Aaron Kennedy is the Founder and Chairman of Noodles & Company, a high-growth, national chain of quick casual restaurants that features freshly sautéed noodle dishes from around the world. He launched the business in 1995 and was CEO until May of 2006, when the chain had reached 130 restaurants across 14 states.
He has worked with some of the world's largest and most recognized brands, directing branding and design projects for Coca-Cola, Burger King, Sears, Warner Lambert, Swiss Army Products, The Limited family of stores, PGA Tour and the Denver Broncos. Prior thereto, as brand manager for Pepsi Cola, he managed brand strategy, consumer research, national advertising and promotional campaigns for Brand Pepsi ('89-93), and while at Kraft/General Foods (Oscar Mayer division) he conducted consumer research to develop and launch Lunchables, now a $1 billion brand ('87-'89).
In addition, he has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, was the 80th inductee into the Inc 500 Hall of Fame, and is a frequent guest lecturer at several universities including the University of Colorado, University of Denver, University of Wisconsin. Mr. Kennedy earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and English at Augustana College ('85) and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison ('89).