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Lauderback Chairs the Board at Denny’s
Brenda J. Lauderback began her career in retail as a trainee straight out of college, quickly working her way up to assistant buyer and buyer within two years.
She was then promoted to divisional merchandise manager for intimate apparel, then to vice president and general manager at Dayton, Hudson & Marshall Fields (now Target Corporation), with an area of focus in shoes, accessories, cosmetics, intimate apparel and children’s wear.
“At the time I was the youngest and first woman promoted to that position, as well as the only African American to hold that title,” recalls Lauderback. After 18 years there she left to become president of wholesale and manufacturing for U.S. Shoe Corporation. Following an acquisition she was promoted to group president for Nine West Corporation.
Today she’s chairman of Denny’s Corporation. She was elected in May 2016. “I’m proud to have been a board member since 2005,” says Lauderback, who also sits on the board of directors for Wolverine World Wide and Select Comfort Corporations.
She continues to help Denny’s be a strong leader in the foodservice industry. She also works to extend Denny’s diversity efforts and raise awareness for its principle brand causes: education and childhood hunger.
Lauderback feels her time “working with a diverse and progressive organization such as Denny’s continues to reinforce something I learned early in my career: ‘To whom much is given, much is expected.’”
She also learned “no one is more invested in your career than you. You need to be proactive and clear about what you want and what your goals are. Don’t let others define you by age, race or gender, even though many will try. Through your commitment, you can be seen as an asset through the quality of your work and consistent contributions to the organization.”
Her advice to young professionals further includes learning “to take the good and leave any negative behind….You also shouldn’t be afraid to speak your truth, but realize that not everyone's truth is always the same. Lastly…keep an open mind [and] don't fear change; embrace it.”
From cook to management and corporate positions, there’s a career waiting for everyone at Denny’s. Please visit dennys.com/careers.
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