General Session Speaker

James O'Reilly

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Smokey Bones

James O’Reilly is the President and CEO of Smokey Bones, a Sun Capital portfolio company.  Since joining Smokey Bones, James has built a new executive leadership team and embarked on an aggressive growth plan, investing in people, technology, and restaurant development.  James joined Smokey Bones in May 2019 after four years as the President and CEO of Long John Silver’s, America’s leading seafood QSR brand.  While at LJS James led significant business and cultural improvements, being named “Turnaround Man” by the Louisville Courier Journal and earning three consecutive “Best Places to Work in Kentucky” awards from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. 

Prior to joining LJS as CEO, James held brand leadership positions in some of America’s leading restaurant brands, including Sonic Drive-in (Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Brand Officer), and KFC US (Chief Marketing Officer).  James spent many years as a marketing leader outside the U.S., as CMO of KFC Canada, Pizza Hut United Kingdom, and KFC/Pizza Hut Caribbean & Latin America.  James began his marketing career in brand management at Procter & Gamble.  He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto Ontario.