The first thing you’ll notice when you meet Jane Grote is that she is truly interested in, and completely focused on you. Who you are, and what your story is. Where you’ve come from, and where you’d like to go. Your talents, your interests, your frustrations, your goals - and finally, how she can help.
Because for Jane, making connections is all about helping people and ideas reach their fullest potential.
Family businesses are different from other kinds of business. They have hearts, and souls, and principles, and values – and children who grow up in the business. Jane Grote is the second generation of leadership at Donatos Pizza, a family business that was founded with a very simple mission: to promote good will – and a promise to serve the best pizza and make your day a little better. The way she does that is through leading with compassion.
There are many things you learn through a few decades of leading and growing a company. Especially as a woman. Jane’s 4Cs of Success – Character, Courage, Conviction, and Compassion – were the guideposts that helped her find her voice, stick to her values, and navigate the ups and downs of business with success.
For Jane and her family, giving back has always been a core value and a way of life. She has been a donor, a fund-raiser, board member, a founder, a connector, a partner, and an advocate for people who are economically challenged and under-served. “Our vision for Donatos is to be a billion-dollar company that gives more than it receives.”
In 1999, Donatos Pizza was bought by McDonald’s. Four years later, a determined Jane Grote got it back. She led the buy-back of her family business, spearheaded the massive transition, and navigated a $10.5 million turnaround that rekindled the spirit of family that made Donatos so valuable in the first place.