Our 30 under 30 list was created to give a big shout-out to the leaders in our restaurants and field who serve as our biggest culture champions.
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 2021’s 30 under 30!
1. Angelica Bearden – Franchise Organization, AG Bells II, LLC
In just two years at Taco Bell, Angelica, who started out as an Assistant General Manager (GM), worked her way up, participated in our GM development program, theMark, and now leads one of AG Bells II, LLC’s busiest restaurants in Chicago. And she doesn’t stop there. She rallies her teams to participate in the Live Más Scholarship and the GED program, she led a race (twice!) in support of cancer, and she bowled with her team for a Boys and Girl Club event.
2. Ashley Bayliss – Franchise Organization, K-Mac Enterprises, Inc.
Ashley started her career at Taco Bell 10 years ago as an Assistant GM. Throughout her time here, she grew her role, attended theMark, Spark AND Quest, helped restaurants in need and shares her experiences to develop others in their careers. She even hosted her own “Development Day” to encourage her team to stay connected, network and lead by example. Ashley is never afraid to jump in and help her community whenever its needed. This can be seen through the time she dedicates at her local church youth groups, charity events and programs, especially during 2020’s challenging atmosphere.
3. Ashley Hampel – Franchise Organization, Tacala, LLC
Ashley is passionate about culture, inspiring her team and creating the best experience for all who come to her restaurant. Throughout her 10 years with the brand (she started at just 19 years old), she has participated in theMark and Spark development programs, been a long-term champion for the Taco Bell Foundation’s Round Up program and developed several leaders in her area.
4. Bernard Evans – Franchise Organization, Tacala, LLC
Bernard has a willingness to learn, passion for customer service and takes on a challenge with persistence. During his eight years with the brand, he has never shied away from investing in himself and his team while still looking for ways to improve and be better. Outside of work, Bernard participates at his local Boys and Girls Club through attending ceremonies, holiday events and community leadership programs with teens. But that’s not all. He’s been through theMark development experience and was a three-time Live Más Team Member Scholarship recipient. Three times! He’s on his way to achieving his associates degree in information technology.
5. Brittany Johnson – Franchise Organization, Charter Foods, Inc.
Brittany’s colleagues say that she’s a force of nature. With six years of Taco Bell experience under her belt, she’s had an impressive career – from attending theMark and The Spark to working her way up to Area Coach to developing those around her – Brittany is always hungry to do more and be better. That applies to everything she does outside of work, too! She’s involved in her local school district’s football program, helps raise money for a community daycare center and participates in holiday food drives.
6. David Brumfield – Franchise Organization, G-Made, Inc.
Since David started working at a Taco Bell, he’s been known for having a “can-do” attitude. He’s progresed from Shift Manager to GM while caring for his siblings each and every day. Because David works and lives in the same community, he has strong relationships with the sports program and clubs at the neighboring high school. So much so that he provides meals after the basketball and football games. He also inspires youth at work, through encouraging them to take advantage of the Live Más Scholarship and GED programs.
7. Dekeyla Jackson – Franchise Organization, TB of America, Inc.
Dekeyla has been with the brand for 13 years and it shows! Her Area Coach Ron said, “She lives the Taco Bell culture through coaching, leading and following up with her phenomenal team to deliver a world-class and consistent experience for our customers.” She helped raise her restaurant team’s goal for the Taco Bell Foundation’s National Fundraiser, and in 2020, her restaurant became one of the Top 100 – winning a chance to attend Golden Bell in Hawaii. That passion extends beyond just work – she’s actively volunteering at her local university and supports fundraisers at the local food bank.
8. Dorothy Cofell – Franchise Organization, Gupta Foods
Dorothy truly embodies Live Más by enriching the lives of her customers, employees and communities. She holds monthly meetings to bring the team together to focus on their goals, and motivates them by recognizing achievements, birthdays, and even brings donuts and coffee on busy days. Dorothy also participated in theART training session, which is designed to dive deeper into bringing equity, inclusion and belonging to her restaurant team and customers. In addition, she supported her community by providing 60 meals to the local mental health recovery home. Overall, Live Más is alive in her restaurant’s culture and can be felt by those around her.
9. Erin Thomas – Franchise Organization, Oak Restaurants, Inc.
Erin started at Taco Bell at a young age and since then has not only grown up, but she also helped the brand grow through being part of several restaurant grand openings. Throughout that time, she graduated high school being a full-time GM, became a mother of two, and continues to lead a successful restaurant with impressive dedication. Outside of work, she’s passionate about volunteering at her local animal rescue and recently took on a lead role there.
10. Francisco Arce – Taco Bell Corp.
Francisco is a team player: he's always lending a helping hand and motivates the team to do their best. During his time with the brand, he participated in theMark, reached his certified restaurant goals, helped other restaurants in need, was the “go-to” when team members need help, and celebrates milestones with his team. Recently, he participated in friendly competitions with neighboring Taco Bell restaurants (winner gets a party), which makes the entire area feel like a family. Francisco is active in his community and has volunteered at events for multiple non-profit organizations.
11. Jealen Reid – Franchise Organization, Tacala, LLC
Nine years ago, Jealen joined the Taco Bell family and she continues to make a positive impact. She fosters an environment of open communication with her team and ensures that customers have the best experience possible at the restaurants that she operates. Jealen makes strong connections with everyone she works with and goes the extra mile to ensure that everyone feels supported. As a leader, she pushes her team to be the best they can be at work and in their personal lives. Jealen is also passionate about helping young people in her community and supports the local Boys and Girls Club.
12. Joshua Phillips – Franchise Organization, Missouri Fiesta, Inc.
At 19, Joshua’s energy and passion for the brand has been a huge asset to his team. He consistently goes above and beyond to recognize individuals and foster a positive environment. He even livened up his team’s break room by painting it purple and adding unique signage! Even as a full-time student and part-time team member, Joshua finds ways to give back through local organizations and tutoring other young people in his community. He is currently training for an Assistant General Manager role and his nominator is confident that he’ll be able to master his training with excellence.
13. Juan Charqueno – Franchise Organization, K-Mac Enterprises, Inc.
Starting as a team member when he was in high school, Juan has worked his way up to general manager in five years. He helped his restaurant team receive high rankings in customer satisfaction, speed of service, strong operations and more. Juan fosters an energetic, positive and productive work environment for his team. He’s known for his generosity and willingness to lend a helping hand to other Taco Bell restaurants in his area. When Juan is not working, he’s at the soccer field playing or volunteering his time to coach kids in his community.
14. Karissa Cusick – Franchise Organization, Charter Foods, Inc.
Karissa works full-time, attends college and brings a positive attitude and great work ethic everywhere she goes. She transferred from another Taco Bell location and ever since she arrived, the restaurant team has been able to meet their speed of service goals. Her team describes her as passionate and well-spoken, and it’s clear that she’s well-respected amongst her peers. Karissa consistently shows her love for the brand and is always willing to learn something new. She hopes to continue to grow and become an Assistant General Manager.
15. Kyle Bos – Franchise Organization, Sundance Inc.
Ever since he joined the Taco Bell family, Kyle continues to show his commitment to putting people first--whether that is his team or his customers. He spends his time developing his managers and keeping them engaged through different communication touchpoints, which has led to positive results in the restaurant overall. His dedication to his team extends to outside of work as he hosts monthly game nights and weekly contests to keep the environment light and fun. Kyle’s passion for people makes him integral to his team!
16. Kyle Truchon – Franchise Organization, Yakima Restaurants, Inc.
Six years ago, Kyle started his journey at Taco Bell as a team member and now he’s a General Manager. When he was first promoted to GM, he took his restaurant to the next level through his leadership. Kyle has jumped into new opportunities with an open mind and dedication, including taking a role at a high-volume restaurant and helping roll out a new development program for team members. While he’s been a stellar worker, he also managed to get his bachelor's degree in computer science. Kyle is a true role model to everyone around him!
17. Kyler Falls – Franchise Organization, Charter Foods, Inc.
Kyler has been with the brand for two years and quickly demonstrated amazing leadership skills. With a positive demeanor and strong worth ethic, he helps everyone around him be the best they can be. He hit the ground running when he joined the Taco Bell family and his passion for people continues to deliver positive results in-restaurant. At 23 years old, Kyler became a General Manager and continues to motivate his team to strive for greatness.
18. Mahamadou (Dukes) Diallo – Franchise Organization, Luihn VantEdge Partners, LLC
Mahamadou (Dukes) demonstrates his love and passion for his job daily. His Area Coach said, “His youthful spirit and go-getter mindset encourages his team to perform to their highest potential. His desire to grow with the company was a huge motivation for him and he even worked his way up from a Shift Manager to GM within a year.” During Dukes’ time as a Shift Manager, he attended theSpark. Since that time, he has been involved at his local the Boys and Girls club by volunteering his time and donating food for special events. Most recently, he was a big part of a Grand Opening for a new Taco Bell location. Overall, his passion for Taco Bell is above and beyond in the way he supports his community and neighboring restaurants.
19. Mariah Dingman – Franchise Organization, Tacala, LLC
For 7 years, Mariah has been a huge asset to her team and always pushes everyone to excel. When a winter storm hit earlier this year, her restaurant was one of the only restaurants open in the area and she was able to serve guests who were out of power and water. She is willing to jump right into new territory and share insights, including testing new tablet drive-thru ordering. Mariah is passionate about developing her people and education. She has even helped someone on her team finish their GED. Last year, her leadership helped her restaurant raise over $10,000 for the Taco Bell Foundation!
20. Maxine Birckbichler – Franchise Organization, Charter Foods North, LLC
Maxine has made a lasting mark over the past eight years of working for the brand. As a General Manager, she has fostered a positive work environment for her team and ensures that everyone feels supported. Recognition is a big part of Max’s leadership, and she finds ways to highlight team members who are going above and beyond their goals. According to her team, she also will find extra time to focus on training those who may be struggling to meet their goals without making them feel singled out. Maxine has helped raise funds for the schools in her community and has helped many team members apply for the Taco Bell Foundation’s Team Member Live Mas Scholarship.
21. Megan Frazier – Taco Bell Corp.
Megan went from a team member to a general manager in four years and it’s clear that she’s an excellent leader. She’s truly gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic and is always the first person to raise her hand to help her team. According to her nominator, Megan prides herself on making new hires feel at-home and supported--she even started the tradition of making welcome signs for new hires. Not only does she support her team members, she’s also passionate about her community and has served first responders in her area. Megan is a role model for her team as she continues to lead with grit and grace.
22. Nina Ibarra – Franchise Organization, Tacala, LLC
Nina came on board with Taco Bell at the age of 16 years old and immediately fell in love with the brand. Now at the age of 23, she has been with the organization for 7 years. Her passion for food, customers, and team members are at the forefront of her everyday interactions. Nina makes it her mission to assure every customer she helps has a seamless and enjoyable Taco Bell experience. As a Restaurant Leader, Nina works with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Marble Falls to support several activities and works closely with the club to recruit new talent.
23. Rebecca Williams – Franchise Organization, Tacala Tennessee Corp.
Rebecca started with the organization over a decade ago as a team member. She has been promoted to various roles at the restaurant level and now serves as GM for her location. Rebecca goes above and beyond every day to assure her team and customers feel welcomed from the moment they arrive to the restaurant. As a passionate leader, she is always encouraging her team to take advantage of Taco Bell’s educational benefits, including the Guild and the Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Mas Scholarship. In 2020, Rebecca was recognized with the Golden Bell award, which recognizes the top 100 GMs in the nation. Outside of work, Rebecca is a devoted mother of two and spends her Saturday mornings playing basketball with her children.
24. Sarah Pugh – Taco Bell Corp
Sarah is everything you think of when you think Taco Bell culture. She is currently a GM and has been with the brand for 11 years. She is helpful not only to her own team, customers and supervisors, but also to anyone else she meets. In her time with Taco Bell, she has participated in numerous career and personal development programs. Sarah treats her team like a family and has even delivered care packages to team members when they are sick. She has also mentored many employees that have since been promoted to GM for other stores in her area. Sarah is a passionate and loving mother who never stops her relentless pursuit of spreading positivity.
25. Stephanie Brown – Franchise Organization, K-Mac Enterprises, Inc
Stephanie started working for a Taco Bell when she was 16 years old. Over the past 8 years, she has been promoted from team member to her franchise organization’s newest district coach. Stephanie is a very dedicated individual and even graduated high school and college while working in a Taco Bell restaurant. As an active member of her community, she has participated in events and food drives for her local Salvation Army. When Stephanie is not working, she enjoys shopping on Amazon, working out, and listening to audio books.
26. Tayler Stephens – Franchise Organization, Charter Food, Inc.
Tayler has been with Taco Bell for only a year and has already been promoted to team member trainer. She is extremely enthusiastic and a lead driver of company culture at her restaurant. Tayler is extremely passionate about helping her community and worked with her restaurant to support a local fundraiser helping children in need. She recognizes her team consistently and has a people first mentality. She even creates mugs which she awards as her own unique way of recognizing her team.
27. Tyler Grubb – Franchise Organization, MRCO, LLC
Tyler started his very first job ten years ago at a Taco Bell. He joined as a team member and was quickly promoted to GM. Tyler continuously motivates and supports his team to always do their very best and establishes a winning culture everywhere he goes. No job is too big or too little for Tyler and he is always willing to lend a helping hand.
28. Tyler Leach – Franchise Organization, Bell American
For 6 years, Tyler has been a huge asset to his Taco Bell restaurant. He joined the organization as a team member where he was promoted to multiple positions at the restaurant level and is now a GM. He is extremely motivated and wakes up every day with the goal of being the best version of himself. Tyler is a mentor to many of his employees at the restaurant and aims to go above and beyond to make everyone on the team feel welcomed.
29. Zachary Tunbridge – Franchise Organization, DDO-Utah, LLC
Zachary is 21 years old and has been a part of Taco Bell’s family since 2016. He shows up every day with a smile on his face and consistently challenges himself and his team to build an environment of learning and growth. The team can always count on him to be an inspiration. Outside of Taco Bell, Zachary is also a Specialist in the United States Military Reserves. Thank you for your service, Zachary!
30. Zackary Kirby – Franchise Organization, Delight Restaurant Group
Zackary is a living example of the Taco Bell culture and joined the organization at the age of 16. Over the last five years, he has been promoted from team member to Restaurant General Manager. He enjoys building strong relationships with his team and wants them to grow into the best individuals they can be, both in and out of the restaurant. When the pandemic first started, Zackary and his team supported the community and fed local first responders. He is currently pursuing an associate degree in Business Administration with the goal of growing his career next as an Area Coach for his franchise organization.