Culture Shift: Making More Room for Women at the Top


We’re proud to announce a new companywide initiative to empower more DRG women to sit at the head table, an idea that came directly from the President and CEO, SG Ellison. While our company has successfully cultivated plenty of female restaurant managers and area coaches, historically, DRG’s executive team has remained all male. And we admit, it’s noticeable!


At DRG, we’re committed to giving more opportunities to women that they wouldn’t otherwise have.


Our new Women in Leadership (WIL) Initiative aims to impact everyone — not just women — to change the perception of women’s roles throughout DRG. According to Communications & Media Manager Sierra Burk, who has been tapped to co-lead the initiative, SG wants to see the executive team look diverse within the next couple of years.

DRG plans to double in size by 2028. To successfully lead a company of that size, we cannot excel without diversity. We need female leaders at the top, too.

As the only female currently highlighted on our team page, Sierra is personally invested in this cause. Often times, she’s found herself being the only woman in the room and on business trips. She wished there had been another female to connect with in those instances.

“I want to make it so when a promotion does open up, our women are top of mind and feel confident and competent enough to chase after that next stage of their careers,” Sierra says. 

For months, Sierra has been working closely with WIL Initiative co-lead Katrina Davis, DRG’s Kansas City HR Business Partner, to define the goals of this program. Together the two have researched and vetted several women-focused programs and organizations. Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) is the perfect fit!

“Their ‘bread and butter’ is lifting up women in the restaurant industry,” Sierra says.

So What Now?

We recognized the first group of WIL honorees at our recent Leadership Summit with a special pinning ceremony and private luncheon with some of Taco Bells’ leading ladies: Kelly McCullough (Global Chief People Officer), Julie Davis (Global Chief Legal Officer) and Liz Matthews (Global Chief Food Innovation Officer). It was a great kickoff!

Annually, DRG will invite a new class of female stars to join the WIL group, which will include a mix of office and restaurant leaders (area coach or coordinator level and up). WIL members will become privy to some special professional development perks including:

  • A membership to WFF;
  • Access to WFF content and events;
  • Monthly “lunch and learn” events with female leaders to facilitate discussion on obstacles, growth, professional goals, etc;
  • The opportunity to network, mentor and empower other women at DRG!

“We want it to feel like a tight-knit, supportive family,” Sierra shares. The goal is to find ways to regularly lift women up and inspire. 

This is our year to see what we can unlock inside ourselves.

Meet Our First Class of WIL Honorees

Without further ado, please join us in congratulating our first cohort of WIL honorees, an impressive group of women we’re lucky to have in our ranks! 

  • Alexys Andaya, HR Coordinator
  • Ariana Gomez, Area Coach, Winner of Core Value Award: We Do the Right Thing
  • Criselle Quiambao, Controller
  • Debbie King, Area Coach
  • Diana Flores, Area Coach
  • Dion McKinnon, Sr. Area Coach, “Area Coach of the Year” for Taco Bell Nevada
  • Dolores Gonzales, Area Coach, Winner of Core Value Award: We Do the Right Thing
  • Hayley O’Connor, Field Trainer, Winner of Core Value Award: We Have Fun
  • Katherine Hemminger, Area Coach, Winner of Core Value Award: We Are Authentic
  • Katrina Davis, Kansas City HR Business Partner
  • Laura Fuentes, Area Coach
  • Maria Villicano, Area Coach
  • Paola Heredia, Area Coach
  • Sarah Schneider, Sr. IT System Admin
  • Sera Lee, Accounting Manager
  • Sierra Burk, Communications & Media Manager
  • Stephanie Juarez, Area Coach
  • Tanya Szabo, Area Coach, Winner of Core Value Award: We Win Together as ONE DRG
  • Tiyanna Mothershed, North Calif. HR Business Partner
  • Victoria Eckert, Area Coach, “Area Coach of the Year” for Arby’s Nevada

Other Notable Female Leaders

Read about some of the other ambitious women who’ve developed a career at DRG: