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Kat Cole

Group President

FOCUS Brands

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"Rose from a hostess at Hooters to president of a multi-national, multi-brand food company"

For the past four years, Kat Cole has been president of Cinnabon, Inc., where she was accountable for leading, evolving and building the team and multi-channel brand. In 2015, Kat was promoted to take on the role of Group President at FOCUS Brands Inc. (parent company to Cinnabon, Inc.), leading the innovative, high-growth division building all brands at FOCUS in the US and internationally in consumer packaged goods, foodservice licensing, global licensed platforms and E-commerce.

Prior to her role with Cinnabon and FOCUS Brands, Inc., Kat was Vice President of Training and Development for Hooters of America, Inc., which operates and franchises restaurants and manages the Hooters® brand entities. Kat joined Hooters’s corporate office at 20, advanced to various management and leadership positions, becoming a Vice President at Hooters at the age of 26, making her one of the youngest executives in chain restaurants. She was a member of the Hooters Executive team that built the franchise to 400 units in 28 countries, eventually being sold to private equity in late 2010. She completed her MBA at Georgia State University in her final two years as an executive at Hooters and while Chair of the Board of the Georgia Restaurant Association and Board member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum.

Kat's personal story, business approach and perspectives on leadership have been the subject of feature articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, and many other business, trade, and interest publications. She has been a featured guest on CBS, CNN, Bloomberg CNBC, MSNBC and more. Kat was awarded the Distinguished Young Alumni award from the Georgia State University J. Mack Robinson School of Business in 2011, was featured with Cinnabon on CBS's Undercover Boss in 2012, was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 in 2013 and CNBC’s Next 25 List of Innovators, Leaders and Disruptors 2014. She is past Chair of the Board of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, mentor in the Clinton Global Initiative LEAD program, and currently serves on the United Nations Global Entrepreneurship Council.

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