Franchise Update Magazine Issue I, 2017 - Page 18

WOMEN IN THE C-SUITE

Melissa Strait
Title : Chief People Officer Brand : Arby ’ s Years in franchising : 32 Years with current brand : 32 Franchised units : 2,288 Total units : 3,339 Brand revenue : $ 3.5 million
Background : Melissa Strait began her tenure with Arby ’ s in 1984 behind a restaurant counter , learning leadership and guest service skills at the front line of the company ’ s operations as she worked her way through college . In 1995 , she became Director of Training , and in 2000 was named Vice President of Training and Development . Shortly afterward , she was named Vice President of Human Resources , Training , and Development , and later became Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Leadership Development . In October 2014 , she was promoted to Chief People Officer reporting to CEO Paul Brown . In this role she is responsible for leading the strategy , development , and execution of human resources and key organizational effectiveness and talent management programs across the company . She graduated from Hope College with a B . A . in psychology .
Cara Whitley
Title : Global Chief Marketing Officer Brand : Century 21 Real Estate Years in franchising : 20 Years with current brand : 1.5 Franchised units : 6,950 Total units : 6,950 Brand revenue : NA
Background : Cara Whitley , a 20-year veteran of loyalty marketing , business development , strategy , and change management , joined Century 21 in September 2015 . Since then , she has re-focused the organization-wide marketing strategy to enhance brand pride and preference , increase franchised acquisitions and sales , and recruit and retain relationships with both real estate consumers and industry professionals . The brand ’ s revamped national advertising , marketing , and public relations campaigns included a series of new television commercials that were recognized with a Gold Stevie Award for Women in Business . Previously , she was Chief Marketing Officer of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings . Before that , she served in executive roles for American Express , Epsilon , and Hilton Hotels . She earned her B . S . in Communications from the University of Miami Coral Gables .
Ann Yett
Title : Chief Financial Officer Brand : Keller Williams Realty Years in franchising : 10 + Years with current brand : 10 + Franchised units : 800 + Brand revenue : $ 67.1 billion
Background : Ann Yett joined Keller Williams Realty in 2006 . She leads the accounting , finance , and tax teams and oversees global financial operations for the world ’ s largest real estate franchise ( by agent count ). Her more than 30 years as a financial professional include 7 years with Price Waterhouse , and leadership positions in the consulting , publishing , and technology sectors . During her tenure as CFO , Keller Williams has achieved record growth , productivity , and profitability gains . In 2015 , the Austin business community recognized her achievements with the Austin Business Journal CFO Legacy Award . She earned her BBA , Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin and is a CPA . She lives in Austin with her husband Tracy and their black lab Sadie . Hook ’ em Horns !
Lynne Zappone
Title : Chief Talent and HR Officer Brand : Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Years in franchising : 19 Years with current brand : 6 Franchised units : 2,559 Total units : 2,631 Brand revenue : $ 259 million
Background : Lynne Zappone joined Popeyes in April 2011 . She has 30 years of experience in global human resources , talent development and learning , and business management . From 1998 to 2011 , she served in senior human resources positions with InterContinental Hotels Group , rising to Senior Vice President , Americas , Human Resources and Global Learning . Previously , she was a consultant with Phillips Associates , and in organizational development and training roles with Fidelity Federal Bank and Sheraton Universal Hotel . She is Past Board Chair for the Georgia Council for International Visitors , is an SHRM Atlanta Board Member , and a member of the HR Leadership Forum and the Women ’ s Foodservice Forum HR Advisory Council . She has a B . A . in Education from Flagler College and an M . A . in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix .
16 Franchiseupdate ISSUE I , 2017