David Overton has served as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since our incorporation in February 1992. He co-founded the Company with his parents, Evelyn and Oscar Overton. Mr. Overton created the Company’s namesake restaurant and opened the first The Cheesecake Factory restaurant in 1978 in Beverly Hills, California. He grew The Cheesecake Factory® into an international chain and created two other concepts, Grand Lux Cafe® and RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen®. Under Mr. Overton’s leadership, the Company’s revenues reached $1.97 billion in 2014, with The Cheesecake Factory leading the casual dining industry in average annual sales per restaurant of $10.5 million in fiscal 2014. Mr. Overton’s professional honors include the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association “Silver Plate Award,” recognizing the most outstanding and innovative talent in foodservice operations; the “Executive of the Year Award” from Restaurants & Institutions Magazine; the “MenuMasters Hall of Fame Award” from Nation’s Restaurant News, for his outstanding contributions to menu design and foodservice research and development, and the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Food Services category for the Los Angeles region by Ernst & Young, for his demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, performance and personal commitment to The Cheesecake Factory and the communities our restaurants serve. In 2013, Mr. Overton was honored with the Leadership Roundtable-Industry Leadership Award. Mr. Overton is also one of the founding members and directors of The Cheesecake Factory Oscar and Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation (“Foundation”), a 501(c)(3) qualified, non-profit charitable organization which raises funds for a variety of worthy causes and provides a means for the Company’s staff members to perform charitable work in their communities.
David M. Gordon was appointed to President in February 2013. Mr. Gordon joined our Company in 1993 as a Manager and during his 20 years with The Cheesecake Factory, he held the positions of Chief Operating Officer, Regional Vice President, Area Director of Operations and General Manager. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Restaurant Association.
W. Douglas Benn was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2009. Mr. Benn is a veteran of the restaurant industry having spent more than 20 years in management roles with restaurant companies. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of RARE Hospitality International, which owned LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille prior to the company’s sale to Darden Restaurants in October 2007. During his ten years with RARE, Mr. Benn helped grow the company to over 300 units and over $1 billion in annual revenues.
Debby R. Zurzolo was appointed Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel in December 2003. Ms. Zurzolo joined our Company as Senior Vice President and General Counsel in April 1999. From 1982 until joining the Company, she practiced law at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP in Los Angeles, California. As a partner with that firm, Ms. Zurzolo represented our Company on various real estate and other business matters.
Max S. Byfuglin was appointed President of our bakery subsidiary in January 2006. He previously served as Executive Vice President of The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Incorporated. Mr. Byfuglin joined our bakery operations in 1982 and worked closely with our founders, serving in nearly every capacity in our bakery over the past 30 years.