Anna Baldwin is an award winning Operations Strategist with 20-plus years of professional experience. As the Chief Operating Officer at Innovative Dining Group and Native Foods Café, Anna was responsible for providing the strategic and tactical operational leadership to leverage the passion and culture to achieve sales, earnings and growth targets.
Prior to serving as a COO, Anna catered to restaurants, wireless and other retail companies to grow sales and profitability. Her specialty is as an Innovative Process Strategist with a proven ability to analyze the business in order to understand and prioritize the core issues facing the company. Grounded in systemic processes to refocus, reinvent and move sales and performance to the highest level.
At Darden Restaurants Anna was a member of a key engineering team that partnered with Kempner-Tregoe, an expert in systematic, data driven approaches to root cause analysis. The team reported findings and solutions directly to the executive committee. The mission was to determine why actual operating performance diverged from desired results. The small team aligned company standards with beliefs and values and created the balanced scorecard, an annual performance appraisal, automated guest feedback process, implementation plan and improved KPI reporting. They also made sure that all levels – from EVPs to restaurant managers were aligned.
Anna took an unusual career turn from restaurants to wireless to diversify her background. She had an unusually fast career path with Verizon Wireless. Anna led the retail sales team from the bottom 10% of performance the top 1% of all sales teams in the nation. She was promoted to the Business channel as an Associate Director, and then promoted to lead the Retail Operations team in Southern California. By capitalizing on her experiences in the restaurant business combined with a thirst for knowledge and a drive to be the best, wireless helped Anna to have the necessary skills to start her own business.
Anna’s consulting practiced focused on creating structured solutions that solve chaotic business problems. Her innate talent is that she see’s the interacting parts of the business even when there are “holes” in communication. Anna is the liaison between the entrepreneurial leadership and the task-oriented foundation of the team. By seeing the needs, she created systems and solutions to provide both elements what they needed to be effective and successful. Client Highlights: Rainbow Room, Starbucks, Lincoln Motor Company, Native Foods Cafe, GoWireless, Drybar, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, Ctuit, ThinkFoodGroup, and Friendly’s.
Anna is at her best when she works with a company that is looking for a partner to work side by side with their team to teach them how to evaluate an issue differently than they have done so in the past, seeking the root cause of an issue, learning how to evaluate systemically and solve the root cause, not the symptom.
As a consultant, Anna designed and implemented a wide range of programs including performance management, developed a licensing program for wireless, gap analysis, due diligence, B2B sales training, leadership development, crucial conversations, P&L training, strategic selling, strategic planning, brand revitalization, large system implementations, conflict resolution, manpower planning, strategy for effective meetings and leadership succession planning.
Anna lives with her husband Ed just outside of Asheville, NC. In her spare time she enjoys visiting her daughter Brianna and “Grandhorse” in MD, and keeps busy hiking with her two rescue dogs, paddle boarding, golfing and traveling. Anna and Ed have visited over 25 National Parks and the journey continues.
Anna is currently a Board Member at Red Bucket Equine Rescue (non-profit) in Chino Hills, CA and has been involved with the organization since 2009.