Internal Development Spotlight! Lesley Conard – Director of Operations
Written by Lesley
I started at TB when I was 16 years-old, as a weekend cashier and prep person. I became a Shift Leader (SL) when I turned 18, and helped with the opening of several new TB stores in neighboring cities. I worked full-time as SL for about 5 years, while I also held an additional part-time job and went to school. I was offered the AGM role many times, but I did not want all of those “responsibilities” that I heard my AGM complain about, and the store that I worked in was pretty chaotic sometimes. Knowing my reasons for not wanting to step up, I like to really share my story with SL’s who are apprehensive about promoting to see what is holding them back.
I finally became an Assistant, after realizing that I could make a difference in my store and help the other SL’s along the way. I held that role for about 6 months before being given an opportunity to run my own store. I spent about 2 years as an RGM, before I was certified as a Market Training Manager, which was one of my favorite positions! I trained managers in my market for about 8 years and I loved every day of it. In 2004, my restaurant ranked “Best of the Best” in the Golden Bell rankings, and my husband and I traveled to Hawaii with several other leaders from Taco Bell. It was a very enlightening experience for me and exposed me to some great people… I knew then that Taco Bell was where I wanted to be and I was hungry to do more.
After Hawaii, I interviewed with a few of my peers for the CER Specialist role and I was chosen for the job. I was a CER Specialist for about 18 months, with a large territory covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Northern California. I spend most of my time in hotels and away from my family, but that role really challenged me personally and professionally. In 2007, I was offered a Field Staffing Leader position with Taco Bell Corp, as part of their HR team. I had a home office for the first time ever and I worked specifically to staff the stores in the NW with external salaried managers. I also worked closely with the IT team to get the Hiring Zone perfected for the field.
In 2009, I made the decision to leave TBC after 22 years. I then joined Pacific Bells and took over Area 12 in Eastern Oregon as an Area Coach. I worked in Eastern Oregon and then took over Area 13 (a local area) about 2 years later. In 2013, I was promoted to an SAC and oversaw 2 areas in Oregon. About 3 months later, I was promoted to Director of Operations, which is my current position.