Faith Owens officially joined our Tacala family 4 years ago in Kingsport, Tennessee, but she was actually part of our family long before that. Growing up, Faith would often visit her Mom, Wendy Fink, at Taco Bell in Kingsport where Wendy was a Shift Leader and an Assistant Leader for over 5 years. Tacala’s Co-CEO, Tim Morrison said, “Wendy was truly loved and a blessing to all those she served.” In 2016 Wendy was diagnosed with bone cancer, and our Tacala family rallied around her with support, meals, rides, and encouragement. She fought hard, but unfortunately, Wendy lost her fight with cancer in 2017 when Faith was only 17 years old. Wendy’s friends and Tacala teammates, Brittany Dyer, Melanie Brookshire, and Dena Smith, are now Faith’s friends and teammates who have fond memories of Wendy and see a lot of her in Faith.
Brittany Dyer began her Tacala journey back in June of 2012 at our Eastman Road location in Kingsport, Tennessee, where she met Wendy. Brittany said, “Wendy brought out the best in me and changed my life for the better. She taught me to be strong and confident. I think about Wendy and honor her every day by using the skills and tips she taught me for my career and for life in general. She gave great advice, and now when I’m faced with a situation I often ask myself what advice would Wendy give me if she were here today. I’m blessed and grateful that Wendy and I crossed paths and became such great friends!”
Dena Smith, Dean of Tacala Leadership University, worked with Wendy for over 4 years, and they became the best of friends. Dena said, “Wendy taught her kids that anything is possible if you work hard to achieve it, and she would be very happy and proud of Faith for following her advice and chasing her dreams of a successful career. Faith often reminds her younger siblings of her mother’s advice, and she is showing them first-hand the benefits of hard work. Before Wendy passed away, her goal was to become a Tacala Restaurant Leader, and she would be honored to see Faith achieving her goal for her. When I visit Faith at the Allendale store I see her smile, her leadership style, and her attitude, which is all just like Wendy’s, and it is the happiest reminder of my best friend.”
Melanie Brookshire has been Faith’s Area Coach for over 2.5 years, and earlier in her career as a Market Training Leader, she also trained Wendy to be a Shift Leader and an Assistant Leader. Melanie said, “Coaching Faith and seeing her achieve her goals and have a successful career is one of the ways I honor Wendy’s memory and our friendship. I see a lot of Wendy in Faith. They have the same drive, compassion, charisma, and motivation for success, and I know Wendy would be extremely proud of Faith!”
Faith always wanted to follow in her mom’s footsteps, and she’s doing just that! She was recently promoted to Restaurant Leader for our Allendale Team, and her mom would be very proud! Faith says, “My goals as a new Restaurant Leader are to earn Taco Bell’s Signature Restaurant status, win Taco Bell’s Golden Bell award, and become a Marketing Training Leader. These are goals my mom wanted to achieve, and I want to honor her by achieving these things for both of us.”
Faith’s teammates describe her as an amazing boss who was born to be a leader. They love and respect her because she a caring, honest, humble and fun leader, who works hard and leads by example to motivate her team. Even though she is one of our newest and youngest Restaurant Leaders, she is determined to make Allendale our #1 team.
We appreciate Brittany, Melanie, and Dena sharing Wendy’s story and passing down her advice and leadership tips to the next generation of Tacala leaders, and we are honored to help Faith continue her mom’s legacy and achieve their goals at Tacala. We truly are one big family!