Jane Grote Abell

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Jane Grote Abell, Donatos Pizzeria LLC

Jane Grote Abell

Donatos Pizzeria LLC
Chairman of the Board and Owner

Years with company:  “My whole life!”




Education degrees and organizations:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree from The Ohio State University
  2. Board Member – Action for Children
  3. Board Member – Goodwill Columbus Inc.
  4. Advisory Council – Otterbein University Women’s Leadership Network
  5. Board Member – Coinstar Inc.
  6. Member – Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of Central Ohio
  7. Member – Women’s Food Service Forum
  8. Member – Young Presidents Organization

Mentors and how they have assisted you in your career: From the very first time that my father Jim Grote brought my brothers and sister and I out underneath the sign at our very first restaurant, he has been the true north for my principles and values.  He’s living proof of everything that he taught us being true.  Likewise, my Mom’s creativity and passion played a huge role in forming the way that I view both life and business.  Professionally, my board memberships have led me to some wonderful associations with people like Margie Pizzutti at Goodwill and Diane Bennett at Action for Children.  They are ultimately professional, incredibly principled and passionately devoted to their callings.

What are you most proud of in your career achievements? Do you have a defining moment of your career to date? The experience of selling our family-owned business to the largest, most successful foodservice company in the world, McDonald’s Corp. and then subsequently buying it back from them four years later is a true milestone in my career.  Experiencing how our company’s culture and mission not only survived, but actually strengthened while being a part of a huge publicly traded company, was the ultimate compliment to the Donatos family.  Thus, when the opportunity arose to buy the company back, it was this dedication to our original company mission that made the decision an easy one to make.

Most challenging part of your job: Clearly the ongoing cultivation of our company culture is always front and center when it comes to my goals for the company.  Our Mission, to Promote Goodwill through Product and Service, Principles and People has served the Donatos brand well for fifty years and is the reason that we have become one of America’s iconic regional foodservice brands.

Advice for younger executives:  Very simply, stay true to who you are.  Your values and principles are always the engines that drive your performance.

Hobbies:  My passion is experiencing life through the eyes of my two wonderful daughters along with my son and his wife.  School activities, travel and just being a family are what bring me the most joy.