Corporate Team

Chris Sammartino
Chris Sammartino
Chief Operating Officer
Gary Lockhart
Gary Lockhart
Chief Financial Officer
Eddie Muransky
Eddie Muransky
Vice President & General Counsel

Tanner Avnet
Recruiter

Angelo Babbaro
Chief Performance Officer

Linda Benson
Operations Team Support

Melissa Bohr
Operations Manager

Mike D’Amico Jr.
Operations Team Support

Tricia DeBarr
Payroll Coordinator

Amy Dicross
Payroll Coordinator

Meredith Gruelle
Recruiter

Leo Henry III
Director Of Operations

Nick Keller
Operations Support Specialist

Don Kratofil
Operations Team Leader

Bekah Marstellar
Director of Human Resources

Anne-Marie Turner
Marketing Manager

Kacy McCormick
Recruiter

A.J. Minotti
Media Specialist

Tim Norris
IT Support

Justin Vallia
Loss Prevention Specialist

Linda Wheeler
Payroll Manager

Chris Sammartino_

Christopher A. Sammartino began his career as the Chief Operations Officer of Chestnut Land Company in January 2009. As COO, Chris oversees the daily success of Chestnut Land Company. This involves interacting with departments and team members throughout the company. Chris classifies himself as being a people person, as he loves to work with people every day and helps them in their journey to be successful and happy in what they are doing. One of Chris’s strengths as a leader is that he prides himself on actively pursuing the business fundamental of the “open door policy” because he truly listens, directs, and supports the individuals on our team for personal as well as professional growth. As a company, we pride ourselves on being a family and he works hard to make sure everyone is taken care of and treated with respect. Chris understands the value our employees bring to the team, no matter what position they hold. Chris is also responsible for researching, negotiating, and acquiring our new locations and partnerships. He also focuses on maintaining the fantastic relationships we have with our current landlords and especially within all divisions of our franchisor, Auntie Anne’s.

Chris currently lives in Canfield, Ohio, with his wife Lisa and their three children: Francesca, Christopher, and Giavanna. He was born and raised in Boardman, Ohio, where he graduated from Boardman High School and attended classes at Youngstown State University. He has a strong belief in the Youngstown, Ohio, area and has surrounded himself with great family and friends. In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, reading, entertaining family and friends, and attending all different sports events and charity functions.

His favorite pretzel is an original with yellow mustard and a large cherry lemonade.

Chris Sammartino
Chief Operating Officer

Gary Lockhart

Having been with the company since inception, Gary is the Chief Financial Officer for Chestnut Land Company. After acquiring his MBA, Gary spent a dozen years with a large regional public accounting firm gaining practical experience in a multitude of business disciplines. Being a CPA in both Ohio and Pennsylvania has provided Gary with a solid basis in strategic planning, acquisitions, and tax management. This has allowed for his intimate involvement in all aspects of the business as a member of Chestnut’s executive team.

Married for 35 years, Gary is the father of two children and has a Cocker Spaniel named Nugget. When not working, he enjoys traveling with his wife to national parks, NASCAR racing, hunting and fishing.

The pretzels may be magnificent, but Gary’s favorite Auntie Anne’s pretzel is a piping hot pretzel dog!

Gary Lockhart
Chief Financial Officer

Eddie Muransky

Eddie Muransky, Vice President and General Counsel for the Chestnut Land Company, joined the team in February 2012 after spending three years as business litigation associate attorney for the Ulmer Berne LLP law firm in Cleveland. He will be working primarily on leasing contracts, strategic planning, and the legal side of the human resources department. He vividly remembers attending the first store opening at the Florida mall with his father in 1994 when he was only 9 years old, and now he couldn’t be happier to contribute his legal knowledge as Chestnut moves into the future.

Eddie received his J.D. Degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 2009 and his B.B.A. degree with distinction from the University of Michigan business school in 2006. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, watching sports, dining, and traveling (often together!). He also hosts a radio show right here in Youngstown every Wednesday.

He thinks all of our pretzels are fantastic, but his favorite starts and ends with the pretzel dog.

Eddie Muransky
Vice President & General Counsel

Angelo Babbaro

Angelo is one of the newest additions to the Chestnut Land Company, joining in early 2012. He attended Villanova University in Philadelphia, PA, and graduated Summa Cum Laude receiving a M.S. in Human Resource Development and a B.A. in Economics. Angelo also earned 3x Academic All-American Honors and the 2010 Villanova Student-Athlete of the year Award while playing running-back for the 2009 Division I National Championship Villanova football team.Angelo is no stranger to teamwork, a fast-paced environment, or performing under pressure. This is precisely what Angelo and his team was brought here to do: assemble and motivate the strongest, most effective performing teams in the quick-service food industry. Angelo also wears the hats of Co-manager of Social Media and Leader of the S.M.A.R.T. team (Specialized Management Action Response Team): a group of specialized employees that is deployed to address issues in the field. High-level performance is his passion and he is a firm believer that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

When not in the office, Angelo is most likely exercising, playing sports, boating, traveling, listening to country music, or coaching high school football.

He has an extreme addiction to the cinnamon sugar pretzel that none of us can explain!

Angelo Babbaro
Chief Performance Officer

Linda Benson

Linda has been a part of the Chestnut Land Company since October 2006. She formerly worked for the largest shopping center developer in the country for 28 years, the Edward J. Debartolo Corporation, which became Simon Property Group in the 90’s. On a daily basis, you can find Linda processing cash reports, verifying deposits, reviewing voids, and confirming all stores have their food permits and business licenses.

She has resided in Poland, Ohio, all of her life and has been married to Scott for 28 years. She has two beautiful daughters; Michelle, a registered nurse and Courtney, a junior fashion merchandising major at Kent State University. Linda also enjoys spending time with her two cats.

Her favorite pretzel flavor is original but loves the pretzel dog as well!

Linda Benson
Operations Team Support

Melissa Bohr

Melissa Bohr is the Operations Manager for Chestnut Land Company joining the in November 2001. Melissa maintains the register system for all Chestnut Land franchise owned Auntie Anne’s. With extensive knowledge of the credit card system she maintains all accounts with various processing companies, maintains monthly rents, landlord billings and creates bank accounts for all locations. She also can be found verifying month end data prior to submitting for month end financials, and working on special projects as requested by Ed or Chris.

She previously worked 15 years for a corporate office in Youngstown, OH, for a discount drug store chain, and a few years with an entertainment company.

Her favorite pretzel is the Original with a Hot Salsa Cheese dip.

Melissa Bohr
Operations Manager

Mike D'Amico Jr.

Mike is part of the operations team support for the Chestnut Land Company. Along with monitoring operational reports he is also involved in loss prevention. Mike can often be found near his monitor conducting operational surveys using surveillance video in our stores. Mike began his career with Auntie Anne’s flipping pretzels at the Southern Park Mall during his high school years. After high school he went on to receive a Finance Degree from the University of Akron and has now been working in the home office for six years.

Outside of work he stays active by playing golf; sports have always been an important part of his life.

His favorite pretzel is the almond pretzel served with a caramel dip.

Mike D’Amico Jr.
Operations Team Support

Tricia DeBarr

Tricia DeBarr is Chestnut Land’s Payroll Coordinator. She graduated from Kent State University in 2004 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising. Immediately following college Tricia spent a few years in the marketing field but left marketing when she moved to Florida in 2007. She has always been really good with numbers and enjoys working with clients so she decided to follow those skills to payroll. She comes to us from Paychex, where she spent multiple years as a Human Resource Payroll Specialist. Tricia and her husband recently moved back to their hometown of Salem, Ohio, where they are enjoying the pleasure of owning their first home.

Tricia’s favorite pastime is game night with her friends and family. They will play anything from Euchre to Poker, or whatever new game they’ve learned. She loves a good story and she spends a lot of her free time lost in a good book or movie. Her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice and she has read it at least 4 times.

If she is really hungry, her favorite pretzel is the pretzel dog. If she is just looking for a snack it is the cinnamon sugar.

Tricia DeBarr
Payroll Coordinator

Meredith Gruelle

Meredith Gruelle is one of the newest additions to the Chestnut Land Company, joining in July 2014. She grew up in Poland, OH and graduated from Ohio University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Communications. After college Meredith moved to Columbus, OH to work for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She started out as a research Assistant, but quickly transitioned into recruiting. Meredith was part of the nurse recruitment team at the hospital, and she quickly realized that her passion was in recruiting!

Meredith recently got married in April 2014 to her husband Corey. They recently moved back to their hometown and could not be more excited to be close to friends and family!In her free time, Meredith loves to spend time with family and friends and her cat Beck. She also loves listening to country music and going to concerts.

Her favorite pretzel is the cinnamon sugar!

Meredith Gruelle
Recruiter

Leo Henry III

His day to day tasks vary by the minute, keeping him constantly ready for anything. It is never a dull day in the office of Leo Henry, and this is one of his favorite things about his job. Leo began his career with the Chestnut Land Company rolling, twisting, and selling pretzels. Now he oversees construction of new facilities and daily operations of all 64 stores. During his time at Chestnut Land, he has been given the opportunity to meet and work with many different people from around the country on a variety of different projects.

He enjoys going home to his wife Sue, daughter Rebecca, son Nick, and dog Zeke after an exciting day at the office. His passions reside in Notre Dame athletics, with football easily being his favorite. He is a graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School and currently resides in Poland, Ohio.

Leo loves all Auntie Anne’s pretzel products, but is a self-proclaimed “nugget man.”



Leo Henry III
Director Of Operations

Don Kratofil

Don has been with the Chestnut Land Company for 17 years. He began as a Store Manager at the Southern Park Mall location in Boardman, Ohio. It was the third store in the Chestnut Land portfolio and opened three days before Black Friday. This was a hectic opening for Don, but was a great experience to add to his resume. He has been involved in every aspect of the daily operations of an Auntie Anne’s store over his time with the company and can solve just about any problem a manager may encounter. Don’s primary responsibilities include: purchasing, troubleshooting, monthly inventory, and controlling the cost of goods for every store.

Don has been married for 23 years to his wife Mary. Together they have three children: Colleen – a junior journalism major at Ohio University, Donny – a freshman at Youngstown State University studying engineering, and Kelly – a sophomore at Boardman High School.

Don loves Auntie Anne’s jalapeno pretzel with the hot salsa cheese dip.

Don Kratofil
Operations Team Leader

Bekah Marstellar

Bekah is a newer addition to our team, joining the Chestnut Land Company in January 2014. She landed in Human Resources almost 10 years ago, starting as a management trainer for a quick service pizza franchise company. Having started as a delivery driver and working her way up thru store management to HR management, Bekah attributes her passion for people capability and running great operations as being an intricate part of her success as a strategic HR partner. She enjoys interacting with all facets of people, and helping CLC’s teams with benefits, payroll, employee relations, training and development, and strategic management. Bekah earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Youngstown State University and a Master’s of Science Degree in Human Resources Management from Capella University. She is extremely excited to be a part of Chestnut Land Company, and hopes to use her experience to help the company continue to grow!

Bekah and her husband Larry live in Austintown, OH with their six children. Most of their weekends are filled with baseball, dance, volleyball, cheerleading, or soccer! She also enjoys photography, reading, or a night out with friends.

Her favorite pretzel is the Almond Pretzel with caramel dip, but can always go for some mini dogs! YUM!

Bekah Marstellar
Director of Human Resources

Anne-Marie Turner

Anne-Marie Turner attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she studied Middle Childhood Education. Her love of history and the arts led her to teach 4th and 5th grade Social Studies and English. In 2011, Anne-Marie joined the Muransky Companies where she now works as Marketing Manager for Chestnut Land Company and The Lake Club. In her spare time, she loves taking hikes and bike rides, visiting Pittsburgh, interior decorating, and treasure hunting at flea markets. She is an avid dancer, and is very close with her parents, brothers, and sister- whom she loves visiting in Nashville, Tennessee.

As for her favorite pretzel – it’s a toss-up between almond and cinnamon sugar, but at this moment she is craving almond!!

Anne-Marie Turner
Marketing Manager

Linda Wheeler

Linda joined the company in July 1996, when the company was in its infancy. She states that it’s been a true adventure being involved with a company that’s invested in its employees and to be involved in its growth from 3 stores in 2 states to 64 stores in 14 states today. Because of Linda’s tenure, she has been fortunate to wear many hats. With the most recent, and where she believes she’s finally found her “home”, as the Payroll Manager.

Linda attended Kent State University, spent a few years as a civilian employee of the USAF in Zaragoza, Spain, and completed police officer training at Case Western Reserve University, where she graduated third in her class. She then went on to spend more than enough years as a police officer with the Conrail Police Department as well as a stint as one of two female officers of the armed security force at WCI Steel in Warren, Ohio. This was in the days when women police officers were still a novelty! Oh, the stories she can tell. Shortly after Conrail & WCI downsized and she lost her job, Linda was hired by Ed Muransky to be part of his team. Chestnut Land Company is where she found her home and where she will retire.

Linda has been married for 43 years to the same wonderful man and has been blessed with two children and four beautiful grandchildren.

Her favorite pretzel is the almond pretzel, but it must be dipped in a ton of caramel sauce!

Linda Wheeler
Payroll Manager

Amy DicrossBio coming soon!

Amy Dicross
Payroll Coordinator

Nick Keller

Nick joined Chestnut Land Company’s Operations Team in 2012. After graduating from Youngstown State University with Bachelor degrees in Biology and Philosophy, Nick went on to study law, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Juris Doctor degree in 2010 from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Go Broncos!). As an attorney, Nick practiced in Ann Arbor, MI before making the leap from the courtroom to the world of pretzels and lemonade.

When he isn’t at the Home Office or visiting stores, Nick enjoys hiking, fly fishing, target shooting, kayaking, playing guitar, going to concerts (he’s a huge Dave Matthews Band and Bruce Springsteen fan), traveling to new and exciting places, and spending time with his family and friends.

Nick’s favorite pretzel? The Almond Raisin whenever he can find this rare treat.

Nick Keller
Operations Support Specialist

Justin Vallia

Justin joined the team in March of 2015. He attended Youngstown State University and studied Criminal Justice. He has worked as a part-time police officer and a full-time prison guard before joining Chestnut Land Company. Justin works with Mike on the Loss Prevention side of the operations to help enforce standard operating rules and regulations. He is responsible for monitoring surveillance systems at our locations, completing incident documentation, and working with Store Managers to correct any issues with the store, its customers, and employees. While not watching the cameras, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, along with spending time outside and watching football.

His favorite pretzel is cinnamon-sugar.

Justin Vallia
Loss Prevention Specialist

Kacy McCormick

Kacy was born and raised in Niles, OH. She graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2009, and recently obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management from Youngstown State University in December of 2014. Before her employment at the Muransky Companies, she worked at Subway for 7 years which led her to realize her passion for working with people and customer service. Though this is her first time taking on a recruiting role, she can definitely say that she has learned a variety of things that she will have with her forever.

In her spare time she enjoys going to country concerts with her friends and spending time with her family. She is very excited to have this opportunity close to home and looks forward to expanding her career in the HR field.

Her favorite pretzel is the Cinnamon Sugar.

Kacy McCormick
Recruiter

AJ Minotti

AJ works as the Media Specialist for the Chestnut Land Company. He graduated from Duquesne University in 2007 and 2010, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Arts and a Master of Science degree in Multimedia Production. After spending a few years on the road filming travel documentaries and working for various startups, AJ is delighted to handle the company’s needs for websites, photography, videography, social media, and A/V support.

AJ currently lives in Poland, OH with his wife Jessica and his twin baby girls, Sophia and Olivia. In his free time, he enjoys BBQing, video games, and rooting on Cleveland sports.

For AJ, nothing beats a hot and fresh Almond Pretzel with an ice cold Lemonade.

AJ Minotti
Media Specialist

Tanner Avnet

Tanner joined the team in June of 2015. He attended Youngstown State University and got his degree in Early Childhood Education. He has worked as a server at The Lake Club for five years before joining the Chestnut Land Company family. Tanner is working with Angelo and his team on the recruiting side where he is looking to develop and expand a new career in HR. When Tanner is not on the phone he enjoys playing basketball, relaxing with his friends, and cheering on THE Ohio State Buckeyes.

His favorite pretzel is the Almond Pretzel with caramel dip!

Tanner Avnet
Recruiter

Tim Norris

Tim is one of the newest additions to the IT Department, joining in May 2015. He grew up in New Middletown, OH and attended Youngstown State University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2015, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology.

Outside of work, Tim enjoys playing basketball, boating, running and is currently taking lessons to become a private pilot.

Tim’s enjoys Cinnamon Sugar Nuggets with a sweet glaze dip.

Tim Norris
IT Support