Ever since she started working at a Little Caesars in Detroit when she was 15, pizza has meant more to Vicki Dunn-Marshall. In addition to providing a career, this savory pie has given Vicki a path to success and opportunities to give back to her community. And after years of dedication and hard work, Vicki, who now owns 25 Little Caesars franchise locations in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky, was given the company’s prestigious Culture of Champions award.
Managing a network of restaurants is hard work, but Vicki always makes sure she uses her influence to help her community. Over the years, she’s helped raise money for charitable efforts and helped employees franchise their own stores. But when the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to close down businesses all over the country and many people were losing their jobs, Vicki came up with a creative way to keep all 500 employees at her stores on the payroll without cutting hours or laying anyone off.
Loyalty and hard work make a difference
When Vicki received the Little Caesars Culture of Champion award, she gave credit to her employees and said her businesses and community outreach ideas would not be successful without the help of her loyal and hardworking employees.
“We concentrate on our people,” she said, adding that she wants to create a good environment where employees can be proud of the work they’re doing. “Several people have been with us 25 years or more and they are now franchise owners and have their own stores.”
Vicki has made a meaningful career out of fast food pizza and she’s inspiring her employees to do the same. One of the most successful ways Vicki and her team are doing this is by providing a mobile restaurant into small communities in southern West Virginia, where there aren’t many dining options.
One day a week, Vicki and her team setup a mobile Little Caesars in a parking lot and serve lunch or dinner. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, the mobile Little Caesars has given people in these small communities a reliable and safe place to pick up lunch or dinner for their families without driving to neighboring towns.
Making pizza for a cause
Good business can be good for the community too. Vicki said business isn’t all about profits and making money. That’s why she encourages employees to support charitable efforts in the community. One way they do this is hosting many fundraisers for no-kill animal shelters and donating free pizza to people who adopt animals from these shelters.
Vicki and her employees also created a “Pizza Paws” program, which recognizes K-9 officers and their handlers. When a police officer takes in a K-9, they usually assume the full expense of that dog. Vicki and her team have fundraised to provide dog first aid kits, local vet discounts and K-9 GPS tracking collars. The team have been rewarded for their efforts with invitations to attend K-9 police training, where they were delighted to present dogs with their new collars.
Vicki also supports causes her employees are passionate about. When one of her employees started a research and development foundation in honor of her brother, Vicki helped out by creating a yearly event to honor the foundation. This is a prime example of how she goes out of her way to assist in improving and supporting the lives of her employees and community members.
Vicki Dunn-Marshall continues to say #YesWV because of the good, honest people she gets to work with every day and the unmatched culture and community she gets to be a part of. The Mountain State is lucky to have businesswomen like Vicki and the West Virginia Department of Economic Development is proud to applaud her generous endeavors.