Will Cash ‘10
Director of International Supply Chain,
“In 2008 I enrolled in a dual degree program offered by the Patterson School and the Gatton College of Business and Economics. This program made it possible to obtain a Masters degree in Diplomacy and International Commerce and a Masters in Business Administration in just two year's time. I wanted an MBA to be able to compete for jobs in the private sector – I wanted the Patterson degree to acquire the global skill set needed to land not just any executive position, but one centered on international business. Fortunately, this turned out to be the perfect recipe for success.
Between my business and diplomacy courses, I completed a three-month summer internship working in the International Department at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, headquartered in Atlanta. Most people do not realize that Popeyes is the second largest group of quick service chicken restaurants in the world (over 2,000 restaurants). Starting with Toronto in 1984, the company's global presence has already grown to 400 + restaurants in more than 25 countries. During my internship, I worked on Supply Chain / Logistics and immediately became fascinated with the complexities and challenges of effectively managing a global supply chain for a restaurant company growing so quickly.
I was delighted when Popeyes tapped me to be a Supply Chain Analyst immediately upon graduation from the Patterson School. I was next promoted to Supply Chain Manager, focusing primarily on the Americas (Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean), but also providing support to the Popeyes' markets in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. In this position, much of my responsibility was dealing with the enormous quantity of food and packaging products that we export from the US to each unique international market.
In the restaurant business, the right ingredients make all the difference and Popeyes liked what I brought to the table. While an MBA was important, my Patterson School education provided the extra kick Popeyes was looking for. I used the skills and knowledge that I learned at the Patterson School every single day. Not just the practical lessons related to international commerce, but even more, professional writing, public speaking, analytics, and cross-cultural understanding.
My success there brought me to Winston-Salem, NC to work with Krispy Kreme, a major food chain specializing in doughnuts and coffee, with more than twice the annual revenue of Popeyes. With already a presence in 21 countries and more than 600 stores, I embrace the challenge of helping build the supply chains needed to take Krispy Kreme to the next level. My responsibilities include leading strategic sourcing initiatives, managing the roll-out of new products, managing the relationships with overseas 3rd party manufacturers and distributors, and leading new market expansion efforts. Our target is 900 international franchises by 2017, with plans to develop our existing markets such as India, Japan, and Russia, while also expanding into new markets in South America and Europe.
I am very grateful for the quality education I received at the Patterson School, as well as the bonds that I formed with my fellow classmates and the faculty. It has already helped make the difference between a regular career and a spicy one. I must say as I start my new position with Krispy Kreme, that the future looks increasingly "sweet."