Larry Flax is co-founder of Flax and Rosenfield Capital Partners and has more than 25 years of experience leading one of the world’s most recognizable restaurant companies.
Flax co-founded California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) in 1985 with Rick Rosenfield. From 1985 to 2011, he helped build CPK into one of the top casual dining concepts on the globe, serving as co-president and co-CEO (1985-1996 and 2003-2011) and co-chairman of the board since the company’s formation. Under Flax’s leadership, CPK grew from one restaurant in Beverly Hills into a global powerhouse brand of more than 250 domestic and international restaurants in 37 states and 12 countries. Along with Rosenfield, Flax developed a retail consumer channel featuring a burgeoning premium frozen pizza product line, which was licensed by the world’s largest food brands, Kraft and Nestle.
Prior to founding CPK, Larry practiced law as a principal and partner in Flax and Rosenfield, Inc., after serving as an Assistant United States Attorney of the Department of Justice and Chief Criminal Division, and chief of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.
Flax is a leader of key community projects in Southern California. He currently serves on the board of councilors for the University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law and the board of directors and advisory board for philanthropy for FasterCures; a nonprofit determined to remove barriers to medical progress.
Flax holds Juris Doctor and Master of Law degrees from the University of Southern California.
Rick Rosenfield is co-founder of Flax and Rosenfield Capital Partners and has more than 25 years of experience leading one of the world’s most recognizable restaurant companies.
Rosenfield co-founded California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK) in 1985 with Larry Flax. Over the course of two decades, Rosenfield played a key role in developing CPK into one of the world’s most well-known restaurant companies, serving as co-president and co-CEO (1985-1996 and 2003-2011) and co-chairman since the company’s formation. Under his leadership, CPK grew from one restaurant in Beverly Hills into a global powerhouse brand of more than 250 domestic and international restaurants in 37 states and 12 countries. Along with Flax, Rosenfield developed a retail consumer channel featuring a burgeoning premium frozen pizza product line, which was licensed by the world’s largest food brands, Kraft and Nestle.
From 1973 to 1985, Mr. Rosenfield was a principal and partner of the law firm Flax & Rosenfield, Inc., a private law firm in Beverly Hills, Calif. From 1969 to 1973, Mr. Rosenfield served as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.
In addition to his decorated career in the restaurant industry, Rosenfield sits on the board of directors for Callaway Golf Company and is the longest tenured member, serving since 1994.
Rosenfield holds a Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University College of Law.
Peter Gillette is an accomplished restaurant executive with over 20 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Flax and Rosenfield Capital Partners, Peter had a long-tenured career with California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (CPK), beginning in 1992.
He held increasing positions of leadership and responsibility during a critical time in the company’s accelerated Worldwide expansion that focused on several distinct specialized disciplines including Global Brand Development, Multi-channel Growth, Operations, Finance, Real Estate Construction/Design, Strategic Planning, Franchising/Licensing and Organizational structuring.
Peter played an integral role in the initial formation and implementation of CPK’s Quality Assurance Program, establishing best practices that have become the standard for today’s operations. He also was instrumental in growing CPK’s licensed fast-casual concept ASAP, which is located throughout the United States in non-traditional environments such as airports, stadiums and college campuses into one of the most sought after food brands requested by consumers.
In his most prominent role at CPK as Senior Vice President of International and Domestic Franchise Development, for several years he oversaw the development of 65 units spanning 12 countries, including company-owned units and a corporate office in Shanghai, China.
Mr. Gillette holds an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University.
Steve has over 20 years of experience in the areas of site selection, market analysis, lease negotiation, legal matters, as well as design and construction management. His extensive and diverse professional background includes tenure with some of the country’s top development firms, landlords, restaurants and retailers.
Steve’s early service as a top leasing producer and other increasing roles of responsibility for the national mall developer The Taubman Company (NYSE:TCO), created the opportunity and set the stage for him to leverage his unique skill set in the development and retail community. In the sector, he most recently served as Vice President of the National Restaurant Group at Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG), which is internationally recognized as the largest and preeminent commercial landlord of premier shopping centers.
Steve was initially introduced to Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, the Co-Founders and Co-CEO’s of California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPKI) in February of 2007. He joined CPK as Vice President of Real Estate and was named a Senior Vice President in 2008. His continuous leadership of the Real Estate Department included responsibility for supporting all of the operating restaurants property related needs, managing the company’s vast landlord relationships, as well as directing the expansion of CPK restaurants in new and existing markets. As a select member of the Senior Management Group, he played an integral role in the successful growth of the brand and maximizing stakeholder value until CPK was sold in a $470 million transaction to a private equity firm in 2011.
Steve is a frequent speaker and lecturer at International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) conferences and other industry related events. He holds a J.D. Degree, Cum Laude, from Michigan State University College of Law.