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Cinnabon president to speak at UNG Inspirational Leaders Award Luncheon

(Feb. 28, 2014) – The Center for the Future of North Georgia and the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia (UNG) will present the Inspirational Leaders Award Luncheon on Tuesday, April 8 at the Forsyth Conference Center in Cumming, Ga.

Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon, Inc., will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. Cole has more than 17 years of multi-disciplined experience in change management, communications, sales, operations, multi-channel brand management, and leadership. She has been a featured guest on many major news networks, including CBS, CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC, and was featured on the CBS show "Undercover Boss." Her personal story, business approach and perspective on leadership have been the subjects of feature articles in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek,,, and many other business and trade publications. Her first book, "Small Changes, Big Impact" was released in May 2013, and her second book, "Lessons from the Village," debuted in January.

Cole also is a member of the leadership team within FOCUS Brands, Inc., the franchisor and operator of more than 3,000 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants, and cafés under the brand names Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Schlotzky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, and Auntie Anne's Pretzels.

"We are very excited to have Kat Cole as our keynote speaker," said Dr. Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business. "Kat is a tremendous leader both in her organization and the non-profit organizations that she has founded and supports. She is a true inspiration to the next generation of business professionals and leaders."

During the event, two awards will be presented: the North Georgia Inspiration in Business Award and the North Georgia Inspiration in Community Award. Individuals may be nominated through the Center for the Future of North Georgia's website at

"Many great business leaders serve as the inspiration to our students and the communities around them," said Dr. Ruben Boling, director of the Center for the Future of North Georgia. "This event is to honor the inspirational leaders throughout north Georgia."

Tickets for the event are $35 and may be purchased at Table, student, and other sponsorships are also available.

The event is part of the Mike Cottrell College of Business' Cottrell Speaker Series, which brings business professionals from around the state, nation and globe to share their experience and expertise with UNG students, faculty and staff, and community members. The series will also host Brent Herd, southeastern sales director of Twitter, on UNG's Dahlonega Campus March 26.


Michael Marshall
Communications Specialist

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