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  • titleOur People
  • titleFood
  • titleSocial Impact
  • titleDistinctively KFC

HYPE Presents: 35 Under 35—Stephanie Hess

KFCOur People, Social ImpactKyndall H.July 30, 2021

HYPE (Hungry Young Professionals Engaging) is an ERG based at our Lousiville, 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 Stephanie, Field Training Leader & Internal Social Engagement Specialist for KFC US, below: 

Stephanie Hess

What is a recent achievement you wish to share?

Over the past several months, I've been able to share best practices with Pizza Hut, KFC Canada, KFC UK, and KFC South Africa for internal social engagement and KFC Canada for new restaurant opening training and HR support. Being able to partner with other BMU's and a sister brand is extremely energizing and being able to meet extended members of the KFC and Yum! family was THE BEST!!

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

I have the honor of running our internal engagement social platform designed to connect our entire franchise system with each other, and the brand. Through KFC Strong I’ve been able to celebrate DE&I with this population via weekly posts during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Pride to name a few. This is an amazing platform the brand is able to use to further our DE&I efforts and I’m proud to spearhead that effort on behalf of KFC on KFC Strong. 

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

The late, great RBG will most likely always be the most influential leader for me. On a personal level, “My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.” speaks to the very heart of who I am. On a professional level, "I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability." is 100% what I attempt to do daily. On a human level, "Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you." and "Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time." guide me and keep me going. She was a real-life superhero to me. I have learned and will continue to learn so much to take into my career, my marriage, and my future from her. 

Tell us something about yourself you would love to share

I am a Plant Lady with a goal of connecting all planty people in the Yum! family so I recently started Planted. This affinity group of humble beginnings is destined to increase education around native plants, create more pollinator gardens in our own backyards, improve our mental health, get more plants in the hands of our members via plant swaps, and all in all provide a place where we can share our love of all things green!

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

Nachos Bell Grande

Hype 35 Under 35

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