Melissa Strait | Executive Profile | ATLANTA TREND

Arby's Promotes Melissa Strait

Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. is promoting Melissa Strait, SVP, Human Resources and Leadership Development, to Chief People Officer, a newly created position reporting to Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer. In the new role Strait will be responsible for leading the strategy, development and execution of key organizational effectiveness and talent management programs across the company. Strait has been with Arby's since 1984, when she started as a team member working in an Arby's restaurant in her home state of Michigan.

"Melissa has been an instrumental advisor during my first year and a half as CEO," said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Arby's Restaurant Group. "She's a great ambassador of our people and culture and this new position is a direct reflection of the importance we place on our team members. The fact that she began as an entry level restaurant team member and worked hard to rise to the top of the organization is a testament to the career opportunities we at Arby's strive to provide."

Originally from Muskegon, MI, Strait graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in psychology. As a teenager, she learned leadership and guest service skills at the frontline of Arby's operations in order to work her way through college. In 1995, she became director of training and then her career quickly progressed as she worked for both Arby's franchisees and eventually the franchisor. Strait was named Vice President of Training and Development in 2000 before later becoming Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Leadership Development.

Strait will assume the role of Chief People Officer, effective immediately.

"Melissa leads by example and fosters a culture of servant leadership among our combined 71,000 company and franchise team members globally," said Paul Brown. "In her 30-year tenure at Arby's, she continues to drive organizational stability, increase retention, enhance employee engagement and champion professional development to align with current and future business needs."

Arby's, founded in 1964, is the first nationally franchised sandwich restaurant brand with nearly 3,400 restaurants worldwide.

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