ATHENS, GA. – Zaxby’s, a fast-casual chicken chain known for chicken fingers, wings and signature sauces, named Vanessa Fox to the newly created position of chief development officer. In her new role at Zaxby’s, Fox will lead the Franchise Licensing and Development teams to establish continuity with restaurant design and construction. As Zaxby’s first CDO in the company’s 30-year history, Fox will report directly to co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley.

“I am thrilled to join Zaxby’s and strategically lead its growth plans,” Fox said. “I seek to build highly functioning and diversified teams to tackle projects and can’t wait to get to know Zaxby’s team members and learn about their goals, skills and aspirations.”

Fox joins Zaxby’s from Jack in the Box, where she was chief development officer. At Jack in the Box, she worked with business stakeholders to build, maintain and execute the company’s real estate strategy. Prior to that, she worked with Jack in the Box and Qdoba on restaurant development including construction, architecture and design as well as facility management. Fox holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, and an MBA from the University of Redlands in addition to a culinary certificate from the San Diego Culinary Institute.

“Our brand is experiencing its best unit-level performance in many years, and we know Vanessa will build on that,” said McLeroy, Zaxby’s chief executive officer and co-founder. “She has a clear passion for building trust and credibility in the licensee community, which is something that we have always highly valued.”

Zaxby’s leadership believes Fox’s expertise will help the brand continue developing in current markets and position it in new ones.

“Vanessa will be an asset to our team as she capitalizes on market growth opportunities and operational improvements,” said Townley, Zaxby’s chief strategy officer and co-founder. “We look forward to working with her to help manage the complexities of our comprehensive remodel program.”

Zaxby’s recently hired Keith Anderkin as vice president of supply chain and quality assurance and Alan Ludloff as vice president of brand marketing. Anderkin and Ludloff will collaborate with Fox to position Zaxby’s for “unprecedented growth,” the company said.