Inspirational Leaders Luncheon
Join us on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at the Forsyth Conference Center in Cumming, Georgia as we celebrate North Georgia's most inspirational leaders.
Inspirational leaders inspire us to do more and to go beyond who we are. These leaders make their businesses, communities and others around them better individuals. This event showcases those leaders for the first time in our North Georgia communities.
During the event, two individuals will be presented the North Georgia Inspiration in Business and Inspiration in Community Awards. These awards highlight the importance of leadership in our communities and honor those who have shown real inspiration to those around them.
We are also extremely honored to have Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon serve as our Keynote Speaker for the event.
Kat Cole Biography
Kat Cole is the president of Cinnabon, Inc., which licenses Cinnabon® branded products and operates more than 1,000 franchised locations in 56 countries worldwide, primarily in high traffic venues such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, travel plazas, entertainment centers, academic institutions and military establishments. Cinnabon is the licensor of Cinnabon branded products in over 50,000 retail points of distribution and is the market leader among cinnamon roll and sweet treat bakeries serving fresh, aromatic, oven-hot cinnamon rolls and a variety of other baked goods and specialty beverages. Ms. Cole is a member of the leadership team within FOCUS Brands Inc., which is the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants and cafés in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 56 foreign countries under the brand names, Carvel® Ice Cream, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Auntie Anne’s® Pretzels, and the franchisor or Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets.
Ms. Cole has over 17 years of multi-disciplined experience in Change Management, Communications, Service, Sales, Operations, Multi-Channel Brand Management and Leadership. She has lead research, strategy and integration initiatives for non-traditional brand extension, franchising, multi-channel brand building and global business growth. She is widely known in and outside of her industry for legacy business model innovation, change management for emerging brands, and mentorship and development of emerging leaders. Prior to her role with FOCUS Brands at Cinnabon, Inc., Ms. Cole was Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc., the international company which operates and franchises restaurants and manages the Hooters® Brand Entities, $900 Million in annual global sales. The daughter of a single mother and oldest of three sisters, her story is often shared for inspiration as she moved up from working as a hostess at 17 years old in the restaurants to traveling globally to help open new franchises at the age of 19, dropped out of college, advanced to various management and leadership positions and at the age of 26, became one of the youngest executives in the hospitality industry as a Vice President, reporting to the CEO and acting as a member of the Executive Team, where she remained for the last six years of her tenure at Hooters. Ms. Cole directed projects, departments and change management initiatives, contributing to growth of brand extensions and restaurant units to over 470 in 28 countries.
Ms. Cole is the co-founder of Changers of Commerce, the organization dedicated to educating and advocating the practices of connecting businesses to society through the concept of “Connected Capitalism”. She has conducted Accountability and Communications training and consulting for companies like The Home Depot, Sanofi-Aventis, and Turner Broadcasting (CNN, Cartoon Network, and TBS). Ms. Cole is a highly-requested speaker and consultant on Leadership Development, Women in Business, Change Management, Franchising, and Brand Innovation and Growth. She has been a featured guest on almost every major news network including CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and was featured on CBS’ “Undercover Boss”. Her personal story, business approach and perspective on leadership has been the subject of feature articles in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Yahoo.com, MSN.com, many business and trade publications.
Ms. Cole serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and participates in organizations and initiatives in the US and in Africa to help individuals and villages elevate themselves out of poverty. She won the Women’s Foodservice Forum Volunteer of the Year Award, and was a finalist for The 2007 International Woman Influence Award by Global Executive Women Magazine. In 2011, Ms. Cole was presented with the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 under 40” Award and the Distinguished Young Alumni award from Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson School of Business. She received her MBA from Georgia State University. Her first book, Small Changes, Big Impact (ISBN 9781624880292 Lighthouse Printing) was released May 2013, and her second book, Lessons from the Village, will be available January of 2014..