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Dream It, Believe It, Achieve It: One Team Member’s Journey from Line Cook to President and COO

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By Kendra Rhim

At Inspire Brands, our greatest resource is our people. Guided by our values and behaviors, we strive to be a company that embraces inclusion and diversity in gender, race, background, thinking, and perspective.

In 2021, we rolled out People First @ Inspire, an initiative to ensure we attract, develop, and retain the best possible talent. Part of the People First initiative is Upward Mobility in Restaurant Operations, which involves showcasing team member success stories across our family of brands.

Today, we’re highlighting JoAnn Yoder, President and Chief Operating Officer of Brumit Restaurant Group, an operating partner for Arby’s.

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JoAnn Yoder, President & COO, Brumit Restaurant Group

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

You have to surround yourself with people who have the same values and goals as you, but who also think differently than you. You don’t want people who agree with you all the time, and it’s okay if they push back and challenge you. They make you better and you make them better – it moves the company forward.

What do you love about your job?

I love the people. I love the challenge. It’s kind of about the “hunt” – it’s about the next step and the growth. It’s about watching that employee, like me, who started on the back line as an hourly employee and has moved up into a management position. That’s what I love – I love to see people succeed and grow. For some people, we are a steppingstone in their journey and that’s okay. If they leave us better than they were when they got to us, we’ve done our part.

Watch the video below to learn more about JoAnn and the most important leadership she’s learned over the years.

This story is part of an ongoing series that highlights the stories of our team members and their career growth as part of People First @ Inspire.