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Aaron Kennedy, the founder of Noodles & Company who just completed a two-year assignment as Chief Marketing Officer for the State of Colorado, will be the keynote speaker at the City of Fort Collins Business Appreciation Breakfast May 21.
Mayor Karen Weitkunat and other City officials will join Kennedy at the breakfast celebrating local businesses from 7:30-9 a.m. Wednesday, May 21, at the Fort Collins Marriott, 350 E. Horsetooth Rd. There is no charge to attend the breakfast, but space is limited and registration is required at fcgov.com/business. The event will be followed by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott. Register at fortcollinschamber.com.
Kennedy’s mission for the state was to help Colorado become more competitive in the global marketplace for talent, trade and tourism. He launched Noodles & Co., a high-growth, quick and casual restaurant with over 350 locations around the United States in 1995 and handed over Chairman/CEO reins in 2008.
Prior to Noodles & Co., Kennedy worked as Marketing Director in NY for the design firm BrandImage, directing brand design projects for Coca-Cola, Swiss Army Products, and the PGA Tour. In the early ‘90s, he worked for Pepsi Cola Co. as brand manager of Brand Pepsi, and while at Kraft/General Foods in the late 1980s he helped develop and launch Lunchables, now a $1 billion brand.
Kennedy is a member of the Inc. 500 Hall of Fame for making the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies five years in a row, and has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and English at Augustana College and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The Business Appreciation Breakfast is presented as part of Fort Collins Startup Week, sponsored in part by the City of Fort Collins. Fort Collins Startup Week is a celebration of everything entrepreneurial in Northern Colorado, culminating in the inaugural Blue Ocean Enterprise Challenge business pitch competition. The City of Fort Collins is a major sponsor of the Blue Ocean Enterprise Challenge. For more information on Fort Collins Startup Week, visit www.ftcstartupweek.co. For more information on the Blue Ocean Enterprise Challenge, go to http://blueoceanchallenge.com/.