kelly's and an Applebee's franchisee, reshuffled its management Tuesday, naming Jon Rolph president.

Company co-founder David Rolph, Jon's father, will take over the chairman's role.

In addition, longtime vice president for marketing Hugh Nicks announced plans to retire March 1. As part of the new management structure, Joe Williams has been named vice president for brand and Micah Derr vice president for finance and administration.

Both Rolphs said the reorganization targets an increasingly challenging and competitive restaurant market. Jon Rolph will run the Carlos O'Kelly's side of the Sasnak operation while overseeing the day-to-day operations of the management company. David Rolph will continue to run the Applebee's franchises.

"This creates the ability for me to step above it all and plan for the future without being pulled into all the action," David Rolph said.

"Dad's been wanting to focus more strategically on where we're going and not be so focused on the tactical and managerial side of the business," Jon Rolph said. "We get the great mix of a younger generation's energy and fire and excitement about the future, coupled with 40 years of experience, intuition and insight. It puts us in prime position, I think, to be focused on the future to live through the economic conditions we're in."

David and his older brother, Darrel Rolph, started in the restaurant business as Pizza Hut franchisees and formed Sasnak in 1975. Today it oversees 47 Carlos O'Kelly's restaurants in 10 states, along with 25 Applebee's restaurants in Illinois and Iowa.

Darrel Rolph previously retired from the company but retains ownership interest and involvement in major decisions.

Jon Rolph joined Sasnak in 2002 and is a familiar face in the community. He is chairman of Visioneering Wichita and is on the board of directors of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. He was executive vice president of the corporation before the reorganization.

"Carlos O'Kelly's was built over three decades by my uncle and my father with the focus on quality food, great hospitality and creating a space where families can enjoy time together," Jon Rolph said. "It is an honor to be able to take that legacy into the future and continue it while carefully listening, planning and developing new ideas."