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Inspire Brands

Quality Assurance VP Shares the Importance of Making Room for Trailblazers

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By Jessica Shock

At Inspire, our six brands come together as one team working toward a common purpose. Igniting and nourishing flavorful experiences is not just about defining tastes and trends, but also helping shape how our communities come together. That’s why we’re committed to fostering a winning culture and organization with Good Citizens who elevate each other and the communities we serve.

Byron Theodore is a core leader of Black Voices @ Inspire, a business resource group (BRG) committed to advocating for diversity at all levels of the company. Throughout a 30-year career in the Food & Beverage industry, he’s managed supply chain initiatives for major brands such as Texas Roadhouse, Papa Johns, Popeyes, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

“My journey in the food industry has typically been more internationally focused. I’ve traveled the globe, ensuring safe, quality food products that match the standards of each brand,” says Byron, joining Inspire in 2018 after Buffalo Wild Wings was acquired.

Today, Byron is the Vice President of Quality Assurance for Inspire, leading award-winning work that named him one of Food Logistics’ 2021 Rock Stars of the Supply Chain. “My team is really serving as trailblazers for Inspire,” he says. “Every other company and brand I’ve worked for has had existing programs in place – here, we’re building new enterprise-wide programs to support all of our brands. Our fingerprints are all over it.”

Making room for maverick thinking is one of the reasons Byron leads Black Voices @ Inspire. “We’re telling our story and celebrating the trailblazers,” says Byron. “That’s where my inspiration comes from – the need to share our journey and uplift the other team members who have a story to tell. It’s all about the capability to support, mentor, and network with others.”

One of his favorite moments with the BRG took place at a speaking event. “One of the speakers shared information about mental health within the Black community,” says Byron. “Mental health is an area that’s underfunded, misunderstood, and taboo to discuss within the community. It mattered, hearing them speak.”

For anyone who also wants to support the trailblazers in their community (or be one yourself), Byron has some advice: “Be comfortable, being uncomfortable,” he says. “That helps me power through all the tough issues I face. And, ‘what gets measured, gets done.’ It’s a tagline we use in Quality Assurance to drive supplier compliance, but it rings true regardless.”

This story is part of an ongoing series that celebrates Black History Month at Inspire through the stories of our corporate and franchise team members, as well as franchisees. Click here to read other stories like this. To learn more about Inspire, visit our Careers Website.