photo by Todd Langley, AVID Golfer
founder of Noodles & Co.
Keynote speaker Nov. 8
AARON KENNEDY is the founder of Noodles & Company, a high growth quick-casual restaurant with 400 locations around the U.S. He launched the business in 1995, was CEO/Chairman until 2008. He now serves on the board of directors for Sartori Cheese Company, Sterling Rice Group and Modern Market.
He recently served a two-year assignment as chief marketing officer for the State of Colorado. His mission was to unite the state’s 25 agencies under one brand identity and position Colorado to become more competitive in the global marketplace for talent, trade and tourism.
Prior to Noodles & Company, Aaron was marketing director for the NY design firm BrandImage, directing branding projects for Coca-Cola, Swiss Army Products, and the PGA. Before the internet, he worked for Pepsi Cola Company as brand manager of Brand Pepsi and at Oscar Mayer, where he helped develop and launch Lunchables.
He’s 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 was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young. Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism/English at Augustana College and his MBA from UW-Madison.