Blueridge Restaurant Group leadership team have a genuine commitment to the staff, guest satisfaction, and excellence at every level of the organization. Meet the leaders who continue to raise the bar, develop our teams and the future of the company.

Director of Daily Operations

Erick Cooper is Blueridge Restaurant Group’s Director of Daily Operations and joined us in 2011. Erick brings decades of restaurant management experience to Blueridge Restaurant Group including six years with the Hillstone Restaurant Group as a General Manager of various Houston’s Restaurants. After leaving Hillstone, Erick was responsible for opening three separate Johnny Carino’s Restaurant franchises before moving to J. Alexander’s Restaurants where he opened two of their highest volume units.

Erick earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Florida State University School of Hospitality.


Vice President of Human Resources and Administration

Allyson Belknap is our Vice President of Human Resources and Administration. Allyson first joined Blueridge in 2016 as an Assistant Manager and quickly climbed the ranks to General Manager. Her experience encompasses all three Blueridge Restaurant Group concepts: Stanford Grill, Copper Canyon Grill, and Stanford Kitchen. Allyson’s leadership skills and intricate knowledge of the hospitality industry have positioned her to oversee all non-operational activities including compliance with company policies and procedures, attracting and retaining motivated staff, negotiating contracts and benefit plans, and development of systems and procedures.

Allyson graduated from Loyola University of Maryland Sellinger School of Business with a Master’s degree in Business Administration degree (MBA). She also received a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner School of Business.


Vice President, Branding & Communications

Zania Patterson is our Vice President of Branding and Communications. Zania has designed and executed the brand strategy for Blueridge Restaurant Group since 2010. Her expertise in branding, communication, marketing strategies, and sales promotion provides her with the skills to oversee public relations, campaign creative, our Woodfire Club guest loyalty program, management of social media and promotional events, creation of brand strategy, and development of company culture materials.

Zania graduated from the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler Business School with a Master’s degree in Business Administration degree (MBA). She has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland, University College, as well as an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Engineering from Prince George’s Community College. 



Director of Culinary Operations

Chef Brian McCardle joined Blueridge Restaurant Group as our Director of Culinary Operations in 2021. In this role, Brian leads our entire culinary team in the development and evolution of all our seasonally changing menus and daily features. He is passionate about teaching and training and never misses the opportunity to mentor and coach his chef teams. Dedicated to incorporating quality ingredients into each dish, Brian works under the principle that great food prepared consistently brings people together.

Brian found his love for cooking while working at a local, family-owned restaurant and then at Caesars Casino in Atlantic City. In his 25 years in the culinary world, he grew to be a central figure in the Palm Restaurant Group and has amassed experience as an Executive Chef, Regional Director, and Vice President of Culinary Operations. These experiences challenged him to be open-minded and creative while affording him the ability to experiment with different flavor combinations.