Our 4th Annual Women's Issue of Franchise Update magazine featured profiles of 28 "C-Suite Women" who are not presidents, CEOs, or founders. While not necessarily in the spotlight, these women fill critical roles necessary for a franchise system to prosper and grow. Their titles run the C-Suite gamut: chief marketing/brand officers, chief financial/accounting officers, chief development officers, chief legal officers, chief operating officers, chief technology/information officers, chief people/talent/HR officers, a chief communications officer, and a chief quality, supply chain, and commercialization officer. Several hold dual positions, including executive vice president, senior vice president, vice president, co-owner, co-founder, and board member. In short, effective female leaders who help make the franchise world go round. In recognition of their contributions to their systems, their franchisees, and to franchising as a whole, we're presenting their profiles, two per week.
This week: Sally Baldridge, Chief Operating & Financial Officer at Jazzercise, and Victoria Blackwell, Chief Legal Officer at Papa Murphy's .
Title: Chief Operating & Financial Officer
Years in franchising: 35
Years with current brand: 35
Franchised units: 8,300+
Total units: 8,300+
Brand revenue: NA
Background: Sally Baldridge started in the mailroom at Jazzercise almost 35 years ago, and has worked her way up to the posts (yes, plural) she holds now: Chief Operating & Financial Officer. She graduated from California State University Long Beach with a degree in business with an emphasis in finance. After graduating, she applied for a job at Jazzercise, but the job market in San Diego was tight. She landed a temp job with Jazzercise, typing orders and labels and learning everything she could about the company from the ground up. After 4 months, she moved into a data input position for the company's new accounting system. Following that, she started working for the CFO, moved into accounting, and was well on her way to her current leadership role.
Title: Chief Legal Officer
Brand: Papa Murphy's
Years in franchising: 15
Years with current brand: 15
Franchised units: 1,414
Total units: 1,582
Background: After receiving her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1992, Blackwell has spent her career providing legal counsel, strategy, and advice that supports the long-term strategies and initiatives of her employers. Before Papa Murphy's, she spent three years as Staff Attorney at KinderCare Learning Centers. In 2001, she made the move to franchising and has been leading the legal department at Papa Murphy's ever since. Throughout the years, she has enjoyed the relationship with franchise owners and the challenges of growing a nationwide brand. As she balanced the priorities of working and raising two daughters, Papa Murphy's provided more than just professional growth: its ready-to-bake meals helped her save invaluable time. She has led the brand through two private equity acquisitions, was promoted to Chief Legal Officer in 2012, and helped guide the company through a 2014 IPO while supporting the rapid national growth of a franchise-based business model
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