The Power Table: Kim Hoeckendorf, Boston Market, & Janice McEachen, Dinova

The Power Table is a symbol of diversity, unity, and empowerment. Once a quarter, Dinova will be setting the table and featuring food industry rockstars who wear many hats in their life roles; professionals, leaders, parents, mentors. These individuals are nominated by their peers to be featured here, at the Power Table. We will share their stories, and how they grew into the people they are today through their different and unique life experiences.

At the table this month, we’re featuring Kim Hoeckendorf, Senior Director Off-Premise Sales at Boston Market, and Janice McEachen, Director, Strategic Accounts at Dinova. Read on to learn their stories, what they bring to the table, and what’s on the menu for success.

Kim Hoeckendorf was nominated to be featured in the Power Table by Frankie Siegrist, Director of Accounts, National & Regional Groups, at Dinova. When asked why she nominated Kim, Frankie said:

“Kimberly Hoeckendorf began her career at the bottom and through hard work and tenacity, has built her way up to Senior Direction, Boston Market. On a personal level, she has demonstrated strength and perseverance in dealing with her child’s illness. She is a true inspiration and leader.”

1. What’s your advice for young professionals starting out in the industry?
Make sure you have grit, tenacity and are always transparent. Experience and education are important, but they can’t always get you through the tough times or create the trust that is so key in a business environment.
2. What was one of your career highs?
Some of my all-time favorite career moments came when I was fortunate enough to promote my first manager, my first district manager, my first regional manager of sales and so on. It is so satisfying to see others succeed, and I’m so thankful to be a part of their journey!
3. Give us the elevator pitch for your restaurant.
Boston Market has been giving time back to busy families for more than 30 years with quality, home style meals at a convenient value. We’re known as the experts in rotisserie cooking, and we prepare all-natural and fresh, never frozen chicken and USDA choice Prime Rib in our signature rotisserie ovens each and every day. Oh, and who could forget our extensive selection of home style sides and made-from-scratch cornbread? We truly offer something for everyone.
4. What’s your why? (what motivates you)
I strive to help solve problems big and small while playing a key role in the growth of my organization. I am extremely results focused and often find my best successes when I can exceed goals, drive the business forward in a collaborative and creative way and aid in the development of others along the way.
5. Describe yourself as one of your menu items.
I would have to say I would describe myself as our classic Boston Market hot buffet. It’s like leading a team. There are a variety of ways to create it, and every item brings something different to the table, but when you put it all together, you can always come up with a way to exceed expectations.

About Kim: Kim Hoeckendorf began her journey with Boston Market at the beginning of 2019 and came on as the Senior Director of Off-Premise Sales.  This includes the catering business and strategy, the sales team, call center as well as partnerships with off-premise sales.  Kim has utilized her experience with operations to build a strong sales team and to create a strategy for the off-premise business at Boston Market including innovating the menu and offerings.

Kim started her food service career as an 18-year-old Barista at Starbucks Coffee Company.  In 2004, Kim started to explore new roles at Starbucks and worked in just about every café position including General Manager before being promoted to District Manager of Company Stores.  Kim later had responsibilities for Licensed Store business at Starbucks and finished her career there in a rotational assignment, working in Human Resources, Learning and Development, and process improvement/lean thinking teams.

In subsequent years, Kim worked as the Director of Operations for a franchise organization with multiple brands including Krispy Kreme, Auntie Anne’s, Popeye’s Chicken, Schlotzsky’s, Tropical Smoothie Café, and Cinnabon.  During this time, Kim was able to expand her food knowledge and operational expertise while leading the company to double digit positive comp sales. 

On a personal note, Kim has a 19-year-old daughter, Cassidy, who is currently attending college at the University of Nevada in Reno seeking a degree in social work.  This is a particular point of pride as Cassidy is a cancer survivor who battled the disease as an infant and again at 17 years of age.  Kim attributes her abilities to stay calm under pressure, challenge thinking and manage multiple priorities to being her daughter’s advocate and caregiver during this time.

Janice McEachen was nominated to be featured in the Power Table by Holly Welling, Channel Marketing Manager, Enterprise, at Dinova. When asked why she nominated Janice, Holly said:

“There are so many ways to build a career around food and restaurants, but Janice really is one of the most sincerely, fully immersed ‘food thinkers’ I’ve ever met. Her experiences are fascinating and the perspectives she shares never fail to inspire me.”

1. What’s your advice for young professionals starting out in the industry?
Don’t stop learning. Just because you landed the job doesn’t mean your education should stop. This industry is constantly evolving, keep up with what’s new and learn about the past. Read everything you can get your hands on, from Harold McGee to Julia Child. On your days off eat out to see what other cooks are creating, have your Chef help you arrange to stage at other restaurants, find out how Thomas Keller and Daniel Humm earned Michelin stars. Even if you work at a fast-casual restaurant there are lesson to be learned from these masters.
2. What was one of your career highs?
As the Food Forager and Director of Culinary Education at the Ocean House I got to meet with, and learn from, local growers and food artisans every day. When milk production became industrialized most family dairy farms in New England were forced out of business, others turned to cheese production. I spent a week in Vermont meeting with the amazing people that turned their farm around. They all had amazing stories and it was a joy to go back to the Ocean House and share their delicious cheese, and their stories, with our guests.
3. What’s your why? (what motivates you)
Food. I love shopping for it, learning about it, preparing it, especially for people I care about. Mostly, I love teaching others about cooking. Getting in the kitchen with a group of people that are eager to learn a new technique or how to use unfamiliar ingredients is so rewarding to me.
4. What is your all-time favorite restaurant meal?
Unfair question, I’ve enjoyed so many fabulous meals! Discovering “real” Mexican food when I moved to Southern California was such an eye opener. Growing up in New England I had never even tried an avocado! Border Grill in Santa Monica served the most amazing Carne Asada. Mexican remains at the top of my “favorite cuisines” list. More recently I’ve discovered Boqueria so whenever I’m in New York or DC I make it a point to stop in for Spanish tapas. It’s fun to ask the wait staff to bring their favorites, I love small plate dining.

About Janice: As a Client Development Manager at Dinova, Janice is responsible for a portfolio of clients with a focus on driving savings through the management of the business dining spend category through the use of the Dinova Preferred Dining Network. 

Janice enjoyed a 15 year career with Sabre and Get There before leaving the corporate travel arena to focus on her young family.  It was during this time that Janice’s passion for food and cooking led her to a culinary program and work as a personal chef.

Upon re-locating from Southern California back to her native Rhode Island Janice worked in Business Development for a shellfish company and more recently as the Director of Culinary Education and Food Forager for the Forbes Five Star Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.  Combining her corporate travel experience and her love for food Janice joined Dinova in November of 2014.

Janice resides in Rhode Island with her husband and teenage sons.

Have someone you’d like to nominate for the Power Table? Please email Katie Assoian, Digital Marketing Coordinator, at kassoian@dinova.com to learn how.

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