Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon®, Inc., which licenses Cinnabon branded products and operates more than 1,000 franchised locations in 56 countries, will deliver the keynote address at M-PACT 2015, the Midwest’s premier energy and convenience tradeshow. The regional show, which annually draws nearly 4,000 energy and convenience professionals, will be held March 24-26 at the Indianapolis Convention Center. The keynote luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
A trailblazer in the hospitality industry, Cole began her career at age 17 as a Hooters® restaurant hostess, and worked her way up through the ranks to become one of the youngest corporate executives in the business. Today, she leads a growing multi-channel brand team responsible for record sales growth, brand expansion, and franchise evolution. She is also President of Global Channels at Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of 4,500 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants, and cafés in the U.S. and 63 countries under the brand names Cinnabon, Carvel®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne’s® Pretzels, and McAlister’s Deli.
Cole’s hands-on experience and unique leadership philosophy has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, CNN and on the CBS reality series Undercover Boss. She will share her inspirational story, along with creative insights into effective leadership and driving innovation gleaned over the course of her 17-year career. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the 2007 Women’s Foodservice Forum Volunteer of the Year Award, the 2008 Motivator of the Year Award from the Elliot Leadership Institute® and the 2010 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Award for Distinguished Service. More recently, she was named to Fortune magazine’s ’40 Under 40′ list. She received an MBA from Georgia State University.
“Kat Cole has a unique perspective on what it takes for businesses to excel, gained from years of working in nearly every imaginable role in the restaurant business,” said Scot Imus, Executive Director of the Indiana Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (IPCA), a co-host of M-PACT 2015. “Her personal, hands-on approach to leadership and motivating employees makes her message both compelling and relevant for our conference attendees, and we are thrilled to welcome Kat to M-PACT 2015.”
M-PACT is a three-day show offering seminars on risk management, improving customer service, and the future of transportation fuels. With more than 500 vendor exhibits in 65,000 sq.-ft., the show features the newest technology, services, and products for the petroleum and convenience industry, including storage tanks, tank trucks, pumps, environmental and laboratory services, fuel additives, car washes, food and beverage items, freezers, and novelties.
M-PACT’s host states-Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio-collectively represent more than 1,500 member companies, which together employ approximately 165,000 individuals, operate nearly 20,000 convenience stores or gas stations, total more than $1.5 billion in inside sales, and sell more than 20 billion gallons of petroleum products throughout the Midwest.