Kristi Strickland

This entry is part 31 of 33 in the series

Kristi Strickland Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.Kristi Strickland

Dunkin’ Brands, Inc.

Years with company:  Five years

Current position and your immediate supervisor:
Field Marketing Director, Dunkin’ Donuts, reporting to the Global Chief Marketing Officer John Costello.



Education degrees and professional/volunteer affiliates:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Retail Marketing Minor, East Carolina University.
  • Volunteer affiliates:  Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, Interfaith Food Shuttle

Mentors and how have they assisted your career:
I have had the privilege of working with several mentors in my career and one of the most important lessons learned is to put people first.  This is a people business, if you take care of the people, they will take care of the business.  Hire the right people, set the course, and then clear the way.  I have taken this lesson to heart and it has led to much personal and professional success.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements or a defining moment of your career to date?
Working for an iconic brand and supporting franchisees that have such tremendous entrepreneurial spirit provides me rewarding moments every day.  Two recent accomplishments that I am most proud of are:  First, being a part of the leadership team that created a regional Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation Golf Event that raised over $100,000 in two years and assisted regional charities in serving those in need, in their neighborhoods.  Secondly, devising a strategic plan, side by side with franchisees, that helped increase sales and profits during the most challenging economic environment.

Most challenging part of your job:
The quick service food industry is fast-paced and very competitive.  While the external headwinds remain strong and can cause many distractions, it is crucial to stay focused and on course.  Always maintain a proactive position, anticipating the potential impacts.  It is also important to have a strong contingency plan in place that can satisfy the short term business need, and at the same time, remains aligned with long term goals.

Thoughts or advice for upcoming younger executives:
As leaders, we must have the ability to influence others.  To be a good influencer, you must be a good communicator, and check in with those you lead frequently to stay aligned and working toward the stated goals.  I’ve found that when communicating, with any size group, start with three key points that are action-oriented and easy to remember.  Reiterate and support those points throughout the conversation or presentation.  When you see those key points being shared and acted on in a meaningful way, you know you have successfully influenced others and progress is being made.  One other bit of advice is to listen first and always keep an open mind because the next best idea will come from the most unexpected place!

Most of my hobbies take place outdoors.  I’m an avid golfer and snow skier.  I enjoying hiking and make time, at least once a week, for a long hike with my 10-year-old son and two Labrador Retrievers.  Also, anything dealing with music.  Music is inspirational for me, I love most all genres.  Whenever possible, I attend concerts and music festivals.  My favorite is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.