Anna Baldwin is an a Principal at SSCA and a quiet force who brings award-winning strategy experience to her clients. As the former Chief Operating Officer of Native Foods and Innovative Dining Group (which includes Roku restaurants and BOA Steakhouse), Anna has a unique ability to combine large-scale business strategies with the intricate tactics needed to lead people toward the business goal.
On her road to becoming COO, Anna led regional and national restaurant chains for more than a decade, including Applebee’s, Ruby’s Restaurant Group, and Darden Restaurants, where she became the youngest Director in the company. At Darden Restaurants, Anna was selected to be part of a small, elite team to determine why operating performance differed from the company’s desired results. The team analyzed then aligned company standards with its values, recommending programs that previously didn’t exist as a way to measure outcomes and bolster profits. And Anna truly knows how to implement, as she launched each one of the team’s recommendations from employee performance appraisals to automated guest feedback plans and reporting processes.
Leveraging her management skills into sales management in an entirely new industry with Verizon Wireless, Anna again found untapped opportunities. More importantly, she empowered an underperforming sales team of people to identify what feeds their soul, showing they were valued and their efforts appreciated. She locked-in a synergy between company culture and goal achievement and the team rocketed from the bottom 10% of national sales to the top 1% in the country in less than one year.
Anna’s gift is her intrinsic ability to listen, and she listens to understand. She views teams, businesses, and processes like a tapestry that, when held up to the light, reveals wear and holes and imperfections that Anna knows how to repair. She is often described as an invisible liaison between a coaching client and their key stakeholders, operating at the 30,000-foot level. With that unique view and her wide range of experience, Anna asks the right questions to get down to the root cause and solve the core issue, not just the symptoms. She provides perspective (and very often, systems and solutions) to help clients focus on their stated goals.