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Bojangles Hires First African American to Serve on its Senior Leadership Team

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Monica Sauls is “a leading human resources and change management strategist.”

Bojangles has hired its first-ever chief people officer.

Effective Sept. 15, Monica Sauls will join the fast-food chain as to drive the company’s culture, developing current team members and attracting new talent to support the company’s growth.

According to Charlotte, N.C.-based Bojangles, Sauls will go beyond the traditional human resources role in the newly defined position. Bojangles describes her as a leading human resources and change management strategist.

Sauls will report directly to Bojangles CEO Jose Armario. She will lead talent acquisition, talent development, employee relations, diversity and inclusion and culture stewardship. She is the first African American to serve on Bojangles’ senior leadership team in the company’s 43-year history.

“At Bojangles, our strength is our people, so we’re delighted to have Monica’s experience and expertise on our leadership team to help nurture our most important asset,” Armario said in a statement. “This is a critical new role as the Bojangles system looks to hire more than 30,000 new employees due to expected growth and demand over the next 12 months and build on our commitment to diversity and inclusion to create a culture where all employees are respected and valued.”

Sauls brings two decades of experience leading human resources functions and culture transformations within large, complex global organizations. Most recently, she held human resources roles where she led a team of field human resource business partners for Duke Energy’s Fossil Hydro and Nuclear divisions. Prior to Duke Energy, Sauls was responsible for senior executive and leadership development strategies at the Boeing Co., where she led talent development initiatives from concept to deployment for leaders across the global enterprise.

She also has served in key human resources and talent management leadership roles for Walgreens and Ingersoll Rand.

“I’m excited to join the Bojangles family and look forward to serving as a key strategic partner to Jose and his leadership team,” Sauls said. “As the Chief People Officer, I will focus on building and maintaining a people-centered culture where everyone at Bojangles can do their best work and help the company succeed.”

Sauls holds a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She joins Bojangles following the retirement of Vickie Smith, senior vice president of human resources. Smith has been with the company for more than 25 years and will remain with the organization for several months in a consultant role assisting with the transition.

Bojangles, known for its made-from-scratch biscuit breakfast sandwiches, hand-breaded bone-in chicken and other products, operates about 750 system-wide restaurants in 11 states.

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