Our 30 under 30 list was created to give a big shout-out to the champions in our restaurants and field who serve as our biggest brand ambassadors and living, breathing examples of Taco Bell’s awesome culture.
Meet 30 rock star team members, Live Más Scholars, General Managers and Above Restaurant Leaders who are all under the age of 30. These young leaders go above and beyond every day and inspire their teams to bring the best Taco Bell experience to all customers. Most of them have attended leadership programs, and when they’re not in the restaurant, they find ways to take their passion and leadership to a new level in their communities, too. Congrats to 2020’s 30 under 30!
1. Abigail Mckenzie - Franchise Organization, Kentris Organization
Abigail started working in a Taco Bell restaurant when she was just 16 years old. She has been promoted from team member to Shift Lead, then to AGM and became the first GM of a Taco Bell location in Bowling Green, Ohio. She is always striving to put her employees first. In her time as GM, she has attended many of Taco Bell’s leadership programs. She is a role model both to her team and to her three-year-old and six-month-old.
2. Alyssa Stone - Franchise Organization, Snake River Restaurants, LLC
Starting as a team member when she was in high school, Alyssa has always been a culture-driver and has worked her way up to the General Manager role. She runs one of the busiest locations in the country and she still manages to find time to help other local restaurants by sharing best practices. Alyssa is dedicated to her community and always lends a helping hand to raise money for charity. Under her leadership, her restaurant teams strive to exceed all metrics and have had a low turnover rate. Alyssa continues to grow professionally and personally, she’s not stopping anytime soon!
3. Ashley Jones - Franchise Organization, Luihn Vantage Partners
Ashley started at a Taco Bell three years ago and quickly demonstrated amazing leadership skills. She’s now a GM leading a very consistent restaurant, and takes pride in her cleanliness and great team culture. She’s the biggest cheerleader for the area by recognizing others’ accomplishments while creating fun contests to challenge her area to grow. Throughout her time with the brand, she developed her Assistant GM and three Shift Leads as well as mentored new GMs in the area. Ashley is someone who wants to become an Area Coach and continue to grow.
4. Audria Wilson - Franchise Organization, W & M Restaurants, Inc.
Since 2016, Audria has been a role model and exemplifies what it means to be a Taco Bell team member. Her enthusiasm and leadership skills are beyond her years and she has passion for being a Fundraising Ambassador for the Taco Bell Foundation. During last year’s National Fundraiser for the Live Más Scholarship, Audria rallied her team around the cause for helping youth follow their passions and achieve their education dreams. Through her leadership and encouragement, Audria and her team have surpassed the $1,5000 fundraising goal for four years in a row!
5. Belle Maxwell-Downing - Franchise Organization, Pacific Bells LLC
Belle is a Shift Lead with her eye on her future! She is attending college as well as working full-time to help her family. She embodies the culture of Taco Bell as she is passionate about the work she does. Belle is innovative, creative and her peers respect her. She loves working at a Taco Bell so much that she even visits the restaurant on her days off! When she’s not at work or school, she leads her Cub Scout Pack. Her team says, “Belle is valued and we’re going to miss her when she finishes school!”
6. Brad Willink - Franchise Organization, U.S. Leader Restaurants
Brad has been a true culture champion since he started working at a Taco Bell in 2012. He started out as a team member while attending the University of Central Florida and was quickly promoted to Shift Lead. After graduation, he rejoined as a GM and was soon after promoted to his franchise organization’s Director of Training within just two years. Under his management, many team members have completed Taco Bell’s GED program. In his spare time, you can find Brad volunteering at the Rotary Club of Orlando.
7. Brian Hawbaker - Golden Spike Restaurants, LLC
At only 19 years old and due to his impeccable work ethic, Brian has worked his way up to General Manager. He always wants to improve himself and goes out of his way to help his team and customers every day. Taco Bell Corp. recognized him as one of the top GMs in the country, honoring him with a trip to Golden Bell - an all-expenses paid, recognition trip to Hawaii. Brian’s dedication has a ripple effect which encourages other locations with goal-setting and elevating the customer experience.
8. Brittany Diplacido - Franchise Organization, Charter Foods
Brittany started her career when she was just 16 years old and eight years later, she leads a restaurant with a team that adores her. She uses the knowledge she learns at theMark to empower her team to reach their full potential, both professionally and personally. Brittany is also dedicated to her community; she organizes holiday meet and greets and scavenger hunts. She truly leads with a heart of gold and ensures that everyone is striving for greatness.
9. Cassandra England - Franchise Organization, Tacala
Over the last decade, Cassandra has developed from team member to Market Training Leader. She brought her team to new heights by helping promote six Shift Leads, two Assistant GMs and one Restaurant Leader for her region. The culture she creates in restaurants is top-notch, all while celebrating her team’s birthdays or big life events. She truly loves her team and tells them after every shift how much she cares about them, especially on busy days. Cassandra has high standards for herself and inspires everyone around her to strive for greatness.
10. Chavis Garrett - Franchise Organization, DDO-Utah, LLC
Chavis, 20, has been working at a Taco Bell for over four years. He was offered his new role, GM, at just 19 years old! Under Chavis’ leadership, the restaurant numbers rose, turnover decreased and most importantly, there was a positive shift in culture. His peers share that he knows the perfect balance of making work enjoyable while also ensuring restaurant operations are top-notch. Chavis strives to let his team know that they are never alone and even showed them how to apply for the Live Más Scholarship by applying himself, so they can all go through the process together.
11. Crystal Ramirez - Franchise Organization, Tacala
Over the last eight years, Crystal has dedicated herself and climbed the ladder to her current role as a Market Training Leader. People who know her say that she always fosters a positive work environment and knows how to run a successful business. She ensures that her team feels supported and leads by example. Not only is she committed to her restaurant teams, she has always been involved in her community and local school programs. In 2019, Crystal was recognized by Taco Bell Corp. as being one of the top GMs in the country.
12. De-von Lopez - Taco Bell Corp.
People who know De-von say that he is the perfect example of what the next generation leader at Taco Bell should be. Over the seven years of working at Taco Bell, he went from team member to GM and wants to continue his development. He has also helped countless leaders develop while always taking initiative to take on more assignments in his region. De-von experienced theMark, a personal and professional development program at Taco Bell HQ, and has since been nominated to participate in a new leadership program this year.
13. Dekeyla Jackson - Franchise Organization, TB of America
Dekeyla has been a part of her Taco Bell team since she was 16. She joined as a team member and was quickly promoted up to Shift Lead. She was most recently promoted to GM, a position she has held since 2013! Her leadership has led her to be one of the top GMs of her franchise organization and they often have her train employees for new restaurant openings. On top of it all, Dekeyla is always helping teens who are working for the first time and promotes available job openings to her alma mater.
14. Floyd Massey - Franchise Organization, Great Lakes Taco
Floyd has been working at a Taco Bell for seven years and has worked his way up to his current role, Assistant GM. Those who know Floyd describe him as youthful, passionate, dedicated and ambitious. He is always willing to help other teams and pushes his restaurant to succeed. Floyd has helped other local restaurants and been instrumental in hiring and training for an upcoming new restaurant. Floyd also participated in a personal and professional development program, theMark, at Taco Bell HQ and continues to have a strong work ethic.
15. Jack Allison - Franchise Organization, KMAC
Jack started his career with the brand 12 years ago when he was 16 years old. Two years into his job, he was promoted to Shift Lead and continued growing professionally. Even when he was going through a hard time personally, he managed to power through his struggles and strived to continue working. His perseverance is inspiring to everyone who knows him, he even recently got promoted to District Coach. Jack is a great depiction of what it means to “Start with Us, Stay with Us.”
16. Jacob Skovgard - Franchise Organization, Border Foods
Jacob started his career with Border Foods when he was only 16 years old. Over the last six years, he’s worked his way up from team member to GM. A year ago, he started to lead a struggling restaurant and he’s transformed it to a fully-staffed restaurant. Under his leadership, the restaurant was able to improve their speed and increase positive customer feedback. The restaurant he works at is in a small town and he’s well-known for being an outstanding individual inside and outside of the restaurant.
17. Jaden Yurgelonis - Franchise Organization, MUY Brands
At 16, Jaden joined Taco Bell and continues to prove how much he cares for his team and the brand. While his restaurant is in a tough area, he was able to turn it around through his impeccable leadership skills. Ever since he was a team member, he has led by example and puts an emphasis on customer service. At only 20 years old, Jaden took on a GM role and thrives when he’s training his team and helping them grow. He’s traveled to Taco Bell HQ to participate in a personal and professional development program, theMark, and strives to be the best GM he can be.
18. Joey Collebrusco - Franchise Organization, KMAC
Joey joined a Taco Bell back in 2011 and over the last nine years, he has worked his way up the ladder through multiple positions. He currently is a Market Training Manager and helping develop future leaders through mentorship. His professional development is important to him but ensuring that his teams are growing is his top priority. Outside of work, Joey is also an accomplished artist and enjoys painting in his free time. Joey’s positive attitude and charisma motivates his team to continue to strive for greatness.
19. Kala Melton - Franchise Organization, KMAC
Kala started working at a Taco Bell 10 years ago at only 16 years old and immediately proved her drive and determination. She’s the perfect depiction of the Taco Bell phrase, “Start with Us, Stay with Us,” since she decided she wanted to continue her career and become an Assistant GM. Three years ago, Kala became a GM then quickly became a Market Training Manager. She’s passionate and fierce, and she wants to keep growing and creating a great culture for her teams.
20. Katie Peck - Franchise Organization, Great Lakes Taco
Since joining the brand over a decade ago, Katie has been an absolute rock star! She started as a team member and was later promoted to GM. Over time, Katie showed true leadership skills and has since been promoted to Area Coach for five locations in her market. She is extremely passionate about connecting with her team and has a drive that motivates them to do their best every day.
21. Lamia Chowdhury - Licensee, WillowBrook Fast Food Corp.
Lamia’s team would say she has been a very passionate team member since her first day. As a GM, she leads daily operations for her restaurant and is extremely passionate about training her team on the importance of food safety. She goes above and beyond to assure her entire team feels valuable and proud to work at Taco Bell. When Lamia isn’t working, you can find her volunteering her time with senior citizens in her community. Not only that, but she also received her Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and has also participated in Taco Bell’s leadership programs.
22. Marco Mendez - Franchise Organization, Yakima Restaurants, Inc.
Marco joined Taco Bell in 2017 at the age of 17. Within a year, he was promoted from team member to Assistant GM and now GM for multiple locations. He demonstrates tremendous leadership skills both inside and outside of the restaurant. Marco also participated in Taco Bell’s leadership programs and is hoping to be promoted to Area Coach within the next two years.
23. Michael Norman - Franchise Organization, MUY Brands
Michael is a GM at a restaurant in Neptune, NJ. Throughout his time with the brand, he has helped support, hire and mentor many successful GMs and teams in his local area. As an assistant, Michael was integral in helping his GM land a spot at 2018’s Golden Bell, a recognition trip for the top 100 GMs in the U.S., held in Hawaii. As he transitioned to GM, he attended theMark, which as his peer said, “... greatly helped him understand others and propel his career in a way that can simply be seen as the future of our franchise.” Now, he’s continued that success by running one of the signature Taco Bell restaurants. He also recently welcomed a baby boy into the world, records music and continues to be fearless in delivering results. His peer also said, “Without a doubt, Michael's journey will continue to be full of successes and I look forward to all the growth we will do together in this new decade.”
24. Nick Berkley - Franchise Organization, Tacala
Nick is a restaurant lead and has been with the brand since he was only 16! He’s extremely passionate when it comes to training leaders for his market. Not only does he have high energy, his training methods embody his franchise’s principle, which is, “Have fun to get more done.” He also empowers young teens every year by encouraging them to apply for the Live Más Scholarship and the Team Tacala scholarship, and supports his local Boys and Girls club. Nick does all of this while leading a successful restaurant. His peers say, “He’s a peer leader and is always looking for ways to help other restaurant leads.”
25. Ravi Bhambhwani - Franchise Organization, KT Hospitality
Ravi started working at a Taco Bell in 2015 and got an opportunity to attend theMark last year. He is committed to making a difference and continues to inspire, motivate and lead by example. Even now Ravi is eager to learn and is open to suggestions and ideas from peers, so he could continue to be a better version of himself. What makes him successful is the fact that his values and skills match Taco Bell’s culture. He is known to achieve whatever he puts his mind to and believes in being consistent. Ravi is currently training to lead more restaurants!
26. Roger Trevizo - Taco Bell Corp.
Over the last 10 years, Roger has grown his Taco Bell career from team member to GM. He has worked every position in the restaurant and excels at each one. Last year, his goal was to be one of the top GMs in the country and he achieved it by receiving the honor of an all-expenses paid, recognition trip to Hawaii. He has participated in personal and professional development programs at Taco Bell HQ and in turn, he has implemented more opportunities for recognition for his team. He takes feedback seriously and is always willing to put his words into action. His leadership is looking forward to seeing him grow even more with the brand!
27. Santana Sanchez - Taco Bell Corp.
Santana embodies the culture of Taco Bell, even at just 17 years old. Taco Bell is his first job and since has become so passionate about the work he does. He is what we call a “Maker,” a Taco Bell certification that can be earned by those dedicated to their craft. Not only that, but he’s a dedicated trainer for new hires all while focusing on speed and keeping the team engaged. Overall, Santana is respected by his peers and demonstrates leadership beyond his years. When he isn't engaging the team, he is encouraging his fellow students to come work here, participates in sports and maintains his grades. Santana is even looking into applying for the Live Más Scholarship this year and looks forward to attending college!
28. Terence Gorski (TJ) - Franchise Organization, Jett Florida Bells
TJ is extraordinary; he sets very high standards for himself and his team - all to ensure his restaurant is a positive, safe, and welcoming environment. He attended theMark and received the Leave Your Mark award, which is awarded to one person at the development experience who goes above and beyond not only during the program, but also in their restaurant. He was even invited back to theMark 2.0, which is an extended version of the program. While in-restaurant, TJ is focused on making the customers happy, serving them in a timely manner, and motivating his team to do the same. One of his peers said, “His constant positive attitude and ambition motivated me to focus on what I wanted to accomplish and keep pushing towards it until I achieve it. To this day, I will call him whenever I am faced with a difficult situation or just need advice.” He is currently in college working towards a business degree to pursue his dream of becoming an Area Coach and he’s doing this for the opportunity to make a difference in more restaurants than just his own.
29. Tyler Hart - Old West Properties, LLC
Tyler worked at a Taco Bell four years ago and decided to come back, as he continued to long for more with the brand. Since Tyler has been with his restaurant, the restaurant continues to grow, and the team works extremely well together - he even decided to help lead another restaurant while he’s at it. His peer says, “Tyler brought motivation, teamwork, helpfulness and friendliness back into the restaurant! He has motivated all of us to better ourselves and has truly shown the restaurant the true meaning behind Live Más.”
30. Zeb Brown - Franchise Organization, KMAC
Zeb started his career as a team member in 2011 as he was finishing up high school. While in college, he continued to work at a Taco Bell and worked his way up to Assistant GM. Once he graduated, he was promoted to GM. He, along with his coach and Growth Leader, worked hard to develop him into a Market Training Manager, where he really excelled. He helped develop many of the future leaders within his franchise organization. Zeb exemplifies what it means to Live Más and his teams all say the same. He believes in his people and empowers them to do their best every day. On top of it all, Zeb was extremely involved in the community and sponsored the high school football team, participated in multiple football/booster events and had a loyal following made up of all the members of the high school sport teams! He recently stepped into a District Coach role, and already is having an impact. The Director of People Development at KMAC said, “He is Hungry to always learn more, Understands his team's needs, never Settles for himself or his team, is grateful for the team he gets to lead, is relentless in building the best team out there and is the epitome of the youthful spirit that represents the brand! Zeb could definitely be the spokesperson for Start with Us, Stay with Us; from Team Member to Coach, and still growing!”