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Famous Dave's Names Dean Riesen Chairman of Its Board of Directors

August 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM EDT
K. Jeffery Dahlberg Announces Retirement; John Gilbert Named to Board

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug 2, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) --

Famous Dave's of America, Inc. (Nasdaq:DAVE) announced today the election of director Dean A. Riesen as chairman of the board, the appointment of John Gilbert to its board, and the retirement of K. Jeffery Dahlberg, from its board.

"The changes made today were part of a long-term succession plan adopted by our board," said Dahlberg. "Dean and I have worked closely together for more than eight years, and it's clear to me and the rest of the board that he is ready to assume this new leadership role." Dahlberg continued, "I'm leaving the board as a loyal shareholder, an avid fan of the food and a strong supporter of the brand." Dahlberg, 57, joined the board in 2001 and was elected chairman in 2003. Previously he was Chairman & CEO of GrowBiz International and CEO of Dahlberg Miracle Ear.

Riesen, 54, joined the board in 2003, and has been chairman of both the Compensation Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee. He spent most of his career at Carlson Holdings, Inc., where he was president and chief executive of Carlson Real Estate Company, and chief financial officer of Carlson Holdings. He has served on the board of Thomas Cook Holdings, LTD (UK), and Meridian Bank, N.A. He currently is Managing Partner of Rimrock Partners, LLC, an investment company.

"Since joining our board in 2003, Dean has demonstrated a deep understanding of our company and industry, and has brought great perspective to our strategic direction," said Christopher O'Donnell, president and CEO of Famous Dave's. "We will greatly miss Jeff's insights as a board member, but we're excited to have the breadth and depth of marketing and restaurant experience that John Gilbert brings to our board."

John Gilbert, 54, is CEO of Vermont Teddy Bear, an award-winning internet retailer based in Burlington, VT. He also serves on the board of IGNITE Restaurant Group, which owns Joe's Crab Shack. Gilbert has served in various marketing roles during his career including Chief Marketing Officer at TJX, Inc., Dunkin Brands, Inc., YUM Brands, Inc., TGI Friday's Inc., and VP of Marketing at General Cinema. In addition he has worked in marketing roles at Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble and IBM.

"John has deep experience in marketing and e-commerce, as well as with franchise companies and the restaurant industry, and he will be an invaluable resource to our board," Riesen said. "I want to thank Jeff Dahlberg for the leadership, guidance and wisdom he has brought to the board. He has played a critical role in the growth and success of this company."

About Famous Dave's

Famous Dave's of America, Inc. develops, owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants. As of today, the company owns 52 locations and franchises 131 additional locations in 37 states. Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items, sandwiches, and unique desserts.

The Famous Dave's of America, Inc. logo is available at

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including but not limited to statements regarding the timing of our restaurant openings and the timing or success of our expansion plans, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, which may cause the company's actual results to differ materially from expected results. Although Famous Dave's of America, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectation will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Famous Dave's expectation include financial performance, restaurant industry conditions, execution of restaurant development and construction programs, franchisee performance, changes in local or national economic conditions, availability of financing, governmental approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire,

SOURCE: Famous Dave's of America

CONTACT: Diana G. Purcel - Chief Financial Officer