Karen Viera, Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer for iconic, quick-service restaurant chain Church’s Chicken, has been awarded a bronze Stevie for Human Resources Executive of the Year by The American Business Awards, America’s premier business awards program. Created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide, the Stevie has become one of the world’s most coveted prizes. The American Business Awards also awarded Church’s the Maverick of the Year bronze Stevie for consumer services.
“To be part of the journey of transitioning this legendary brand of almost 70 years is a true honor,” said Karen Viera. “I’m grateful to the team at The American Business Awards for recognizing and celebrating my contributions and those of my HR team and colleagues, and I’m thankful for a leadership team at Church’s that trusts and support me and supports me and the opportunity to do what I love daily.”
Viera has served as the main architect behind a series of planned improvements, growth tactics, and HR strategies to position the company for future leadership gains in the QSR Chicken category. Over the last two years, Church’s has invested heavily in forward-thinking human resources initiatives designed and implemented by Viera, including Church’s innovative “People First. Safety Always.” strategy to deal with Covid-19, the “Church’s Transformation Journey” to manage organizational changes, and the “Our Texas Way” HR strategy. Viera’s work has enhanced the company’s ability to respond to future business challenges, work together to achieve common goals, and empower the brand to pursue new opportunities more effectively, thanks to a cooperative global workforce.
“Of all my efforts, I’m most proud of the ‘Our Texas Way’ People Brand,” explained Viera. “This people brand strategy defined our people as the heart of our organization and powerfully recognizes and celebrates the swagger of our Texas heritage. It was an incredibly rewarding project because the ‘Our Texas Way’ People Brand was developed internally with our front-line employees. To have this recognized by The American Business Awards is particularly meaningful to everyone involved.”