Kathie S. Niven, who joined Greensboro-based Biscuitville Fresh Southern in 2011 and became president in early 2018, has taken on an additional role as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Burney Jennings, who was formerly Biscuitville’s Chief Executive Officer, will become Executive Chair.
“Kathie has tremendous passion and a deep knowledge of Biscuitville and its culture, and she’s fully prepared to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer,” Burney Jennings says. “Biscuitville has thrived under Kathie’s leadership as president during the last several years, and I’m thrilled that she has accepted new responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer. I will continue to play an important role at Biscuitville but have ultimate confidence in Kathie’s ability to keep our company focused on its core principles and continue our expansion model.”
Under Niven’s leadership, Biscuitville has continued its growth strategy by consistently achieving its growth plan and renovating, remodeling, or rebuilding nearly all of its 62 restaurants. The majority of the new locations have been within Biscuitville’s traditional footprint but also includes expansion into the Fayetteville and Charlotte, North Carolina, markets.
“Burney and his father Maurice Jennings built of foundation of mutual respect among all team members at Biscuitville and a legacy of serving high quality, locally sourced food. I look forward to continuing their vision for Biscuitville and being a good steward of their people-first culture,” Kathie Niven says. “Our commitment to diversity and accessibility begins with me, and as a female executive, my role reinforces our shared belief that we cannot limit our vision of what leadership may look like.”
Prior to becoming president, Niven served as Biscuitville’s Chief Brand Officer. In this role, she was responsible for defining and accelerating Biscuitville’s brand vision and growth plan. She oversaw the creation of Biscuitville’s Fresh Southern brand positioning, which created the Biscuitville that all guests know today, including the new logo, restaurant redesign, packaging, employee uniforms, and trademarking. Niven created a Culinary Operations department to ensure support of the company’s commitment to high quality, locally-sourced food and also spearheaded the company’s shift from a traditionally compliant-focused Human Resources department to the new, service-minded People Excellence department. She also authored the food innovation process, the Menu Management Assembly, which produced the most successful promotional product launch in Biscuitville history—the locally sourced Spicy Chicken and Honey Biscuit.
Earlier in her career, Niven served as Vice President of Field Marketing for Quiznos Corporation and served in a variety of marketing roles at RTM/Arby’s Roast Beef Corporation, Burger King Corporation, and Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation. She received a B.A. degree in English with a minor in communications from Elon University. Niven’s post-graduate studies and professional development included course work in leadership, branding and strategy at the Center for Creative Leadership, the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Design Thinking at Harvard University.