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Renowned Restaurant Company Makes Changes to Executive Team in the New Year

COLUMBUS, Ohio (January 13, 2020) – Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) is kicking off the new year with some fresh faces on the leadership team. The Columbus-based restaurant company is pleased to announce that Melissa Johnson, Katie Laudick, Mitch Miller and Jim Sauter have been promoted to executive positions, effective January 1, 2020.

“Cameron and I are extremely proud to have these talented individuals join the executive team as they are shining examples of our company’s genuine hospitality and associate-first culture,” said David Miller, president and chief operating officer for CMR. “I look forward to their contributions as we continue to grow and push the envelope of restaurant innovation.”

Melissa Johnson
Melissa Johnson is now vice president of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events and Community Relations for CMR. She oversees the company’s catering division and consistently looks for growth opportunities. She also represents the company in the community by discovering ways to get involved and give back. Johnson, a 22-year CMR veteran who helped launch the catering company in 2001, has helped shape it into the foremost catering and special events business in central Ohio.

Katie Laudick
Katie Laudick has been named vice president of human resources at CMR, focusing on adding new talent to the company’s associate-first culture as well as lifting up current associates to succeed. After joining the CMR family as a server, Laudick accepted a human resources internship at the home office in 2001. She has since held various roles in human resources including, most recently, senior director, and has helped shape the team into what it is today through her dedication and focus on self-development.  Laudick will oversee all human resources practices for the nearly 5,000 associates of CMR and its sister company, Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern.

Mitch Miller
As the vice president of Ocean Prime, Mitch Miller oversees 16 locations across the country. Miller provides strategic direction for the brand and leads a team of managers, directors and corporate and regional chefs who handle the daily restaurant operations. Miller has held numerous managerial positions within CMR including serving as the dining room manager at Martini Modern Italian, and general manager of Cap City in Gahanna, Mitchell’s Ocean Club and Molly Woo’s. Miller was then promoted to regional director and later, director of operations for Ocean Prime before moving into his current role. Miller is praised by his fellow associates for his strong leadership, especially during restaurant openings.

 Jim Sauter
Jim Sauter has been named vice president of the Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern. Working closely with President and Founder Gary Callicoat, Sauter provides strategic direction for the brand and leads a team of managers and directors who oversee all restaurant operations. Sauter first joined the CMR team in 2004 and held numerous positions including a pantry and grill cook at Cap City in Grandview, general manager at Cap City in Gahanna and assistant general manager for Mitchell’s Ocean Club. He transitioned to working for Rusty Bucket in 2007 and has been an integral part of the growth of Rusty Bucket into a nationally-recognized brand.

As part of the executive changes, Diane Smullen (Finance) and Chuck Davis (Human Resources) will transition off of the leadership team and assume new advisory roles within the company. Smullen will provide strategic guidance on corporate affairs and investor relations for the company, while Davis will assist with advising human resources. Gary Callicoat (President and Founder of Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern) will transition off of the leadership team and into a Founder’s role.

Current CMR Executive Leadership Team Members:

  • Cameron Mitchell, Founder & Chief Executive Officer
  • David Miller, President & Chief Operating Officer
  • Charles Kline, Senior Vice President of Operations
  • Brian Hinshaw, Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage
  • Wayne Schick, Senior Vice President of Store Planning & Procurement
  • Heather Leonard, Senior Vice President of Marketing
  • Steve Weis, Vice President of Development
  • Kerry Boyle, Vice President of General Counsel
  • J.R. Dehring, Chief Financial Officer
  • Mitch Miller, Vice President of Ocean Prime
  • Jim Sauter, Vice President of Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern
  • Katie Laudick, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Melissa Johnson, Vice President of Cameron Mitchell Premier Events and Community Relations

**Headshots available.

About Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR) is an independent, privately-held restaurant group known for developing compelling dining concepts, offering outstanding cuisine complemented by genuine hospitality. Cameron Mitchell founded the company in 1993 on the powerful guest philosophy, “The answer is yes. What is the question?” Today, that commitment to delivering extraordinary guest experiences fuels 36 award-winning restaurants under 15 different concepts, including the nationally-acclaimed Ocean Prime brand, now coast-to-coast in Beverly Hills, Calif., Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Naples, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa and Washington, D.C; the Cameron Mitchell Premier Events catering company; and Buckeye Hospitality Construction, responsible for developing and managing the company’s new construction, remodels and special projects. CMR also oversees the growth and development of its sister company, Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, with 23 locations in six states.

With a penchant for building tomorrow’s hospitality workforce, Mitchell is the largest alumni donor to the Culinary Institute of America and, as a Columbus State Community College Foundation board member, is a leading contributor to the expansion of the school’s top-rated hospitality management and culinary arts program. Mitchell shares the key to his company’s 25 years of success and the lessons he has learned in his new, tell-all book, “Yes is the Answer. What is the Question?”, now available for purchase at

For more information, visit and follow CMR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@CMRColumbus), and on LinkedIn.

Media Contact:
Katie Lundy, 614.353.6476,

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The Avenue
The Barn
Big Rock Italian Chophouse
Budd Dairy
Butcher & Rose
Cameron's American Bistro
Cap City
Cameron Mitchell Premier Events
Cento Italian
Del Mar Mediterranean
The Guild House
Hudson 29
Lincoln Social Rooftop
Martini Modern Italian
Molly Woo's
Ocean Club
Ocean Prime
The Pearl
Prime Social Rooftop
SoCal Kitchen + Bar
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