People

Middleby Appoints Senior Leadership at TurboChef and CookTek

Feb. 6, 2024
Two internal Middleby executives have been promoted to senior leadership roles with Middleby brands TurboChef and CookTek, based in Carrollton, Texas.

Katie Cox has been named President and Leslie Banados has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the brands. In her new role, Ms. Cox will be responsible for the strategic direction of TurboChef and CookTek and will oversee all brand operations including engineering, manufacturing, and accounting. Ms. Banados will lead all sales and marketing activities as well as the culinary support for these two well-known Middleby brands.

“Katie and Leslie are both proven, highly effective leaders. Their deep industry knowledge and broad experience base has made them both a tremendous asset to all Middleby brands,” said James K. Pool III, Middleby Chief Technology and Operations Officer. “They both have an outstanding track record, and I am confident they will excel in their new positions. Katie brings a strong background in sales and engineering to her role, which is a great fit for these two highly innovative brands. Leslie is very well versed on TurboChef and CookTek product solutions and its customer base from recent and past experiences. I expect her to make a positive impact very quickly in her new role. Middleby is proud to promote two highly qualified individuals, and we see it as a cornerstone of our future success.”

Katie Cox is a veteran in the foodservice industry. Before being promoted to President of TurboChef and CookTek, she was Vice President of Business Development. In this role she worked closely with several Middleby large international chain customers to develop their kitchen solutions to best support future operations. Prior to joining Middleby in 2021 she was with Appliance Innovation and Hatco, working with Ovention accelerated cooking. Earlier in her career she was an Equipment Engineer with Pizza Hut U.S.

Leslie Banados has built a deep knowledge base with TurboChef, CookTek and all Middleby solutions. She rejoined Middleby in 2022 as Vice President of Business Development where she was responsible for aggressive growth chain accounts across all Middleby brands. With more than 20 years in the foodservice industry, she joined TurboChef in 2004 where she spent 12 years in marketing and sales positions contributing to not only TurboChef sales growth, but also its reputation, brand awareness and market acceptance. Prior to returning to Middleby, Ms. Banados spent six years at Alto Shaam as Vice President of National Accounts, responsible for growing the foodservice and c-store chain business.