Kat Cole was a teenager when she started working at Hooters, and her work ethic combined with the company's sprawling, family-run empire propelled Cole to multiple countries and management roles. Cole, who parlayed that experience into business school and taking over the Cinnabon brand, says she's never forgotten her roots or the value of hard work. "I was always trying to prove I wasn't defined by where I came from," she says. "That was the driving force."
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