Mr. Crail co-founded the first Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store in May 1981. Since the incorporation of the Company in November 1982, he has served as its President and a Director. He was elected Chairman of the Board in March 1986. Prior to founding the Company, Mr. Crail was co-founder and president of CNI Data Processing, Inc., a software firm which developed automated billing systems for the cable television industry.
Mr. Merryman joined the Company in December 1997 as Vice President – Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Since April 1999 Mr. Merryman has also served the Company as the Chief Operating Officer and as a Director, and since January 2000 as its Treasurer. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Merryman was a principal in Knightsbridge Holdings, Inc. (a leveraged buyout firm) from January 1997 to December 1997. Mr. Merryman also served as Chief Financial Officer of Super Shops, Inc., a retailer and manufacturer of aftermarket auto parts from July 1996 to November 1997 and was employed for more than eleven years by Deloitte and Touche LLP, most recently as a senior manager.
Mr. Mortenson has served on the Board of Directors of the Company since 1987. Mr. Mortenson has been engaged in consulting, investments, troubled companies and due diligence activities since July 2000, and is a Managing Director of Kensington Partners, LLC, (a private investment firm) since June 2001. Mr. Mortenson served as President, Chief Operating Officer and a director of Telco Capital Corporation of Chicago, Illinois from January 1984 to February 2000. Telco Capital Corporation is principally engaged in the manufacturing and real estate businesses. He was President, Chief Operating Officer and a director of Sunstates Corporation from December 1990 to February 2000. Sunstates Corporation is primarily engaged in automated textile equipment manufacturing. Mr. Mortenson was a director of Alba-Waldensian, Inc. from 1984 to July 1999, and served as President and Chief Executive Officer from February 1997 to July 1999. Alba is principally engaged in the manufacturing of apparel and medical products. Mr. Mortenson also served as a director of NRG Inc., a leasing company, from 1987 to February 2000.
Mr. Capdevielle was appointed a director in June 2009. Mr. Capdevielle founded and has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Syndicom, Inc. from 2000 to present. Prior to founding Syndicom, Mr. Capdevielle was Chief Executive Officer and founder of Untv, Inc. from 1999-2000, a California corporation pioneering user generated web video and distribution on the World Wide Web. From 1995-1999, Mr. Capdevielle founded and held the position of Chief Technical Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Andromedia Corporation which developed and sold web analytics software to Fortune 1000 companies prior to its sale to Macromedia, Inc. Mr. Capdevielle has been engaged in the software industry since 1993 and has served on several advisory boards and Board of Directors of technology companies from 1994 to present. He is currently a partner in Incas, LLC, a seed stage investment company focused in the medical device industry.
Mr. Engle has served as a director of the Company since January 2000. Mr. Engle is Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of RDIS Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Telco Capital Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hickory Furniture Company, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Sunstates Corporation, which is primarily engaged in real estate development and manufacturing, and Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer of GSC Enterprises, Inc., a one-bank holding company, and Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of its subsidiary, Bank of Lincolnwood.
Hank is one of the Company’s co-founders. Over the past 40 years, he has achieved significant success in the development and expansion of various consumer-focused franchise operations. In fact, Hank was the first to introduce the west coast to Pizza Hut as an area developer, opening stores in Nevada, Arizona and California. Following his success with Pizza Hut and California brand Mom’s Ice Cream, he went to work developing Major Video, the first superstore video rental company in the country. Within four years, Major Video had 185 stores operating in 28 states and Canada with another 41 under constructions when Hank sold the publicly traded company to Blockbuster Entertainment in 1989.
In September 1993, he founded Back to the 50′s, Inc., a specialty retailer that sold 50′s and 60′s memorabilia through a mail order catalog and showroom. In 1995, he sold the Company to Crowne Ventures where he continued to serve as a member of the board until his resignation in 1998. From September 1999 through October 2002, Hank served as Chairman of the Board of Americabilia.com, Inc. (now known as Seaena, Inc.), a company engaged in direct Internet merchandizing of American-themed collectibles, gifts and memorabilia.
Rico has served as Vice President of Franchise Development for Healthy Fast Food since April 2007, primarily responsible for U-SWIRL’s brand expansion efforts, including oversight of franchise sales and finance. A 15-year veteran of Wall Street, he began his career in the financial services industry as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch in 1991 before moving on to Oppenheimer & Co., where he managed institutional sales trading in middle market-listed stocks. In 1997, he joined the investment banking team at NYC-based Alexander Westcap, advising micro and small cap companies on capital formation, money management, mergers and acquisitions. From 2000 until 2003, Rico owned and operated Stone Harbor Financial Services, LLC, a full service retail brokerage and investment banking firm headquartered in New York City with branch offices in New Jersey and Long Island. From 2003 through 2005, he served as an institutional sales trader at Tradition Aisle Securities and Garden State Securities and then formed PIN Financial LLC, a NASD member investment banking firm that he led as President and Managing Principle until its sale in 2006. Rico earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Rider University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.NRG Inc., a leasing company, from 1987 to February 2000.
Terry has served as Vice President of Restaurant Development for Healthy Fast Food since April 2007, and is charged with overseeing all U-SWIRL site selections, store designs and build-outs. In addition, he serves as President of Gold Key, Inc., d/b/a Monster Framing, a wholesale custom picture and art manufacturing company serving hotels, timeshares, condominiums and retail home decor stores. Since 1989, he has also served as Vice President and Director of Operations for MV Entertainment, a franchisee of Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. with nine stores in operation in Southern California. Beginning in 1985, he served as the Director of New Store Development for Major Video Corp., where he helped to open 185 stores before the Company was acquired by Blockbuster Entertainment in late 1989. Terry attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.