Meet Kathleen

Kathleen is the founder of Kathleen Wood Partners, LLC, an innovative growth strategy firm, specializing in shifting leaders and businesses to new levels of success. Kathleen and her partners offer strategic consulting services, brand development, keynote presentations and results-driven solutions for hospitality, healthcare, service, manufacturing and retail clients. Her firm consistently works with Fortune 500 leaders, INC 1000 founders and entrepreneurs.

In August of 2012, Kathleen and her sister Sue Tierno and niece Jen Tierno launched their concept Suzy’s Swirl in Gurnee, Illinois. Suzy’s Swirl is a self-serve yogurt, gelato and sorbetto shop. Their vision is to re-ignite the American Dream through swirling frozen goodness, swirling greatness and swirling gratitude with their innovative franchise program. In June of 2014, they opened their second location in Lake Bluff, IL.

Kathleen is a nationally recognized growth strategist, motivational speaker and author, and a proven leader in business and non-profits. She blends her corporate sensibility and rigor with entrepreneurial vigor and innovation to deliver sustainable solutions. In 2010 she published her first book, The BEST Shift of Your Life – The Restaurant Manager’s Guide for Success Outside the Restaurant.

Before founding her own companies, Kathleen served as the President and COO of Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers from 2005–2007. During her tenure, she led the organization through the impacts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the extensive recovery process that followed and through an unprecedented 100% growth in two years. The highlights of Kathleen’s tenure as President and COO included sales growth from $24M to $100M, expansion of store locations from 24 to 68, geographic expansion from 3 states to 14 states and increase of workforce from 800 to 2100. The most significant contribution however was the development of a strategic platform for growth while maintaining the integrity of the Raising Cane’s culture and brand.

Kathleen is also a featured speaker and keynote presenter at corporate events, association meetings and multiple industry functions. The following is a sample of her recent presentation platforms:

• The People Report Quick Service Symposium - 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
• Fast Casual Summit
• TDn2K Global Best Practices Conference
• New York Hotel and Restaurant Show
• The Interim Healthcare National Conference
• The Association of Healthcare Foodservice

Kathleen is currently a board member for the People Report™ and Women’s Foodservice Forum, People Matter Strategic Advisory Board, Bama International and she is the co-founder of The Foodservice Council for Women. Kathleen is a past president and board member of Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers.

She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in hotel restaurant and management from University of Wisconsin – Stout and Master in Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago.