Frances Allen

This entry is part 2 of 54 in the series

Allen_FrancesFrances Allen

Denny’s
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Years with company:  1 ½ years (Since July 2010)

Education degrees and professional/volunteer organizations:
BSC in Mathematics from Southampton; Advanced Management Program from Harvard

Mentors and how they have assisted with career:
My mentor has been Dawn Hudson.  I’ve followed her from DMB&B to Frito-Lay to PepsiCo.  I’ve admired her smarts, her marketing prowess, her energy and her charisma.  Most importantly I’ve admired her willingness to promote other women like me.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements?  Do you have a defining moment of your career to date?
 My proudest achievements are twofold: being named Brandweek’s Marketer of the Year in 2009 during the worst recession imaginable for my work on Dunkin’ Donuts.  My second is in the works……Denny’s business turnaround is perhaps the most gratifying achievement of my career to date.  We’re not done yet, but we’ve achieved so much in a short period of time

Most challenging part of your job:
So many ideas, so many initiatives, not enough time or resources to do them all.

Advice for upcoming younger executives:
Know who you are and what you bring to the table in the same way that you need to understand your brand’s DNA. Use that knowledge to carve out a unique position for yourself in the company, something you are known for.     Take risks and embrace change – life is about movement.  Don’t stay in the safe lane with everyone else.

Hobbies:
Cycling and snow skiing.