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  • titleOur People
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HYPE Presents: 35 Under 35—Ronita McDonald

KFCOur People, Social ImpactKyndall H.February 24, 2021

HYPE (Hungry Young Professionals Engaging) is an ERG based at our Louisville, Kentucky campus. They recently launched their 35 under 35 campaign which aims to highlight 35 young professionals from now until the end of the year who are making a difference in our company and practicing allyship. Learn more about Ronita, Training & Organizational Development Analyst for KFC US, below:

Ronita

What is a recent achievement you wish to share?

I worked on developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page of TeamKFC for several months. It was an exciting project, but I also felt the weight of it because this impacts so many people. My intention is to open people up to exploring the full spectrum of diversity which extends well beyond what our eyes perceive. I am grateful for everyone who shared feedback and support during this process. I believe everyone has a place at KFC and I want to use my voice to make sure everyone feels valued because we all matter.

How are you an ally/practicing allyship for an underrepresented community?

I believe knowledge leads to understanding. I enjoy learning new information. Once I have it, I like to apply it. First, I do an internal check to hold myself accountable. In work and daily life, I try to reign in initial reactions to consider situations from several perspectives before deciding on a course of action. I know that sounds vague, but it is difficult to be more specific because each situation is unique.  I watch YouTube, documentaries, and even sitcoms from the lens of how this could make me a more well-rounded person. I enjoy talking with anyone to learn more about them, their values, and what matters to them.  To gain understanding of different viewpoints, histories and experiences productive and respectful conversations must happen. I can relate it to baking bread. For me, talking is key, it is like the flour...and listening is like the yeast that makes the dough rise, without it the dough will never fully be recognized as it was intended to.

Who is an influential leader for you (outside of Yum/brand) and why?

JoAnn Orr of the Sickle Cell Association of Kentuckiana pours her knowledge into me each time we speak. I watch how she uses her voice, time, and resources to serve others.   As a retired US Army Officer, she stays active by serving Meals on Wheels, Dare to Care, and other volunteer opportunities. and an advocate for elderly, families, and children who are easily overlooked. She inspires me to give more, not hoarding material things when I see a need.  She encourages me to expand my view and speak up; not solely focusing on my needs, but addressing gaps that can educate, support, and uplift all people. During our conversations we identify several challenges evident in our community and the world. After discussing these topics I don't feel overwhelmed, tired, or hopeless; instead I am energized and excited to do my part to shape the environment and the world I live in. I am not sure how she does it, but that is what I value most.

Tell us something about yourself you would love to share

Less about me… I really appreciate the truth-tellers I have in my life. When I have questions, or doubts, or fears I can contact them for advice. There are times when I need to be sure my compass is still pointing north and those are tough but necessary conversations to have. I am the person I am because of the people who stand by me and challenge me, even when uncomfortable. My brother is a sounding board (that enjoys sharing his KFC thoughts with me because, of course, I personally can bring back his favorite products-LOL). He recently became a true fan of Mario Lopez’s interpretation of the Colonel!

What is your favorite menu item from any of our brands (it's ok if it's not your brand)

KFC Dill pickle sandwich

Hype 35 Under 35

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