FastCasual Interviews 27 Female Executives For International Women's Day 2019
FastCasual Interviews 27 Female Executives For International Women's Day 2019

The publication released its third annual "Women in the Lead" series featuring conversations with the industry’s most inspiring and visionary leaders.

The world celebrates International Women’s Day on March 8 every year, and for the third time, FastCasual spoke with several of the industry’s most successful female leaders.

The piece notes that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46 percent of foodservice managers are women compared to 39 percent overall—meaning that women like the 27 executives featured are paving the way for other industries to ramp up their representation.

"I believe the restaurant industry is realizing that gender diversity could be a key to any brand's success," Slim Chickens Executive Director of Franchise Development Jackie Lobdell told FastCasual. "Diversifying top positions is not just about leveling the playing field; it's about finally using the best resources they have available to capitalize on every brand's potential."


Here’s a list of the first round of interviewees:

  • Jackie Lobdell, executive director of Franchise Development, Slim Chickens
  • Kristi Kingery, SVP of Supply Chain & Quality Assurance, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Michelle Bythewood, president, Salata Salad Kitchen
  • Ursula Lane, senior manager of Franchise Recruitment, Checkers & Rally's
  • Lauren Gruel, VP of Marketing, Slapfish
  • Gwen Graham, president, Miller's Roast Beef
  • Andrea Allen, chief accounting and administrative officer, Rave Restaurant Group
  • Diana Holley, VP of Marketing, Willy's Mexicana Grill
  • Donna Josephson, SVP and CMO, Corner Bakery Cafe
  • Dennie Laney, VP of Training & People Development, Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
  • Ali Rauch, director of Marketing, Chicken Salad Chick
  • Jodie Conrad, VP of Marketing, Fazoli's
  • Rachel Phillips-Luther, founder and CMO, Up Inspired Kitchen
  • Christina Coy, VP of Marketing, Pie Five Pizza


Read part one here, and stay tuned for part two of the series.

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