After college, I started working in digital before it was sexy. I was recruited by Ogilvy and Mather in New York. I wanted to live in New York City and work at a big, fancy agency. Eventually, I decided that the best way to learn how to effectively sell to clients was to actually become a client. I got my foot in the door at Pizza Hut—Brian Niccol, now CEO of Chipotle, was one of the people I interviewed with there. After Pizza Hut, I was at Yum! Brands for 10 years. Then I went to Snap Kitchen as CMO. When I had the chance to go to Chipotle with [Niccol] in 2018, I saw the environment here was super purpose-driven; there’s an appetite to drive change.

I adore my team at Chipotle; I work with the smartest, most passionate and creative people. I’m also the head of HUSTLE at Chipotle, which stands for Humans Uniting to Support the Ladies’ Experience. It’s our women’s group, and our purpose is to create a workplace where women can thrive, both at headquarters and in the field.

We’re very much a company driven by innovation. TikTok is an example of this; a year ago, we went on TikTok. It was really controversial. We didn’t know if people were going to be there, and other brands weren’t there yet. Now most people are getting on TikTok and trying to figure it out, and we already have a year of learning.


How Chipotle morphed into a lifestyle brand

My team has been at the front of a lot of the changes we’ve made due to the coronavirus. We’ve pivoted to thinking about delivery and carryout as the key leaders here. How do we build mass awareness around delivery, pickup, ordering through our app? How do we stay connected while having the right tone?

I think we’ll see the shift to digital happen now. Once you take the time to download an app and set up your information and have realized how easy it is, I just don’t know why you would go back. It’s extremely convenient, and it’s become part of the routine over the past few months; national brands like Chipotle bring a lot of comfort and familiarity to customers in these uncertain times.

What was your first job?

The first meaningful job I had was working at the University of Texas at Austin’s newspaper, The Daily Texan. I worked in ad sales and it served me really well in my later career.

What is your favorite menu item at Chipotle?

It changes all the time, but I’m going to go with my classic: a steak bowl with white rice, black beans, tomato, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce on top.

What’s your favorite cuisine outside of Mexican?

I grew up in Texas, so eating Tex-Mex and Mexican is embedded in me. But if it’s a Friday night and I’m going out, I like sushi.

Who inspires you as a leader?

My dad had a complete career change late in life; he was a used car salesman and became a minister. I admire him for following his passion and calling when it was extremely difficult.

What’s the best piece of advice other execs should hear?

Have a bias for action. Customer demands and expectations and the cycle of the Internet all change quickly, so have a bias to try things.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

My son is almost four and he takes up most of my time; I adore learning about him and learning how to be a better parent. Another hobby of mine is travel, and I’m obsessed with hotels.

Fast Casual, Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs, Story, Chipotle