Abe Ruiz is an established restaurant executive with an extensive background that ranges over more than 30 years. Ruiz currently serves at VP of strategic growth & sales for The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille – while simultaneously playing a vital role in ITA Group Holdings (ITA), a private equity–held restaurant platform company based in the Mid-Atlantic (which includes The Greene Turtle and his own concept, Madrid Spanish Taverna). Formerly, Ruiz served as Chief Operating Officer of Famous Dave’s of America and assumed responsibility for the company’s turnaround plan and operational activities. Ruiz was instrumental in overseeing both corporate and franchised units with a total count of 187 units spreading from the UAE to Canada and Puerto Rico. From 2011 to 2015, Ruiz was the COO for Colon Gerena Restaurant Group, a franchisee of Famous Dave’s of America, Applebee’s, Longhorn Steakhouse, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Sizzler, and Wendy’s. Under his tenure, Applebee’s and Famous Dave’s established all time sales records as well as records for unit openings while maintaining operational excellence, market presence and high guest satisfaction scores, earning recognition and awards from the franchisors.