Michael D. Pruitt
Michael Pruitt founded in 1999, Avenel Financial Group, a boutique merchant banking firm concentrating on value oriented investments both public and private on behalf of 40 families. Mr. Pruitt formed Chanticleer Holdings, now Amergent Hospitality Group, which commenced operations in June 2005 with him as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, roles he continues to serve today. In January 2011, Mr. Pruitt became a director of the board of Hooters of America, LLC and was early investor/board member in Appalachian Mountain Brewery which was sold to Craft Brew Alliance (Nasdaq:BREW) in 2018.Mr. Pruitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, where he played on the 1982 and 83 World Series Baseball teams. Today he sits on the Board of Visitors of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, the Coastal Education Foundation Board, and the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees.
President & Director
Fred joined Chanticleer Holdings, now Amergent Hospitality Group, in November 2018. He found his passion for hospitality after graduating with a B.S. in Business Administration from Lehigh University in 1986. Fred grew a Hooters Restaurant franchise from one location in Omaha, NE, to $70 million, 25 locations in five states including, California, Oregon, Washington, Iowa and Nebraska. In 2008, Fred facilitated San Diego institution Phil’s BBQ’s growth, adding locations and winning USA Today’s best ballpark food with the Padres at Petco Park and franchising in San Diego Regional Airport. In 2013, Fred joined longtime friends and Karl Strauss co-founders to grow the Karl Strauss Brewing Company brand. In 2016 Karl opened their two largest brewpubs and in 2017 Karl was named again to restaurant business magazine’s Future 50 restaurant brands for the 2nd time in four years. Each year, Fred gladly donates his time, talents and/or treasure to many local service and charitable organizations and serves on the state board of directors of the California Restaurant Association and CRAF (California Restaurant Association Foundation).
Chief Financial Officer
Patrick Harkleroad joined Chanticleer Holdings, now Amergent Hospitality Group, as Chief Financial Officer in January 2019. With over 15 years of CFO experience, Mr. Harkleroad joined Chanticleer Holdings, now Amergent Hospitality Group, from Sherpa, LLC, an accounting and finance recruiting firm, where he led and managed the Financial Consulting Division. Previously, Mr. Harkleroad was a CFO consultant with the Business Enhancement Group of Carolina Financial Group (CFG), which focuses on providing financial and operational consulting to CFG’s portfolio and client companies. Mr. Harkleroad served as the Chief Financial Officer for one of CFG’s portfolio companies, Trinity Frozen Foods, LLC.
Prior to his CFO role at Trinity, Harkleroad served as Chief Financial Officer of Landmark Leisure Group (LLG) in Charlotte, NC, a development company with a national footprint that created, owned, and operated original restaurant and pub concepts, including Blackfinn Ameripub, Vida Mexican Kitchen, and Strike City Lanes. LLG also partnered with real estate developers to create dining and entertainment destinations in the pub, restaurant and entertainment industries.
Additionally, Mr. Harkleroad spent eight years in investment banking at Wachovia Securities, where he was primarily engaged in corporate finance and M&A advisory transactions focused on the Financial Institution & Specialty Finance sector, and at Harris Williams & Co, an investment bank focused on middle market M&A advisory services.
Mr. Harkleroad received his B.S. in Finance from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and earned an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management.