The foodservice industry, like many industries, doesn't boast many female executives.
Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon, is on a mission to prove that rising through the ranks isn't impossible. Cole started working a second job as a Hooters girl in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL, while still in high school to help support her family. Her work ethic moved her up the ladder, allowing her to travel frequently to open up new franchise locations - so much so that she didn't have the time to keep up with her college courses, so she dropped out. Soon enough, Hooters offered Cole a corporate position in Atlanta, an offer she couldn't refuse. She was an executive vice president (without a bachelor's degree, mind you) by the age of 26. And then decided to go back to school to get an MBA.
Years later, she accepted a position with Cinnabon. Now, as well as keeping busy as President at Cinnabon, Cole is passionately and proactively trying to make a difference with her humanitarian efforts around the world. She has also maintained an ahead-of-the-curve digital branding strategy for Cinnabon, making her a recent nominee for The Magnificent 12: Top Digital Execs of the Year list, and, in relation, a Digital Executive of the Year RIZMY Award nominee. Cole has also been featured on one of our Turn & Burn episodes, 'Digital Leaders Taking it to the Next Level,' which you can watch below.
For more about her career and how she rose to the top of a multi-national brand, you can read more here.