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The Power List 2019: Brenda Lauderback

Steering Denny’s to success

The annual NRN Power List is the definitive list of people setting foodservice trends today and shaping them for tomorrow. See the full list >>

Brenda J. Lauderback, board chair, Denny’s Corp.

Brenda Lauderback was named a Denny Corp.’s director in May 2005 and has served as board chair since May 2016, overseeing the corporate governance as the family-dining brand grew and weathered the Great Recession.

Her roots in merchandising, marketing and product development run deep. Before joining Spartanburg, S.C.-based Denny’s, she had served as president of Nine West Group Inc., a footwear manufacturer and distributor, and was a vice president and general merchandise manager for Target Corp.

Her background and leadership have propelled Denny’s to grand-slam performance. With more than 1,700 owned and franchised locations globally, the company was forecasting its fiscal 2018 would be its eighth consecutive year with positive same-store sales growth.

The company has increased awareness with its popular $2 $4 $6 $8 Value Menu. One in five guests visits Denny’s because of those value offerings, the company’s research indicates. And Denny’s in the past three years has changed more than 50 percent of its menu to provide more margin-friendly products.

Lauderback’s influence extends not only within Denny’s but to the larger corporate governance community.

Lauderback is a National Association of Corporate Directors board leadership fellow and was named in 2017 to the NACD Directorship 100, an annual list that recognizes leading corporate directors and corporate-governance experts who impact performance.

Correction: January 24, 2019
This story has been edited to correct the year of chairmanship.
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