Food Service & Agriculture, Human Resources, and Retail

Restaurant company appoints VP of HR

February 28, 2019
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Jeff VanHaitsma
Jeff VanHaitsma. Courtesy Meritage Hospitality Group

A local restaurant company has named its new vice president of human resources.

Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group said this month it promoted Jeff VanHaitsma to the role.

“Jeff brings a very high level of energy and excitement to our leadership team,” said Gary Rose, president, Meritage Hospitality Group. “His relentless pursuit of honesty and integrity in dealing with employees and leadership development helps us better define and develop our future leaders.”

In his new role, VanHaitsma will be responsible to “drive talent management capability and build out strong support for the broader functions of human resources.”

He will also play a key role in the overall strategic direction of the company.

VanHaitsma joined Meritage in 2014 as director of organizational development. In that role, VanHaitsma has led the charge to build capabilities around “strategically attracting, developing and retaining strong talent.”

Previously, he worked in talent management and human resources roles at Zeeland-based Herman Miller, Family Christian Stores, based in Grand Rapids prior to its bankruptcy and liquidation, and Ada-based Amway.

He holds a B.A. in communications and business from Calvin College.


Meritage Hospitality Group (OTCQX: MHGU) operates 318 restaurants in numerous states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

The company has about 10,000 employees.

It operates restaurants under several brands: Wendy’s; Twisted Rooster; Stan Diego; Freighters Eatery & Taproom; and Wheelhouse.

Meritage reported 2018 sales of $435.3 million.

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