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Chief Operating Officer, Yum! Brands Inc.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award



Emil J. Brolick '69, '72, Chief Operating Officer of Yum! Brands Inc., is the recipient of University of Detroit Mercy's Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. He is recognized for more than 30 years of business leadership with a proven track record for driving consistent same store sales growth, strong conceptual and consumer insights, and a performance-oriented style of leadership.

In his current role at Yum! Brands Inc., Brolick is responsibile for driving opeerating excellence across Yum! Brands and also serves as Yum's Chief Know How Officer.

Prior to his current responsibilities, Brolick was President of U.S. Brand Building for Yum, and previous to that position, was Taco Bell's President and Chief Concept Officer. Under his leadership, Taco Bell enjoyed five consecutive years of same store sales and profit growth to become the second most profitable restaurant brand in the U.S. and the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain.

Brolick also currently serves as chairman of the Taco Bell foundation and as Trustee of the Board of governors of Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Before joining Yum! Brands, Brolick was with Wendy's International Inc. for 12 years, lastly serving as their Senior Vice President for New Product Marketing, Research, & Strategic Planning.  He is credited as being one of the primary architects of Wendy's 1988 turnaround that helped produce 14 consecutive years of same store sales growth.

Brolick received both his bachelor and master's degree in Economics from the University of Detroit.  He returned to the University in 2006 to give the keynote address on leadership as part of the College of Business Administration's Alumni Week program.  In the talk, he asserts that "each of us has the capacity for leadership.  Leaders are made - not born - by themselves, more than external circumstance."  he encoursages individuals to continue to be students through the power of reading and observation.

Award was presented at The Ignation Circle Dinner by Fr. Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., President of the University of Detroit Mercy, September 28, 2008.

University of Detroit Mercy

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