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CINDY GALARDI CULPEPPER

Cindy Galardi Culpepper began her role as chairperson and CEO of Galardi Group, Inc. (GGI) in April, 2013, upon the passing of company founder John Galardi. Cindy’s relationship with the company began in 1980 when she married John Galardi and spent nearly three decades living closely to the brands he developed.

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John chose Cindy as his successor because he was confident in her ability as a leader, admired her hard-work ethic and dedication, and trusted that she would uphold the brand’s core values.

With the support of her talented executive team, Cindy is focused on the continued excellence and growth of the Galardi Group concepts: Wienerschnitzel (the world’s largest hot dog chain), Tastee Freez LLC, and Hamburger Stand. Setting aggressive goals for the company and franchisees, her vision for the future includes brand expansion, both nationally and internationally.

Since coming on board, Cindy has made charitable giving a priority and is committed to upping the amount of charity work and partnerships on behalf of the company. She is dedicated to strengthening GGI’s local ties and giving back to the communities in which the more than 380 GGI restaurants across the U.S. serve.

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SUE GRANT

FOUNDER/BOARD CHAIR, THE LITERACY PROJECT

Sue Grant is a visionary whose passion to give the gift of literacy to struggling readers has fueled the formation and success of The Literacy Project.

Grant is a native Californian born and raised in Orange County. After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in The School of Human Services and Community Development from California State University Fullerton, she also studied for her Master’s degree in Counseling and School Psychology. 

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The focus of her college education forged a desire to help troubled youth and thus began a lifelong journey to help those who needed it most. Throughout her career, she has been involved with bridging the literacy gap amongst these children dating as far back as serving on the PTA board of her own children’s elementary school. In 1988, she was recognized by the California Congress of the Parents, Teacher and Students, Inc. with the Honorary Service Award for her outstanding service to children and youth in literacy.

In 2003 as principal of her own PR firm, OC Public Relations, Grant was hired by The Regents of University of California, out of the office of the president, to help raise funds and awareness for a new literacy pilot program. After the first year, she developed an irresistible desire to further this project and donated her time, resources and connections for the next six years. In 2009, when “The New Phonics Gamecame off the production line, Grant seized the opportunity to create a nonprofit organization to provide the highly specialized reading program to the most at-risk struggling readers in impoverished environments.

What was once a lifelong career in OCPR to help nonprofit organizations strive became her own reality when she founded The Literacy Project to serve the purpose of solving reading problems amongst school-age children threatened to become illiterate adults.  To date, Grant’s vision and leadership have helped “bridge the literacy gap” by serving over 6,000 children throughout Southern California and raising over $2.9 million for the cause.

Grant has since become a founding member of the Coalition for Reading Excellence in Washington DC, a national voice promoting structured literacy.  Her passionate career led her to be featured as one of “OC’s Top 50 Business Leaders with a Cause” in the ON PURPOSE publication (2012).

Sue Grant’s lifetime interests have focused on serving school-age, at-risk children and literacy issues. She would tell you that there are many ways to save a life. The gift of reading is one of them.

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