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BREAKOUT SESSION / MONDAY / OCTOBER 19, 2020 / 11:00 AM

Women in the Lead: Keeping the Momentum Going

Although it’s true that more women than ever are holding leadership roles as chefs, CEOs and vice presidents, we are still a long way from a 50-50 gender split.

This panel brings together several female leaders of the fast casual industry who will discuss how they overcame the challenges they faced on their way to the top and how the industry can be more inclusive of all genders.

PANELISTS

Laurie Schalow | Chief Corporate Reputation Officer | Chipotle Mexican Grill

Laurie Schalow is a 20+ year Public Affairs veteran, starting her career with Yum! Brands in 1994 when she joined Taco Bell and served as the national spokesperson. In 2005, Laurie joined KFC, where she created publicity plans, managed community relations initiatives, all internal and external communications and crisis management. In 2011, Laurie became Vice President of Public Affairs for Yum! Brands overseeing Global Corporate Social Responsibility, PR and Crisis Management. In 2017, Laurie joined Chipotle Mexican Grill as the first Chief Communications Officer. Currently, Laurie is the Chief Corporate Reputation Officer and oversees all internal and external communications, stakeholder engagement, sustainability, customer service, social listening, food safety and quality assurance.

James Park | CEO | Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

James Park is CEO of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, the leader in fast casual authentic Mediterranean cuisine. James is a savvy marketing and operations executive who champions and activates all things brand. He excels at transformational leadership by humanizing the intangibles and developing programs that are purposeful and lasting. For the past 10 years, James has served in executive leadership roles for some of the most well-established and fastest-growing concepts in the fast casual, QSR and retail environments: Which Wich, 7-Eleven and Charley’s. In addition, James’ international experience includes substantive contributions in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Venezuela and Brazil.

Steve Schulze | Co-Founder & CEO | Nékter Juice Bar

Steve Schulze is co-founder and CEO of Nékter Juice Bar. Leveraging personal savings and an SBA loan, Steve and his wife Alexis have built the company in seven years into a predominant restaurant and lifestyle brand, offering fresh, clean, nutritious juices, smoothies and acai bowls made without processed ingredients, artificial flavors, added sugars, or unnecessary fillers. With more than 80 locations in six states, over 900 employees and nearly $50 million in annual revenue, Nékter is expanding nationally through corporate and franchise growth with plans to grow to 425 restaurants by 2020. Prior to launching Nékter, Steve worked for consumer-based companies in various sales, marketing and management capacities.

MODERATOR

Zach Goldstein | Founder & CEO | Thanx

Zach Goldstein is a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan; it was through many losing seasons where he first learned the value of loyalty. He founded Thanx in 2011 with the goal of helping merchants identify, reward and retain their best customers / die-hard fans. Previously, Zach worked with retail and tech giants at Bain and Company, where he focused on customer satisfaction and retention. He received his MBA from Stanford and shivered his way to a BA at Dartmouth.

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