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Heads of the Table



President and Co Founder

Owner/Operator of Culver's restaurants in the Chicago suburbs with over 15 years of experience as a franchisee. It started in 2004 with the opening of the first restaurant in Mt Prospect.  He has grown the business through both new store development and acquisition of existing restaurants. Over the years, he has managed all aspects of the business including store operations, marketing, facilities, staff development, HR, and all back-office operations. His current responsibilities are business development, marketing, and strategic planning. Prior to becoming a franchisee, Chuck spent 15 years in corporate sales roles with a focus on large outsourcing contracts.



 Owner Operator and Co Founder

Owner/Operator of Culver's restaurants in the Chicago suburbs with 12 years of experience as a franchisee. Jim has been part of the Culver's brand for over 18 years and became a full-time franchisee in 2013. In 2024 Jim has been transitioning alot of the day to day operations resonsibility to the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Operations, while continuing to serve operations, focus on expansion, manager development, and facilities management of the group's 13 restaurants. Jim has been part of the restaurant industry for over 40 years for various brands including extensive time with Taco Bell and Church's Chicken.



OPS/HR Consultant/Co Owner

Judy has direct supervision of all HR/Payroll  and supportive to the operational leadership positions within our restaurant group including the Chief Operating Officer, Vice President of Operations, and HR manager.  Judy has been with MD Restaurant Group for 8 years and has over 35 years of operational and progressive leadership experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to Culver's, Judy spent over 15 years in a similar role with a large Taco Bell group of restaurants in the Chicago area.

Owner Operators / Area Managers

Cornelio "Junior" Duarte

Vice President of Operations

Cornelio a.k.a. Junior is currently the vice president of operations for MD Restaurant Group. Junior joined MD Restaurant Group back in 2007 when the company began. He worked as a team member, and moved up the ranks to shift supervisor, assistant manager, general manager, director of operations, and vice president of operations. He also completed Culver’s mentor program and became the owner operator of our Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, and Harwood Heights locations. Junior helps support our Area Managers and restaurant managers to make sure all restaurants run smoothly and up to Culver's quality standards.  

Janel Larson

Area Manager

Janel has been in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years and with the MD Restaurant group for over 10.  She started as a General Manager and has worked her way to Area Manager.  Janel graduated from the mentee program in 2019 and is the operating partner of our Bloomingdale location.  She enjoys helping her managers advance their careers and assists in the day to day operations.


Area Manager

Michela has been with MD Restaurant Group for 4 years and is responsible for leading the management teams in Crete and Yorkville.  She is a 2022 Mentee graduate and become an operating partner in Darien (2023).  We are excited about the road ahead for Michela.


Area Manager

Elaine's fast food/fast casual experience started as a teenager working at Arby's, where she worked the front counter during the day and when it was busy would slice meat in the kitchen.  She then spent 5 1/2 years working at Hardee's, starting out working nights for extra money as the front-line closer and eventually General Manager.  Elaine had such a great following, that when Culver's took over the location that Hardee's vacated, the mayor of the town gave her a glowing recommendation to the new owners.  Elaine joined Culver's in 1998, and has spent the last 25 years dedicating herself to improving the guest experience through exceptional team performance.  Elaine was promoted to Area Manager in 2024, and is responsible for the oversight of three locations.  The secret to her success is simple...she loves Culver's guests, the people she works with, and is great molding new team members.  She is definitely "Mom" within the restaurant.  Her favorite quote:  leadership - The art of enlisting the willing cooperation of others to achieve desired results.  


Future Owner Operators

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Area Manager

Claudio is a hard-working business enthusiast who is passionate about team member development.  He started his career in the food industry in 2011 and joined MD-Restaurant Group in 2018.  His conscientious and energetic leadership style is what has made him successful, and we are excited by what he can accomplish as a mentee.  His favorite quote is “Life is beautiful because of the people we meet”.

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General Manager

Amy has been employed with Culver’s since 2005, when she was only a freshman in high school.   Since becoming the general manager in 2016, she has done an outstanding job in the community with fund raisers and back to school events.  She also led the training of the new POS system rollout, and is regarded as an extraordinary trainer.  Our regular guests love her hospitality and she runs a great restaurant!  Amy officially graduated as a mentee in 2023, and we look forward to her owning her first restaurant

Support Team

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Terese has been with MD Restaurant Group since April 2015. She has enjoyed the opportunity to evolve in her role as the company has grown over the years. She analyzes and creates financial-status reports for leadership and helps develop budgets. She also manages both our Accounting Team and our Accounts Payable Team. She enjoys being able to work with both our operations and financial teams as they collaborate for the continued success of MD Restaurant Group.



HR Manager

Jenny joined MD Group in 2021. She brought with her over 20 years
of restaurant experience and a master’s in organizational management specializing in Human Resources. Her combined experiences allow her to oversee the Human Resources Department with the unique  understanding of store level Restaurant
Operations. When Jenny has the chance to step away from HR functions, she enjoys visiting the stores and working alongside the team.



HR Generalist

Since joining MD Restaurant Group in June 2022, Ryan has done a fantastic job of handling payroll for the organization, while helping out in HR and parts of accounting.  We all love his Monday payroll reminder emails, which most often end with some thematic humor.  He enjoys spending his free time eating out and playing with his two cats.

Want to learn more about the amazing team behind MD Restaurant Group? Get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from our customers.

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