Jane joins Heather R. Younger for episode 204 of the Leaders with Heart Podcast

In this episode, Heather sits down with Jane Grote Abell, the Chairwoman of the Board of Donatos Pizza. Over the last four decades, Jane has held a variety of positions at both Donatos Pizza and Jane’s Dough Foods, including Chief Executive Officer. Her father, ​​Jim Grote, and their family built Donatos into a successful pizza chain, then sold it to McDonald’s. After seeing it struggle under McDonald’s, Jane convinced her family to buy the family business back. Since then, Jane and her family have dedicated both time and money to the chain restaurant’s home city of Columbus, Ohio. Jane has been named various titles, such as the YWCA Columbus Academy of Women of Achievement, CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO Magazine, and a Top 24 Women in Franchising by Franchise Update Magazine.


Key Takeaways: 

  • Connecting with people is the truest form of leadership
  • Their company was sold to McDonald’s and then bought back when it was struggling
  • Leadership is a choice
  • Giving back to your community is essential
  • Giving back doesn’t always have to be about money
  • Sometimes it’s best to keep the business within the family
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