Networld Media Group’s fast casual restaurant industry news and information site is featuring 27 of the industry’s most innovative and successful female leaders in its annual interview series.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, has released its third annual “Women in the Lead” series featuring interviews with 27 of the restaurant industry’s most innovative and successful female leaders.

Part 1 of the “Women in the Lead” series includes interviews with these executives:

• Jackie Lobdell, executive director of Franchise Development, Slim Chickens
• Kristi Kingery, SVP of Supply Chain & Quality Assurance, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
• Michelle Bythewood, president, Salata Salad Kitchen
• Ursula Lane, senior manager of Franchise Recruitment, Checkers & Rally’s
• Lauren Gruel, VP of Marketing, Slapfish
• Gwen Graham, president, Miller’s Roast Beef
• Andrea Allen, chief accounting and administrative officer, Rave Restaurant Group
• Diana Holley, VP of Marketing, Willy’s Mexicana Grill
• Donna Josephson, SVP and CMO, Corner Bakery Cafe
• Dennie Laney, VP of Training & People Development, Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes
• Ali Rauch, director of Marketing, Chicken Salad Chick
• Jodie Conrad, VP of Marketing, Fazoli’s
• Rachel Phillips-Luther, founder and CMO, Up Inspired Kitchen
• Christina Coy, VP of Marketing, Pie Five Pizza

Part 2 of the series will be published on Tuesday and feature these executives:

• Dawn Nielsen, COO, Kolache Factory
• Vanessa Duffy, digital marketing manager, Dog Haus
• Christina Bourg, SVP of Marketing, Rotolo’s Pizzeria & Rotolo’s Craft & Crust
• Alexandria Atwell , director of Marketing, Salata Salad Kitchen
• Amanda Powell, director of Operations & Training, Coolgreens
• Hala Habal, VP of Corporate Communications, Which Wich
• Robin Gittrich, VP of Human Resources, Toppers Pizza
• Cheryl Fletcher, SVP of Franchise Development, Tropical Smoothie Cafe
• Liz Worley, director of Marketing, Teriyaki Madness
• Joni Hay-Smith, brand manager, Pita Pit
• Janene Holig, founding chef, Hot Indian
• Shelley Wolford, SVP of Communications & Strategy, Golden Corral Corporation
• April Dennis, chief brand officer, Hwy 55 Burgers

“This is the third year we’ve published this series and I’m happy to say it is much easier to find women in leadership roles to feature,” said Cherryh Cansler, vice president of Networld Media Group, the company that publishes “We still have a long way to go in leveling the playing field, but the restaurant industry is starting to recognize how important female leadership is to its growth and success.”

Read Part 1 of “Women in the Lead” here.

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) global media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the mobile, self-service, digital signage, retail, food service and financial services industries. Online properties include,,,,,,,,, and Networld event properties include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, Interactive Customer Experience Summit, Bank Customer Experience Summit and the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit. Networld also operates the ICX Association. BOOM! Creative, provides clients with digital creative, custom media and brand collateral. Its newest offering, World of Money, is a daily e-newsletter that provides a fun and informative look at the trends, technologies, and ideas shaping the future of money and payments.

Read the full press release.