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During her time as general manager of Otter's Chicken's West Cobb location, Jenna Grothaus developed a training program called "Otter's University" to mold the restaurant's youngest team members to go above and beyond to show kindness to customers.

Photo courtesy of Otter's Chicken

BY JANET JONES KENDALL FOR THE ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE - "Our goal is to invest in our team and give them the tools to grow into young adults who will accomplish great things in our community," said Grothaus, now vice president of operations over all of Otter's Chicken's four Atlanta-area locations.

Grothaus also developed Otter's 12 Days of Christmas campaign through which the restaurant donates a portion of sales to local charities and nonprofits and also coordinated Spirit Nights, which allow local schools to receive 15% of the restaurants' sales on a given night.

"Otter’s has become a staple in the West Cobb community and they are avid supporters of Hillgrove High School and schools across Cobb County," said Jeffrey Wishon, teacher and boys varsity golf coach at Hillgrove High School. "Jenna has been instrumental in developing and fostering the relationship between Otter’s and Hillgrove. She is an effective communicator and is always willing to support the academic and athletic programs at the school.”

As a result of programs and partnerships created by Grothaus, Otter's has donated over $250,000 back into the communities it serves.

Grothaus is a Rising Star honoree in Atlanta Business Chronicle's inaugural Leaders in Corporate Citizenship Awards. The award honors an individual under age 35 who has already made a measurable impact in their organization’s mission and programs to give back to the community.

"Jenna is one of the main reasons we have had the success that we have had,” said Will Peterson, president of Otter's Chicken. "Anything that I accomplished, she had a hand in."

For Grothaus, the initiatives are just a natural extension of a local business rooted in community.

"A majority of our staff are high school and college aged, and most of them have already been directly affected by Otter’s in the community,” she said. “They come from the schools that we support, so they join our team knowing and appreciating what we are all about. It is just another example of corporate citizenship coming full circle."


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