COLUMBUS, OH -- The board of directors of White Castle System Inc. has announced the promotion of Lisa Ingram to president. For the past three years, she served as president and chief operating officer of White Castle's restaurant division. In her new role, Ingram will oversee all divisions of the company, including frozen food, Porcelain Steel Buildings and the celebrated restaurant system.
Ingram is the great-granddaughter of Billy Ingram, who founded the company in 1921 in Wichita, KS, and thereby launched the fast-food hamburger restaurant industry. She succeeds her father, Bill Ingram, as president; he continues as chief executive and chairman of the board, posts he has held since 1992.
Lisa Ingram worked for White Castle as an Upper Arlington high school student. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration (marketing and finance) from Southern Methodist University in 1993. After working in sales and marketing in the technology industry in Texas, she returned to White Castle in 1997 as regional marketing manager. She subsequently earned an MBA in consulting and operations from the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University in 2000. Upon returning again to White Castle in 2000, she became director of restaurant operations, advancing to president and chief operating officer over the ensuing decade. In that position, her responsibilities included profit and loss management, site development and acquisition, and overseeing strategies for restaurant development and marketing.
Ingram presently serves on the boards of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, Action for Children and National Restaurant Association.
White Castle still is family-owned, and has been managed by four generations of Ingrams. The company presently operates more than 400 restaurants in 12 states, all company-owned. It also owns and operates its own meat processing plants and bakeries to maintain strict control of quality. It launched its frozen prepackaged branded convenience line in the late 1980s, and introduced the products to the vending channel early in the next decade.