Bypass Link To Main Content
Dickey's Barbecue Pit Food

The Team

Meet the Best of the Barbecue Business

Ronald Dickey

Roland Dickey, Sr.

Original Pit Master

Roland Dickey, Sr.

Original Pit Master

Mr. Roland Dickey and his siblings grew up hanging around the hickory-wood pits of his father’s Dallas restaurant, the original Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. As the son of our founder, Travis Dickey, Roland couldn’t help but develop a knack for cooking up savory barbecue favorites. In fact, many of the recipes on our menu were crafted by Mr. Dickey himself! However, he hadn’t always intended on becoming the Original Pit Master. Roland was pursuing a career in law at Southern Methodist University when he and his brother, T.D., stepped in to run the family-business upon his father’s passing in 1967.

Over his years running the restaurant, Roland and his brother were able to expand the business throughout the Dallas Fort Worth area, gaining popularity that extended well beyond the region. In 1994, Roland helped develop the first franchise location run by the Smiths, who are still franchisees to this day! In 2006, Roland passed the title of Pit Master to his son, Roland Jr., handing down a legacy that has spanned generations. Today, Roland travels the country to visit franchisees, hosts appreciation events, and remains active within our community of Dickey’s owners.

Ronald Dickey
Ronald Dickey Jr

Roland Dickey, Jr.

CEO, Dickey’s Capital Group

Roland Dickey, Jr.

CEO, Dickey’s Capital Group

You could say that Roland Dickey, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Capital Group, the holding company of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., has been with the brand since birth. As the grandson of Dickey’s founder, Roland Dickey Jr. knows the brand unlike anyone else. He grew up learning how to make Dickey’s famous slow-smoked meats from his father, fostering a great love for barbecue before heading off to Southern Methodist University to study Business Administration. Roland Dickey Jr. became the third generation of Dickeys to work with the brand in 1999 and was transitioned to his current role in 2016.

Under Roland’s leadership, Dickey’s has expanded from 20 locations to more than 500 nationwide and internationally. His expertise includes growth strategies that enable him to scale the family business and take it to new heights. In addition to Dickey’s restaurants, Roland Dickey Jr. also oversees a portfolio of businesses that include retail products, manufacturers, real estate, metal fabrication, and distribution companies.

Since beginning with the company, Roland Dickey Jr. has earned numerous recognitions, awards, and accolades for his work on the Dickey’s brand. This includes such honors as being named in Nation’s Restaurant News’s 50 Most Powerful People in Foodservice, D Magazine’s Top 500 CEOs list, and Restaurant Business’s Top 20 Leadership Power List, just to name a few. With Roland Dickey Jr. at the helm, Dickey’s continues to be a family-run business with an emphasis on the quality food and Southern hospitality that made us famous.

Ronald Dickey Jr
Laura Rea Dickey

Laura Rea Dickey

CEO, Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Laura Rea Dickey

CEO, Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc.

Laura Rea Dickey serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. With over 20 years of experience in the marketing and information technology fields, Laura Rea continually inspires innovation in the Dickey’s brand while keeping spirits high with her witty sense of humor.

Before her role as CEO, Laura Rea worked with various marketing agencies to grow large scale brands such as W Hotels, American Heart Association, and Chick-Fil-A. Specializing in the intersection between technology and marketing, she became an expert at turning data insights into tangible business solutions. With these skills in tow, she came to work for Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Inc., soon becoming the Chief Information Officer. In this role, she implemented a new technology infrastructure that included data reporting, information security, and tools for franchisees.

In 2017, Laura Rea took her seat as CEO, but we don’t think she’s been doing much sitting since then. Always on the hunt for growth opportunities, Laura Rea has overseen our international development, launched new additions to our menu, and helped pioneer programs that have contributed to positive same store sales in all digital channels over the past three years. And it’s not just the Dickey’s team that has taken notice of her successes, either. In 2019 alone, Laura Rea Dickey was named to the Nation’s Restaurant News Power List, featured in D Magazine’s Top 500 CEOs, and awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Hospitality Technology.

In addition to spearheading Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., Laura Rea also serves on the board of our nonprofit, The Dickey Foundation, that supports first responders and their families. A true leader in every sense of the word, Laura Rea is driving Dickey’s forward while keeping to the values that make our family-owned brand so special.

Laura Rea Dickey
Renee Roozen

Renee Roozen

Chief Administration Officer

Renee Roozen

Chief Administration Officer

Renee Roozen serves as Dickey’s Capital Group, Inc.’s Chief Administration Officer, managing all human resources and legal functions as well as cross functional project management between Dickey’s and affiliate brands. It’s a busy job, but there is no one better suited for it than Renee. With an extensive background working with similar brands in operations and training, Renee started with the company as the Vice President of Operations at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. in 2015. Recognizing her skills and talents, she was transitioned to President before taking on the role of CAO at Dickey’s Capital Group, Inc. Today, Renee uses her expertise to create strategic partnerships, manage large teams, and keep things here at Dickey’s running smoothly.

Renee Roozen
Jeff Gruber

Jeff Gruber

Senior Vice President of
Franchise Administration

Jeff Gruber

Senior Vice President of
Franchise Administration

Jeff Gruber, our Senior Vice President of Franchise Administration, works to create a rewarding franchise opportunity that enables aspiring entrepreneurs to realize their dream of business ownership. He prioritizes creating lasting relationships between our Pit Owners and our Home Office to facilitate our franchisees’ growth.

Jeff joined the Dickey’s family in 2008 in the marketing department. Since then, Jeff has spearheaded a variety of initiatives across multiple departments that have pushed the company forward. His years of experience with Dickey’s gives him unique insight into the brand and what it takes to develop a truly effective franchise model that puts franchisees first.

Jeff Gruber
Dickey's barbecue Pit CIO, Carissa DeSantes

Carissa De Santis

Chief Information Officer

Carissa De Santis

Chief Information Officer

Carissa De Santis is the Chief Information Officer for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. and oversees all company technology platforms.  Ms. De Santis has over 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry in both operations and technology and previously served in various leadership roles for TGI Fridays. De Santis received a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Central Florida’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management, and a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute. In 2018, De Santis served on the Technology Accelerator Award Winners Panel at the FSTEC Conference and in 2019, Hospitality Technology named her a rising star on their Top Women in Restaurant Technology list and Emerging named her as one of the 2019 Top 50 Women Innovators in the Restaurant Industry.

Dickey's barbecue Pit CIO, Carissa DeSantes

Shayla Partusch

Vice President of Purchasing & Retail

Shayla Partusch

Vice President of Purchasing & Retail

Shayla Partusch serves as the Vice President of Purchasing and Retail at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Partusch joined the Dickey’s family in 2014 as a purchasing auditor and has since been promoted to her current role. Today, she oversees all supply chain distribution for every Dickey’s location nationwide and handles all of Dickey’s retail products in more than 3,000 grocery stores across the nation. Prior to her time at Dickey’s, Partusch worked at Knox Oil Field Supply in the accounting department. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Angelo State University and her master’s degree in accounting from WGU.

Phil Butler

Research and Development Chef

Phil Butler

Research and Development Chef

hef Phil Butler, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Research and Development Chef, has worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and began his journey with Legit. Texas. Barbecue in August of 2018. His passion for the restaurant industry began at the mere age of 13 and he later went on to develop his skills at the Culinary School of America in New York. Chef Phil’s previous experience includes curating menus and restaurant layouts for both upscale and casual dining concepts. Chef Phil’s work has been featured in multiple events and publications including the James Bear House and Bon Appetit Magazine.

Jim Perkins

Vice President of International Development & Support

Jim Perkins

Vice President of International Development & Support

Jim Perkins serves as Vice President of International Development & Support for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Jim has vast experience in restaurant and convenience store management and has worked specifically in operations, development, training and financial roles for brands all over the world including Papa Murphy’s, Exxon Mobil and MAM Food Co. Jim graduated from Purdue University and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. He later went on to further develop his Spanish speaking skills in Sevilla, Spain at the Windsor Institute of Languages. In addition, Jim is the author of the book titled Beyond Bodegas and is a globally recognized speaker and consultant with former clients including Nestle, Disney and the Los Angeles County Department of Health. In 2017 Jim was named a Board Member of the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference.

Jay Rooney

Chief Finance Officer

Jay Rooney

Chief Finance Officer

Jay Rooney holds the title of Chief Finance Officer at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. and joined the Dickey’s team in 2017. Rooney oversees all accounting and finance initiatives for the Dickey’s brand and all affiliate companies. Rooney received his Masters in Business from Texas Christian University and his undergraduate degree in Economics. Rooney has decades of experience working in the restaurant industry on the franchise side and before joining the Dickey’s family, he worked at Brinker International for twenty years.

Dennis Ju

Vice President of Franchise Development

Dennis Ju

Vice President of Franchise Development

Dennis Ju was appointed Vice President of Franchise Sales for Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. in April of 2020. Prior to his time at Dickey’s, Ju served in various leadership and sales roles for the real estate industry and is actively engaged in his community, serving on several minority lead and advocacy boards including the AREAA, Asian Real Estate Association of America. In 2017, Dennis and his fellow AREAA members enacted change at the national level for Asian Americans through their No Other” campaign to include data on Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the US Census Bureau’s comprehensive quarterly reports on homeownership. In addition, Dennis serves on the board for the NTSA, The National Trafficking Sheltered Alliance, a network of service providers committed to enhancing services and increasing access to care for survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Wood Background

Did Someone Order a World-Class Franchise Opportunity?

Request Info Next Page