Jane Grote Abell
Chair and Owner of Donatos Pizza
(contributing author, book, speaking, Donatos University)
As a founding family member, Jane Grote Abell joined Donatos Pizza Inc. in 1978, and currently holds the title of Chairman of the Board.
Jane has also held a variety of positions in Donatos Food Service commissary operations (Jane’s Dough Foods) and Donatos Pizza restaurant operations from 1978 until 1988. In 1988 with a degree from Ohio State University in Organizational Communications, and a strong passion for people, she was promoted to the Chief People Officer and served in this role during the acquisition by McDonald’s in 1999. During the four years with McDonalds, Jane served as Senior Vice President Development, Franchise Development and maintained the role as Chief People Officer. In these leadership positions, she helped steer the Company’s business strategy. Most notably, in 2003, Jane was a major catalyst behind the decision to buy back the Company from McDonald’s. In December of 2006, Jane was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer.
Jane was a recipient of the McDonald’s Corporation 21st Century Service Team Award and the Pace Setter Executive Award given by The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. In 2004 she was recipient of the “Forty Under 40 Award” sponsored by Columbus Business First. In addition, she was a recipient of the Founder’s Award and President’s Award from Donatos Pizza. In 2010, she received the St. Francis DeSales High School Alumni Award of Distinction.
Jane serves on the Board of Action for Children, Goodwill Columbus, Inc. and Coinstar, Inc. She is a member of the Women’s Food Service Forum, the Young Presidents Organization, the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of Central Ohio, and the Otterbein University Women's Leadership Network Advisory Council.
Jane resides in Columbus with her two daughters Brianna (age 15) and Tori (age 12). Her son, Tony, is married to Hannah.