New CKO will lead the brand evolution of ‘Q the Kindness
Sonny’s BBQ, the industry-leading BBQ restaurant rooted in quality food and spreading kindness, today announced Tara Boyle as Chief Kindness Officer (CKO). Boyle will step into the role as the brand’s second CKO, following the three year tenure of Kennon Adkinson. As CKO, Boyle will support the evolution of initiatives under ‘Q The Kindness, oversee the brand’s Kindness Crew and develop monthly activities to reach Sonny’s communities.
“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in our commitment to kindness and the endless potential of doing more in our communities,” said Peter Frey, Chief Brand Officer, Sonny’s BBQ. “For three years, our CKO has built a platform for team members to rally behind and reach more people through simple acts of kindness. Asking Tara to become our next CKO was an easy decision – she’s a champion of kindness, demonstrated by her passion for serving others and empathetic leadership. We know the future is filled with more boots on the ground and giving across all Sonny’s neighborhoods.”
Boyle has been a known leader among Sonny’s team members for her relentlessness in spreading kindness within the company and in her local community. In 2014, she launched BBQ to the Rescue, a program focused on serving members of nonprofit organizations in the Tampa area. Boyle has also served as a member of the Kindness Crew since 2020.
“For 15 years, I have had the honor of supporting Sonny’s mission of spreading kindness through countless hours of volunteering and meals served,” said Tara Boyle, CKO and Sr. Marketing Manager for ACG BBQ, a Sonny’s BBQ franchise group. “My vision is to empower each and every member of the Sonny’s team to bring their passion for giving and create the platform for them to take action. We’re going to make sure every person we meet walks away thinking ‘Kindness is Cool.”
Boyle will play an instrumental role in shaping key initiatives under Q’ the Kindness including Random Acts of BBQ, monthly activations with the Kindness Crew, and creative direction for kindness holidays throughout the year. Through Random Acts of BBQ, a grassroots celebration of deserving community members that includes an award and BBQ feast, Boyle will spread the spirit of BBQ and expand the community impact on behalf of Sonny’s BBQ. By working closely with the Kindness Crew on monthly projects, the brand can pour energy into more organizations in need throughout their communities while maintaining deep connections with their core giving pillars: first responders, hunger and food insecurity, disaster relief, and military. Boyle will also shape plans for holidays including Random Acts of Kindness Week, World Kindness Day and Giving Tuesday.
When Boyle isn’t supporting kindness initiatives at Sonny’s, she’s deeply grounded in her family and community. One of her greatest passions is watching her children flourish while they explore their passions and extracurricular activities including dance and competitive baseball. Boyle is also the class parent for both of her kids. She orchestrates class parties, coordinates teachers’ gifts, and organizes celebrations throughout the academic year to recognize and show appreciation to the teachers.
With nearly 100 locations spanning the southeast, Sonny’s BBQ® is one of the largest barbecue restaurant brands in the country. Its signature pulled pork, sweet tea, and unique appetizers have afforded the restaurant the title of “Best Barbecue Chain in America” by The Daily Meal. Floyd “Sonny” Tillman and his wife, Lucille, founded Sonny’s BBQ in 1968 in Gainesville, Fla. in hopes of creating a local BBQ joint for their community to enjoy. 55 years later, Sonny’s BBQ continues to do just that under the direction of CEO Jamie Yarmuth and local pitmasters spreading the spirit of BBQ in each of their communities through the Q the Kindness and Random Acts of BBQ initiatives. The brand gives back more than $1.2 million annually across the eight states it serves, and reaches tens of thousands of community members with its generosity. Sonny’s BBQ is a leader in the hospitality industry with its commitment to creating unique consumer experiences, ability and willingness to utilize cutting-edge technology, and network of successful franchisee relationships.