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James W. Near

January 1, 2019

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wendy’s International (Deceased) – Dublin, Ohio

James W. Near, born in Columbus, Ohio, got his start in the restaurant business at the age of 15 as a cook for a Burger Boy Restaurant. After graduating from Hanover College, Hanover, Indiana, he opened his first Burger Boy Food-O-Rama in 1961 and, four years later, was named a Vice President of the company. In 1969, Borden Inc. acquired the chain’s 50 restaurants and named Near Executive Vice President of their restaurant division. He served in that capacity until 1973 when he was promoted to President of Borden’s retail sales division. James W. Near became a Wendy’s franchisee in 1974. His company, Front IV, Inc., built and operated 39 successful Wendy’s restaurants in West Virginia and Florida. The organization also operated 18 Long John Silver restaurants. Responsible for the marketing of a chicken and biscuit chain, Near opened the first Sisters Chicken and Biscuits restaurant in 1980 and, one year later, it became a subsidiary of Wendy’s International. Mr. Near was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Wendy’s in August of 1986 and worked to streamline and organize Wendy’s corporate structure and to improve restaurant operations. He was directly responsible for the introduction of several new products, including the Super Value Menu, and put a strategic plan in place to increase Wendy’s visibility and market share. In 1989, Wendy’s Board of Directors added Chief Executive Officer to Near’s other titles in recognition of his outstanding efforts. In 1991, he was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Love your business, work your business hard and go out and just kill’em.”