Panera CEO to share lessons in transformative leadership

The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Grove City College hosts Blaine Hurst, CEO and president of Panera, LLC., as part of the Richard G. Staley ’62 Visionary Entrepreneur Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Apr. 8 in Sticht Lecture Hall on campus.

Hurst, who has been named by Fast Casual Magazine as one of their Movers and Shakers for the last three years, will share “Lessons in Transformative Leadership” with students.

Hurst was named CEO of Panera on Jan. 1, 2018. He joined the company in 2010 and introduced the Panera 2.0 initiative, an enhanced guest experience enabled by technology but rooted in operational integrity, launched Panera’s Delivery initiative and has worked extensively with Panera’s founder to push the company to the forefront of American casual dining. Considered by many to be a digital leader, Panera currently processes more than 28 percent of its orders digitally, with digital sales reaching nearly $1.2 billion in 2017.

Prior to his time at Panera, Hurst was an entrepreneur and consultant, assisting numerous restaurant, retail and distribution companies in their development and growth. He held executive roles at Restaurant Technology Solutions, LLC, Papa John’s International Inc., Boston Chicken and Ernst & Young.

A frequently requested speaker, Hurst shares his thoughts on innovation, as well as company and personal transformation with thousands. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from Indiana University and is the author of four published patents.

“Blaine Hurst is a technological pioneer in his industry and offers our students a unique perspective on leadership. We feel extremely lucky to have a business leader of his caliber as a friend of the Entrepreneurship Program and Grove City College,” Yvonne J. English ’97, executive director of The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation and assistant professor of Entrepreneurship, said.

The Richard G. Staley ’62 Visionary Entrepreneur Speaker Series provides a platform for experienced entrepreneurs to share wisdom and advice with students on campus. Each semester, the Center hosts successful business people with the intent of inspiring entrepreneurial-minded students and highlighting compelling examples of success.

To view the event via livestream, visit

For more about The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, visit

Panera CEO to share lessons in transformative leadership

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