ATLANTA – Louie W. Mele, who was president and managing director of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited until 2008, has been appointed to Church’s Chicken’s Board of Directors.

“Louie has a wealth of experience in the quick-service industry,” said Mel Deane, chief executive officer of Church’s Chicken. “His insights will be of great value to us as we continue to grow Church’s both domestically and internationally.”

“It is an honor for me to join Church’s Board of Directors,” said Louie Mele, “I look forward to working with Mel and the board and using my thirty-six years of experience to support the company’s strategy and expansion around the world.”

Mele joined McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada in 1977 and held a variety of management roles in store operations and new product development. Years later, he was a member of the team responsible for the launch of McDonald’s in Italy and grew operations from two stores to more than 175 McDonald’s. He returned to the United States and in his role as vice president and regional manager his focus was on taking the lowest region in sales and turning around the business in a short amount of time, to become one of the top regions in year over year sales growth. Later, Mele led one of the top regions in the U.S. for profitability for three years in a row.

In 2001, Mele returned to Canada and assumed the role of executive vice president, chief operating officer and was responsible for 1,250 restaurants, 70,000 employees and 275 franchisees. In 2005, he was appointed president and managing director of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, a role he held until 2008.

Mele is currently the owner and operator of Il Casale De Mele, a Bed and Breakfast business in Umbria, Italy.

Church's Chicken is one of the largest quick-service chicken concepts in the world. As of March 2010, the Church's system consisted of more than 1,700 locations worldwide in 22 countries, with system sales approaching $1.2 billion.