Jonathan C. Fornaci Appointed President to Bring Laser Focus on Growth

San Ramon, CA (March 7, 2008) Jonathan C. Fornaci was named president of Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation, which oversees Straw Hat Pizza and Straw Hat Grill operations in the USA and Canada, to head a leadership team directly responsible for executing the company’s growth and transformation agenda. 

Fornaci brings significant global operations experience having developed and built premium brands while serving as CEO of several international technology start-ups. His experience also includes senior management and ownership in the restaurant industry, including the acclaimed Restaurante Vida in Lima, Peru. Fornaci’s appointment is designed to focus the organization on providing customers with a superior Straw Hat Pizza experience and build on its legacy as the originator of “Genuine California Pizza.”

As Straw Hat’s president, Fornaci’s mission is to grow same store sales and expand the number of Straw Hat Pizza and Straw Hat Grill locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Previously, Fornaci was the founder of IMG Universal, a real estate development, retail and mortgage broker company headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA. He co-founded Atomic Tangerine, and was Chief Operations Officer for several Bay Area companies including Provato, an enterprise software development company, and IBIS Consulting, Inc. which was sold to

Proxicom. As chief technology and information officer for GE Capital/Genstar, he managed technology and operations for ten GE Capital divisions. He started his career at Accenture.

With a focus on rapid global expansion, Fornaci will leverage the chain’s strength and experience to showing the consistency of vision and values over the years and to capture the sense that Straw Hat Pizza can carry the community spirit of gathering it had back then, now and into the future.

“Jonathan brings a history of instilling a superior experience for customers and at the same time of exceeding the customer expectations, driving the business growth of the organization,” says Clark Rupp, Chairman of the Board. “We are very excited to have him on board.”

A graduate of UC Berkeley, Fornaci is currently a Director for Meals on Wheels and formerly a Chairman of the Board for Security Portal. A frequent keynote speaker at global conferences and summits including the United Nations, and the International Branding Council, Fornaci resides in Walnut Creek, CA.

About Straw Hat Pizza Cooperative Corp.

Called Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation, the company is not a typical franchisor, but a cooperative made up of each Straw Hat pizza restaurant owner. Each restaurant represents one share of ownership. Members pay royalties to the cooperative and in return, receive marketing materials, better deals with suppliers, and ingredients and packaging manufactured by the cooperative.

Each owner has a real say in his or her company’s future, and the Cooperative was recently awarded the prestigious seal of Fair Franchising by the American Association Franchisees & Dealers (AAFD).

Founded in 1959, Straw Hat Pizza is the originator of “Genuine California Pizza,” comprised of numerous locations in the Western U.S. and is poised for rapid growth in the U.S. and Canada during 2008. For more information call: Nina Lesowitz, Spinergy Group, 510-547-8632 or go to

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