Anne Beiler began twisting pretzels in 1987 to support her husband’s vision to offer free counseling services in their community. What began as a single farmer’s market stand grew into Auntie Anne’s Inc., the world’s largest hand rolled soft pretzel franchise with over 1,200 locations worldwide. Anne is among an elite group of women that have founded national companies in America, and is one of an even smaller number that have owned an international franchise company.
Anne’s journey to become a leading female entrepreneur began many years before the first pretzel was rolled. In September of 1975, Anne and her husband experienced any parent’s worst nightmare – the loss of a child. This event propelled Anne into years of darkness during which she nearly lost her husband, her family, and her faith. Out of her pain came purpose and the desire to persevere towards personal and professional success.
Anne’s vision to serve, inspire, and give has been recognized multiple times. She was named one of America’s 500 women entrepreneurs by Working Women and Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine. Anne’s Entrepreneurial insights and personal story have been featured on national television shows including Secret Millionaire, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, ANDERSON, The 700 Club, and The Joyce Meyers Show. She has been featured in Fortune Magazine, Guidepost, Nation’s Restaurant News and Christianity Today. Anne has also received honorary doctorates from Eastern College and Elizabethtown College.
Auntie Anne Beiler’s commitment to excellence is rooted in the belief that we give to get, to give again; and that success can only be realized when you have a great product, great people on your team, and a purpose greater than yourself.
In 2005, Anne sold Auntie Anne’s and authored Twist of Faith, a revealing look at the inner workings of her life while building an international corporation. Today, she is a highly sought after public speaker inspiring audiences around the world. She lives in Texas with her husband Jonas. They are parents to two daughters, both married, and proud grandparents to four grandchildren.
Manager, Product Development - Product Strategy and Development
Brian Wray is the category leader for the breakfast and dessert menus at Chick-fil-A, Inc., a privately held quick-service restaurant chain with 2013 revenues exceeding $5 billion.
After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995, Brian served as a U.S. Army infantry officer for six years. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne and Air Assault Schools, and the Army Ranger Training School. While stationed with the 7th ATC in Hohenfels, Germany, Brian earned the Expert Infantryman’s Badge and was awarded three Army Achievement Medals and two Army Commendation Medals before leaving military service at the rank of Captain in 2001.
Since May 2001, Brian has helped lead menu innovation at Chick-fil-A. As a leader in Chick-fil-A's Product Strategy group, he has planned and coordinated the launch of nine new menu items and oversaw numerous product improvements. Brian has been a member of the Chick-fil-A Menu Strategy Team, Financial Return Innovation Team and served as a Planning & Budget Representative for the Product Strategy & Development department.
In the midst of this work, Brian earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in 2005. Go Blue Devils!
Brian lives in Smyrna, Georgia with his two children – Meghan (11) and Jake (7). He is an active member of North Point Community Ministries and serves at and attends Buckhead Church. He enjoys escorting his kids to their many school activities at Whitefield Academy in Mableton, GA, occasionally playing a round of golf and reading the latest best-selling book.
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