Our Head Noodlers

Dave Boennighausen

Chief Executive Officer
As a life-long Noodler, Dave has spent most of his career growing Noodles & Company into one of the largest fast-casual restaurant companies in the industry. Dave came to Noodles in 2004 as senior financial analyst and has since moved on to serve as vice president of finance, executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer before being appointed chief executive officer in June 2017. Through his vision to nourish and inspire every team member, guest and community the company serves, Dave is committed to making Noodles the best place in the industry to work for those who love life. Prior to coming to Noodles, Dave began his career with May Department Stores. He received his degree in finance and marketing from Truman State University and holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Dave also serves on the national advisory board for No Kid Hungry. Dave resides in Boulder, Colorado, where he can be found enjoying all that Colorado has to offer with his wife Susan and sons Evan and Andy. 

Stacey Pool

Chief Marketing Officer
Stacey Pool has served as our Chief Marketing Officer since January 2020. Prior to joining Noodles, Stacey held a variety of leadership roles at Vail Resorts, Inc., including Senior Vice President of Season Pass Marketing, Chief of Staff to the CEO, and Vice President of Digital Experience. During her time at Vail Resorts, she was responsible for Epic Pass brand marketing and delivering and executing the Vail Resorts digital experience.  With over twenty years of experience in consumer marketing across multiple industries, Stacey has a strong track record of utilizing guest insights to deliver strong business results.  Before joining Vail Resorts, Stacey was at Nike, Inc., where she defined the vision and strategy for the NIKEiD.com digital experience. Prior to Nike, she worked in consulting at Accenture, where she supported both Verizon Wireless and Qwest Communications. Stacey holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. 

Carl Lukach

Chief Financial Officer
Carl Lukach has served as our Chief Financial Officer since November 2020, bringing more than 17 years of diverse financial leadership to the company. Prior to Noodles, Carl was Vice President Finance at Equinox, the namesake brand within Equinox Group, a high-growth collective of lifestyle and digital brands. In this role, he oversaw finance, treasury, tax, strategic planning and financial operations, in addition to investor management and capital fund raising. Prior to Equinox, he held several roles in finance and corporate development for Abercrombie and Fitch. Carl also spent over a decade in investment banking at Credit Suisse with an industry focus in food and retail businesses. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in finance and psychology from Georgetown University. 

Kathy Lockhart

Chief Accounting Officer
Kathy Lockhart has served as our Chief Accounting Officer since August 2020.  Prior to that time she served as Vice President and Controller from August 2006 to July 2020. Prior to joining us, Ms. Lockhart served as the Vice President and Controller of several public and private restaurant and retail companies, including Einstein’s, Boston Market, VICORP (parent company of Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurants) and Ultimate Electronics. She received a BA degree in Business Administration and Political Science from Western Colorado State University, and she is a CPA and CGMA. 

Brad West

Chief Operating Officer
Brad West has served as our Chief Operating Officer since March 2021.  Prior to that time, he served as Executive Vice President of Operations from September 2017 to February 2021. Mr. West has an extensive background in leading and directing company and franchise operations, including training in the restaurant industry over the past 40 years. Prior to joining us, he served as Vice President, Operations of Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. from 2014 through August 2017, whose principal business was the sale of smoothies and retail merchandise including vitamins, minerals, protein powders and power bars. Prior to that role, he was Chief Operating Officer of ACG Pizza Partners LLC, and he had earlier spent 15 years at Einstein’s, most recently as Senior Vice President, Non-Traditional Business, where he was responsible for the operations, development and growth of over 250 Einstein Bros. Bagels license locations. Mr. West also held key operational roles at CEC Entertainment, Inc., Applebee’s International, Inc. franchise groups and S&A Restaurant Corporation. 

Melissa M. Heidman

Executive Vice-President, General Counsel
Melissa M. Heidman has served as our Associate General Counsel since August of 2011, as Vice President since September of 2015 and was most recently appointed as Acting General Counsel and Secretary in December of 2017. Prior to joining our company, Melissa was Special Counsel in the law firm of Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti. She began her career serving as a Law Clerk for the District Court of Iowa, the Iowa Supreme Court and, later, as Law Clerk and Staff Attorney for the Superior Court of Guam. Melissa received a BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa and received a J.D. from Drake University Law School. 

Sue Petersen

Executive Vice-President, Inclusion, Diversity and People.
Sue Petersen has served as Executive Vice President, Inclusion, Diversity and People since March 2021.  Sue joined Noodles in February 2015 as Director of Field Talent, she was promoted to Vice President of HR in January 2016.  Prior to joining Noodles, Sue worked at Walgreens from June 2009 through December 2014 where she was Regional Field HR Director.  Prior to Walgreens, Sue worked at Quiznos from 2007 to 2009 as Director of HR.  Additionally, Sue has worked with Rock Bottom Restaurants and Chipotle.  Sue began her restaurant career working in operations with Ruby Tuesday. Sue received a BA in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources and minor in business communications from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Corey Kline

Executive Vice-President, Technology
Corey Kline joined Noodles in September of 2011 as Director of IT and assumed responsibility as Vice President of IT in July 2016.  Prior to joining Noodles, Corey worked at Famous Dave’s from March 2007 through September 2011 where he was Enterprise Applications and Risk Manager. Prior to his time in the restaurant industry Corey worked as a technology audit professional (Jefferson Wells from 2005-2006), telecom technology consultant (Accenture from 2001-2005) and software engineer (IBM from June 2000 through April 2001). Corey earned a BA in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and emphasis in Secondary Education from Luther College.