ATLANTA, GA – December 15, 2014 – Operation HOPE the leading global financial dignity nonprofit, today announced the President and Chief Operations Officer of Cinnabon, Inc and former executive vice President of Hooters of America, Kat Cole, as a Featured Speaker for the Main Stage in Atlanta, GA January 15-17th.
The annual forum, hosted by HOPE at the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, will bring together heads of state, C-suite executives, civic and financial leaders to outline a vision for the future of the modern global economy. This vision that includes all people as HOPE sees the poor, underserved and teetering middle class as untapped assets for economic growth, entrepreneurship and job creation.
Ms. Cole worked at The Body Shop before starting her career at Hooters as a hostess. During her first year waitressing at Hooters, Cole covered varied positions from manager to cook, nearly every position at the restaurant. Upon her manager's recommendation as the Jacksonville franchise's best employee, Cole was sent to Sydney to train and motivate the new owners and employees at the opening of the first Hooters in Australia. At age 19, it was her first plane flight outside of Florida. She continued to travel overseas in order to train employees in Hooters Restaurants abroad. She became a Vice President at the age of 26. As the Vice President of Training and Development, Cole oversaw the growth of Hooters from approximately 100 locations and $300 million in revenue to 500 locations in 33 countries and $1 billion in revenue.(complete bio)
In November 2010, Cole was hired by Cinnabon Inc. and named president in January 2011. During the first three years of her tenure, Cinnabon added 200 bakeries, created partnerships with grocery stores and restaurants like Taco Bell and Burger King, and became a global brand in 56 countries.Cinnabon's 2013 sales was estimated at a billion dollars.