Donatos founder joins Ohio University’s Women in Entrepreneurship Day

Terry Austin Plant-Collins and Austin Ambrose
November 7, 2016

The Center for Entrepreneurship will host Jane Grote Abell, Chairwoman of the Board for Donatos Pizza, on Tuesday, November 15 from 5 – 6 p.m. in honor of Women in Entrepreneurship Day.   Students and the public are invited to attend her lecture in Baker 240/242 on “The Missing Piece: Doing Business the Donatos Way” and are encouraged to stay for the free pizza reception.  She’ll share her company’s millennial recruitment strategy, her 4C’s of success, and what it’s like going “undercover” on CBS’s hit series “Undercover Boss."

In addition to the lecture, Grote Abell will speak to a marketing class about the restaurant industry and meet with women student leaders from across campus.

Jim Grote, Jane’s father, started Donatos on the South Side of Columbus in 1963. Under his ownership, Donatos has expanded from a small business, to what it is today. Jane Grote Abell has been working for Donatos for the past four decades, and has held a variety of roles. In 1988, she was promoted to Chief People Officer because of her strong passion for people. She served in this role during the acquisition by McDonald’s in 1999. In 2003, Grote Abell was a major catalyst behind the decision to purchase Donatos back from McDonald’s. With these leadership positions, she has been able to help steer the company’s business strategy. Since taking the position of Chairwoman of the Board in 2010, Grote Abell has had more time to focus on her work outside of Donatos.

In 2014, Grote Abell was added to the YWCA Columbus Academy of Women of Achievement, named CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO magazine, and Franchise Update Magazine listed her as one of the Top 24 Women in Franchising. In 2015, she released her first book THE MISSING PIECE: Doing Business the Donatos Way about leadership, authenticity, and running a values-based business.

Ohio University’s second annual Women in Entrepreneurship Day is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week which is celebrated in 160 countries and sponsored on campus by the Ohio Women in Business, TechGROWTH Ohio and the Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.