Kay originally came to work at Darden in 2000 on temporary assignment through an agency while she waited to begin a career as a school teacher. But she soon discovered a passion for the company and took a full-time position as Purchasing Coordinator. Kay’s supervisors immediately saw her potential and encouraged her to seek a business degree, which would open more opportunities for her. While working at Darden, Kay went back to school and received her MBA. After a few years, she was promoted to Supervisor of Customer Service and Inventory Control in Darden’s smallwares distribution center. She quickly moved on to become Manager of Product Supply and Distribution Services. Because of her results-driven, team-oriented attitude, Kay was elevated to the job of Director of Food Service Distribution of Darden Restaurants, where she is responsible for foodservice distribution partnerships with various third-party distributors. These relationships support Darden Restaurants with more than 32 million cases of food shipped annually, totaling more than $1 billion in spending. Upon assuming her new role, Kay was instrumental in successfully transitioning 287 newly acquired LongHorn Steakhouse locations and 28 The Capital Grille restaurants into Darden’s distribution network. Kay credits the leadership at Darden for encouraging her advancement at the company. Throughout her career at Darden, Kay’s bosses have nurtured her potential, investing the time and effort to help her develop and grow. In 2007, Kay was honored with one of Darden’s highly-coveted “Brilliance Awards” for her participation in the company’s direct distribution process. Throughout her career at Darden, she has received five ASAP (Awesome Support Awesome Performance) Awards. While moving up the ranks, Kay earned her MBA from the University of Central Florida.