Press Release


The Savoy Most Influential Women in Corporate America feature is the definitive listing of African American Women achievers impacting corporate America

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (July 22, 2019) –Today, three Denny’s team members – Board Chair Brenda Lauderback, Head of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement April Kelly-Drummond and Board Member Laysha Ward – were included in Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America ranking. With expertise in a range of industries, the Savoy 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America embody talent, leadership and grace while executing critical roles for some of the largest corporations in the world. “

It’s an honor to be recognized by Savoy and a privilege to work with such a talented and diverse team at Denny’s who are truly invested in the communities we serve,” said Brenda Lauderback. “As Denny’s board chair, I have made sure that diversity and inclusion initiatives at the board level and throughout the company are top-of-mind because we recognize and respect the leadership role we play and the absolute need for a diverse workforce. I am committed to Denny’s being a great place for our customers to come, our employees to work, our franchisees to grow and our shareholders to benefit from investing in us. We are committed to setting a new standard in corporate America for inclusion for all.”

Denny’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion has resulted in a number of national, regional, and local awards and recognition as well as tangible progress at the corporate and restaurant levels. As of July 2018, minorities make up 68% of Denny’s total workforce, 16% of which are African Americans, and 55% of which are female. Of the 1,700 restaurants, including 108 international locations, 49% are minority-owned.

The company has spent nearly $2 billion with its supplier diversity program since it was created and over $2 billion of its purchases in 2018 were with diverse and disadvantaged businesses. The board of Denny’s Corporation consists of 10 directors, 50% of which are minorities and women.

“I am so humbled and fortunate to be recognized as one of Savoy's most influential women along with Brenda and Laysha, who have been pioneers over the years in their leadership roles,” said April Kelly-Drummond. “They have inspired me and fueled my passion to make a difference in communities around the country. At Denny's, I am proud to work with our board, leadership team, franchisees and employees who understand the importance of embracing diversity, equality, and inclusivity for all.”

Savoy Magazine’s 2019 Most Influential Women in Corporate America list was hand-selected by a committee including the Savoy editorial board as well as community leaders including representatives from academia and the private sector. Winners were chosen based on accomplishments, influence, impact on community and the ability to inspire others.

“Being a part of the Denny’s board continues to be an honor because it aligns with both my personal and professional purpose and values,” said Laysha Ward. “Denny’s is committed to being guest-centric, as well as developing its teams from all backgrounds. Its leaders understand that people who look, sound, talk and act differently bring new ideas, perspectives and challenges they often haven’t seen before. Having this diversity of thought and experiences only contributes to its success as an organization.”

The full list can be viewed online at

For more information on Denny’s, please visit

About Denny’s Corp.

Denny’s is one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating over 1,700 franchised, licensed and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guam, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Curaçao, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago, and the Philippines. For further information on Denny's, including news releases, please visit the Denny’s website at or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Instagram or YouTube.

Savoy Magazine is a national publication covering the power, substance and style of African American lifestyle. From entertainment to sports, business to politics, design to style, Savoy is a cultural catalyst for the African-American community that showcases and drives positive dialogue on and about Black culture. Savoy is published quarterly and distributed via subscriptions and newsstands worldwide.