My roots in the restaurant industry were firmly planted when I began as a server at TJ’s Big Boy restaurant, and the opportunities for growth have been nonstop since. Early in my career I realized I was engaged in something powerful. Going above and beyond to create a phenomenal hospitality experience is why I have always been proud of what the restaurant industry stands for: connecting with people at a human level.
My career development has encompassed several key disciplines over the years. Exposure within human resources taught me worklife skills that allow me to be proud of the results and their impact on our business. Compensation and diversity taught me how to retain the best of the talent pool, regardless of background. My exposure in training further honed my skills in communication and taught me the value of accuracy. It instilled in me the desire to raise the bar for delivering the best tools to our operators while positively impacting results.
When I returned to operations, the experiences in those departments set me up for success in my current role as chief operating officer. I was fortunate to have been hired and developed by two strong businesswomen, who saw in me what I might not have seen in myself early in my career. Those women are powerful mentors to me to this day. I realize the impact strong women leaders can make on a woman in this business and I’m proud to nurture those relationships today.
Currently, I am responsible for operations and endorse initiatives that empower our 1,300 restaurants nationwide. My responsibility is to set a positive example and nurture each team member’s development at every level. The most important lesson in leadership I’ve learned as of late is that fairness, and being trustworthy and courageous, are vital attributes to growth and achievement.
What I love the most about Brinker International is that while we are a global company in reference to the number of restaurants we operate, we have such a small and inclusive family atmosphere. I’m extremely proud to be a part of an organization that understands the importance of giving back and supporting our communities, while guiding people in their professional and personal success.
One Comment on "Kelli Valade"
I stumbled across this article during a Google search. Which TJ’s Big Boy did you work at? I worked at the North Syracuse one, the summer of ’78. Good luck.