Mr. Uba has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Kura Sushi USA since 2008 and became a member of our board of directors in October 2017. He joined the Company’s parent, Kura Sushi, Inc., in 2000 and in 2008 was selected to establish and grow Kura Sushi USA. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Uba headed operations for Kura Sushi, Inc., where he oversaw operations for Eastern and Western Japan. During this time, Mr. Uba was responsible for the expansion of the Kura brand into Eastern Japan and managed over 100 restaurants. From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Uba spent three years as a restaurant manager and one year as a regional manager. During his tenure, Kura Sushi, Inc. grew from approximately 30 to 180 restaurant locations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansai University in Japan.
Mr. Uttz brings to Kura a wealth of industry experience, most recently as Chief Financial Officer for Shake Shack Inc. for a period of four years where he was instrumental in preparing Shake Shack Inc. for its initial public offering in 2015. As Chief Financial Officer at Shake Shack Inc., Mr. Uttz was involved in opening 45 new restaurants and partnered cross-functionally with operations, real estate, marketing, human resources, and supply chain teams. Prior to his tenure at Shake Shack Inc., Mr. Uttz served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Yard House USA, Inc., an American sports bar chain, for a period of 12 years. At Yard House USA, Inc., Mr. Uttz established the finance infrastructure to support the organization and was also actively engaged in every real estate transaction as a member of the real estate team. Prior to his tenure at Yard House USA, Inc., Mr. Uttz held several financial leadership positions at CKE Restaurants Inc. Mr. Uttz started his career at the public accounting firm KPMG, LLP.
Most recently, Mr. Allameh served as Chief Operating Officer of Luna Grill from 2015, a California-based fast casual concept, where he helped grow the brand from 16 to 49 locations. Prior to his tenure at Luna Grill, Mr. Allameh was the Director of Operations at Umami Burger from 2013 to 2015. During his tenure there, he not only revamped the company’s procedures and guidelines including a reorganization of the new unit opening team within the training department, but also successfully opened 13 locations within two years in new markets. Before joining Umami, Mr. Allameh was a Senior Director of Operations at Arby’s, where he led 38 company-owned Arby’s locations and worked closely with senior leadership on testing and product rollout. Previously, he was the Director of Operations and Franchise at Fili Enterprises, Inc, the owner of Daphne’s Greek Café restaurant brand. Mr. Allameh began his professional career as a General Manager and then District Manager at Sbarro, Inc.
Mr. Kluger has served as Chief Development Officer of Kura Sushi USA since May 2020. Most recently, Mr. Kluger served for four years as Senior Vice President of Development and Vice President of Real Estate for Blaze Pizza, LLC, a fast casual artisan pizza brand with approximately 340 units worldwide. Blaze Pizza added over 200 franchise-operated restaurants during Mr. Kluger’s tenure. Prior to Blaze Pizza, he spend 6 years at Panera Bread, the largest bakery-café concept in the U.S. also with a presence in Canada, as their Senior Development Manager. During his first 3 years at Panera Bread, Mr. Kluger rapidly grew Panera Bread’s footprint in Southern California opening both company and franchise operated bakery-cafés, then in his last 3 years was charged with leading franchise development nationwide. During Mr. Kluger’s tenure, Panera Bread opened approximately 800 bakery-cafes. Previously, he spent 12 years at Panda Restaurant Group and held various roles including Vice President of Real Estate. Panda Restaurant Group, parent to Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi San is the largest quick service Chinese restaurant chain in the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Kluger was charged with growing Panda Express in traditional and non-traditional venues across the United States. Panda Express opened approximately 1,300 restaurants during Mr. Kluger’s tenure. Mr. Kluger started his career in field operations and a corporate capital planner and financial analyst at The Vons Companies Inc., at the time the largest grocery chain in Southern California with over 300 units and $5 billion in total sales.
Arlene Estrada Petokas is a restaurant industry and human resources veteran that has served in various roles. As Kura’s Chief People officer Arlene is responsible for developing and executing people strategies that support the company’s operational goals and helps drive performance within the organization. Arlene brings over twenty years of human resources experience, with over a decade spent at quick-service restaurant companies. Her previous positions include Human Resources Director at Del Taco, LLC, and VP of Human Resources at both BLD Brands, LLC, and CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc., which owns Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s Green Burrito, and Red Burrito. She most recently was the Vice President and Chief People Officer for Farmer Boys®, the farm-fresh, fast-casual concept known for its award-winning burgers and exceptional service, She attended the University of California at Los Angeles. She is a member of the Professionals in Human Resources Association in California. She is currently a member of the Society for Human Resources where she obtained her human resource certifications.
Brent Takao has served as Chief Accounting Officer, Treasurer and Secretary of the Company since August 1, 2022. Previously, Mr. Takao has served as the Company’s Vice President of Finance since joining the Company in September 2019. Mr. Takao previously served as Corporate Controller of Western Digital Corporation from March 2012 to September 2019 and its Assistant Corporate Controller from November 2007 to March 2012. Prior to Western Digital Corporation, Mr. Takao served as the Assistant Corporate Controller of Dot Hill Systems Corp. from 2005 to 2007. Previously, Mr. Takao held other controllership positions and earned his certified public accountant license as an auditor at Arthur Andersen LLP.