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Panera Bread Adds to Senior Management Team

Panera Bread Adds to Senior Management Team

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

In a move to enhance its senior management team, Panera Bread announced two new team members—Karen Kelley as Senior Vice President, Chief Restaurant Operations Officer, and Anita Vanderveer as Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer. Both will report to Blaine Hurst, President and CEO, with Kelley leading operations across all bakery-cafes, and Vanderveer leading Human Resources initiatives.

Blaine Hurst, President and CEO, Panera Bread“I am thrilled to welcome Karen and Anita to Team Panera. Their experience and leadership in the restaurant industry is truly unparalleled,” said Blaine Hurst. “I’m looking forward to working alongside them to strengthen and grow both the guest experience and the associate experience.”

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Kelley began her career at Taco Bell, while working on her Bachelor’s degree in political science and government from University of Colorado, Boulder. With over 30 years of experience, Kelley is well known in the restaurant industry, as an innovative operations leader, focused on harnessing people’s abilities to generate exceptional results. Kelley served as President and COO of Sweetgreen and, most recently, as the President of Tatte Bakery & Cafe.

Karen Kelley, SVP and Chief Restaurant Operations Officer, Panera Bread“The opportunity to help shape and deliver the Panera experience is one that doesn’t come around very often,” Kelley said, in a recent press release. “I’m excited to join Panera and look forward to building on the incredible accomplishments of the team.”

A people-focused, innovative, and forward-thinking leader, Vanderveer has an extensive educational background with a Bachelor’s degree from Mountain State University in organizational leadership, and Master’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in education, human resource development. More than 25 years ago, she began her career with Pizza Hut/Yum! Brands, working in restaurant operations, and since then has served in a multitude of human resources executive positions. Most recently, Vanderveer served as Senior Vice President of People for the national headquarters of SONIC®.

Anita Vanderveer, SVP, Chief People Officer, Panera Bread“This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve always admired Panera and I’m thrilled to lead the people organization and our world class associate experience initiatives,” Vanderveer said.

Congratulations to Kelley and Vanderveer on their new positions! Deli Market News will continue to keep you updated on new and exciting staffing changes.

Panera Bread

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