Ever wonder why a Wendy’s® hamburger is square? Our founder Dave Thomas started Wendy’s in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio with a simple idea. Great food, served hot and fresh, by nice people. And the square thing? That came from his childhood role model, Grandma Minnie, who told him to Never Cut Corners. Dave didn’t have the easiest childhood. He was adopted as a baby and then his adoptive mother died when he was very young. His father remarried three times and often struggled to find a job so the family moved around frequently. Dave found solace and community in restaurants – he recalled being eight years old when he first dreamed of starting a restaurant where “everyone would love my food.” Today, we remain committed to his ideals like Quality is our Recipe® (and we still don’t cut corners), and Do the Right Thing. With his childhood as our example, our signature cause is foster care adoption and finding homes for the hundreds of thousands of children who are waiting in foster care to find their forever families. Interested in hearing more? We’ll use this space to give you The Square Deal – our views on food, quality, culture, children’s issues and doing our best to make Dave proud.

Contributors

Liliana M. Esposito
Chief Communications Officer

The opportunity to help shape the future of an iconic brand that she’s loved since childhood brought Liliana Esposito to Wendy’s, where she’s served as Chief Communications Officer since June 2014. In this role, Liliana leads a staff of communications professionals responsible for public relations, internal communications, special events, government affairs, stakeholder outreach, corporate responsibility and philanthropy. 

Liliana has the privilege of serving as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, which tackles the critical need of finding forever families for children in the foster care system. She is also the president of the Wendy’s Foundation. She is passionate about leadership and development and serves as an executive sponsor of both Women of Wendy’s and WeQual, the company’s professional networks focused on women and LGBT employees. 

Liliana came to Wendy’s from Dean Foods Company, one of the nation’s largest dairy processors where she was Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. Her previous food industry experience includes tenure with Mars, Incorporated, as well as eight years of consulting experience with Burson Marsteller and Mercury Public Affairs, two leading public relations firms.

Liliana spent her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pa., and North Kingstown, RI. She graduated from the University of Virginia, receiving a B.A. with distinction. She completed her law degree at Seton Hall University, from which she graduated summa cum laude. 

Liliana lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two young children. When she’s not busy at work, she loves being outside with her kids or working in her garden.

BryAnn Roth
Manager of Brand Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility

Because her hometown didn't have a local Wendy’s, BryAnn Roth (you can call her Bry, but it’s pronounced Bree) wasn’t introduced to the restaurant chain until college when her sorority sisters suggested Wendy’s for their salads, chili and baked potatoes.  Little did she know in 2003, this eye-opening moment would lead her to a career path where she is continually inspired. 

Today, as Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Communications, Bry considers it her privilege to educate consumers and influencers about how Wendy’s is so much more than a hamburger restaurant—and not just because of what’s on the menu. It’s Bry’s job to tell the stories of civic engagement and responsible corporate citizenship through which Wendy’s continually strives to better local communities and the world at large.

Bry oversees the development and execution of strategy and tactics related to Wendy’s external communications, including corporate, executive, brand and responsibility communications.  She works closely with company officers and leadership team members to define a brand narrative that is aligned with cross-functional policies and practices. 

Prior to her current position, Bry served Wendy’s in a variety of communications roles.  She began her career as an Event Coordinator with the Arby’s Foundation. Bry graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Western Kentucky University. 

When she’s not busy sharing Wendy’s story, Bry serves the community as a member of Kinder Key, a group that raises money for The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and volunteers weekly as a reading mentor at the Homeless Families Foundation in Columbus, Ohio. For fun, she enjoys boating, golfing, skiing and cheering on the Green Bay Packers.

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