FOCUS BrandsInc., the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes, announced that Kat Cole was named president of Cinnabon Inc., the 25-year-old market leader among cinnamon roll bakeries with more than 770 locations worldwide.
“Since joining us only three months ago, Kat has made a tremendous impact on the Cinnabon brand, assessing and addressing key strategic opportunities while learning and leading the business,” says Russ Umphenour, CEO of parent company FOCUS Brands. “Kat is a natural leader and a relationship-builder. She has spent a great deal of time in the field getting to know our franchise partners and their teams, as well as learning about their day-to-day needs and challenges.”
“I love experiencing drivers of the Cinnabon business first-hand and have valued the opportunity to work many hours in our bakeries, getting to know our guests, managers, crew members, corporate support team, and other leaders in our organization,” Cole says. “I look forward to continuing to contribute to the strategic and profitable growth of Cinnabon’s franchise partners and the evolution of the Cinnabon brand. I am grateful to lead such a world-class franchise organization.”
Prior to joining Cinnabon as chief operating officer, Cole served as vice president of training and development for Hooters of America Inc., where she played a key role in research, strategy, and integration for nontraditional brand extensions and profitable revenue building initiatives. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) and the Certification Governing Board for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), Cole is a past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA). She most recently was awarded with the 2010 GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for Distinguished Service. Cole received her MBA from Georgia State University.
Gary Bales will step down as president of Cinnabon, but will continue his role as president of Carvel.