Meet the Team

We’re a passionate and experienced investment and operating team whose partners have been investing, analyzing, advising and leading food & beverage, retail and other brand-based businesses for decades. We’re also big fans of good food and cold beer – an occupational requirement and perk.

Jeff has almost 25 years of experience as a successful investor and banking professional. He’s played a role in executing more than $2 billion of debt financing across restaurant and beverage, diversified industries and multinational platforms at JPMorgan Securities, First Union Corporation, Bank of America and GE Capital Franchise Finance.

While a partner at Morehead Capital – a private investment firm focused on investing in emerging restaurants – Jeff led the firm’s business development efforts resulting in acquisitions of multiple, well-respected concepts.

Prior to joining Morehead Capital, Jeff was a Director at GE Capital Franchise Finance where he held many roles, including large cap originations for dozens of franchised systems. Ultimately, Jeff helped launch GE’s “Brand Management” group where he was responsible for the corporate relationship for franchised systems headquartered east of the Mississippi that represented more than $3 billion of total system-wide debt exposure.

Jeff currently serves on the North Carolina State Poole College of Management’s Board of Advisors. He holds a BA from NC State University’s College of Management and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

When Jeff isn’t working, he’s spending time relaxing at home or the beach with his wonderful family, and making repeated (and failed) attempts to recreate his grandma Tiny Stilley’s crab stew. One of these years, it will happen.

Brian has spent his career investing in and operating food and beverage companies.  While serving as President and Chief Financial Officer of Southern Season, Brian helped the specialty food market, restaurant and cooking school operation grow from a one-store retailer to a multi-state brand opening over 110,000 square feet of retail space and growing to over 800 employees.   As a partner with private equity firm Carrboro Capital, Brian led the group’s strategy of owning and operating companies in the food and beverage and consumer retail space.

Prior to Carrboro Capital, Brian was with Falfurrias Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm founded by Hugh McColl and Marc Oken, former CEO and CFO of Bank of America.  There he managed investments in companies totaling over $275M in enterprise value including Bojangles’, an operator and franchisor of quick service restaurants currently generating over $1 billion in annual system-wide sales.

Mr. Fauver co-founded the Share the Food Foundation in 2012, a non-profit with a mission to fight hunger and hunger related issues.  He’s spoken at food industry conferences such as the Specialty Food Association’s Fancy Food Show.  Brian began his career in investment banking with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and received both his Bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Brian is extremely proud of his family, including his wife and two daughters.  While an active athlete in his youth, the only trophy he still displays for all to see is the one he received in 2013 as champion of his neighborhood’s chili cook-off.

George joined Hargett Hunter in 2021 from Wells Fargo Securities, where he spent six years in the Consumer & Retail investment banking group advising clients on M&A and capital raising transactions. While at Wells Fargo, George executed numerous equity and debt transactions in the restaurant industry helping to raise over $20 billion for both public and private companies. He previously worked at a regional investment bank in debt capital markets and at a hedge fund specializing in fixed income securities and credit derivatives.

George holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

George grew up in the restaurant industry and serves as a Special Advisor to the Board for Village Tavern, Inc. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and goldendoodle, playing golf and grilling steaks.

Holden joins Hargett Hunter from Regions Securities, where he spent over two years as an investment banking analyst executing numerous debt transactions in addition to strategic advisory engagements. Prior to Regions, Holden spent time in the food and beverage sector working for Anheuser-Busch as well as for his family’s Eastern North Carolina-based convenience store business.

Holden received his BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Kenan-Flagler Business School).

In his free time, Holden enjoys spending time with family and friends and will look for almost any reason to get out on the water – whether it be at the lake or beach. Since Holden believes that no gathering by the water can be complete without a proper feast, he can typically be found leading the charge by the grill or in the kitchen. His specialty is his baked grouper.

Jillian Clay

Administrative Services Manager

Jillian grew up learning about the restaurant industry in her family’s cafeteria, Balentine’s, located in Raleigh, NC. It was there that she learned generosity and hospitality are the foundation of strong relationships. She watched her father and grandfather put hospitality at the forefront of their business and has spent her career trying to do the same.

Jillian spent six years with the YMCA of the Triangle, overseeing their Welcome Center while developing impactful relationships with each member that walked through the door. As Welcome Center Director, Jillian offered administrative support to five departments, was responsible for all bill collection and money transfers, and helped lead a team of volunteers for the YMCA’s We Build People Campaign.

She earned her BS in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from NC State University.

Jillian spends her free time with her husband, daughter, and their chocolate lab. You can catch her in the car singing every word to a Taylor Swift song or rapping to Eminem, and you can count on her to bring her almost famous buffalo chicken dip to any gathering.

Hargett Operating Services Team (HOST)

Known as HOST, we have a dedicated team of proven, highly talented restaurant operators with diverse functional expertise utilizing time-tested playbooks for executing key elements of restaurant chain growth plans on an as-needed basis.

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David Gonzalez

Real Estate & Franchising

  • HOST Liaison to Hargett Hunter Investment Team
  • VP of Franchising at First Watch Restaurants and The Egg & I
  • VP of Franchising at Le Duff America (La Madeleine & Bruegger’s Bagels)
  • VP of Development at Bennigan’s as part of a major brand redevelopment effort
First Watch La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe
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Mark Brezinski

Concept Development

  • Co-created Pei Wei Asian Diner, Velvet Taco, Banh Shop
  • Founded Tin Star Restaurants, and dozens more successful concepts across multiple service formats and food categories
  • New concept development for YUM! Brands (NYSE: YUM)
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Sam Kaufman

Finance / Accounting

  • Former CFO of Sprinkles
  • Former VP of Finance at LeDuff
  • Former VP of Finance at Le Madeleine
  • Former Director of Finance at Fuddruckers
La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe
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Alonzo Cudd

PR / Marketing

  • 25-year industry veteran
  • Spent 15 years with Chipotle Mexican Grill developing companywide strategies including digital integrations, partnerships and events, leading a team of more than 50 in 30+ U.S. markets as their national Marketing Director
  • Recently served as a marketing consultant for growth brands like Mendocino Farms, Everytable and Pokeworks

Combined Experience

Below is just a glimpse of the companies and systems with which we have worked and financed throughout our careers.