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The Slider Queen
If you’re the chief steward of your family’s 96-year-old burger brand known for its iconic 2-inch square sliders and off-beat buildings you might not want to mess with things — unless you’re Lisa Ingram. A fourth-generation CEO of White Castle, Ingram is committed to ensuring her family’s beloved brand continues to thrive, and she’s making it happen, in part, through menu changes aimed at the next generation of customers.
Known for: She began her career as a student of marketing and business and spent nearly two decades moving up the ranks of the company co-founded by her great-grandfather. She was named president in 2013 and took the helm as CEO of the 400-unit chain in 2016.
Power move: Under Ingram’s leadership, the chain’s menu — which remained unchanged for the first 40 years of the brand’s existence — has in recent years grown to include a number of new items, including black bean and veggie sliders. The chain has also experimented with Belgian waffle egg sandwiches, pizza sliders and Italian chicken sliders.
What’s next: Ingram’s plans include expansion of the brand’s retail division, which currently has a presence in all 50 states and represents 20 percent of sales. Expect her to keep experimenting with new menu and marketing moves that keep the brand relevant and, in her words, “a wonderful place to work for the next 96 years.”