Congratulations to our very own, Kim Blackman, for receiving the Wichita Business Journal Award “Women Who Lead in Major Companies”!

Kim Blackman | Community Engagement Coordinator | Chicken N Pickle

What is your leadership style? I really gravitate towards the “Coach style” of leadership. As a former tennis player, my coaches were some of the most impactful people in my life. My goal is to encourage my employees and allow them to find their strengths, and cheer them along the entire way.

When did you first feel like a leader? I first felt like a leader when my first child was born. Family is central to my identity and my role as a mother is the most important role I will ever serve. Leadership begins in the household.

Who are your mentors and how have they influenced your career? The women in my family — from my Grandma, to my Mom, to my sisters — are my mentors. I grew up with strong women and saw each of them devoted to working hard and taking care of their families.

What are you doing to mentor women in your industry? My goal is to teach them the importance of community. In my role as the Community Engagement Coordinator, I am able to interact daily with intelligent, driven, women and if I can play a small role in their success, I am happy to do it.

Best advice for young women considering your industry? For anyone considering going into the restaurant and hospitality space, I would encourage them to have a strong work ethic, show kindness, and be flexible! Every day looks a little different, there will be curveballs for sure, and you have to think on your feet and work with others to problem-solve. You have to be willing to let others lead, flex according to the circumstances of the day, be a team player, and have fun!

What female leaders do you admire? I admire all the mommas out there, the women doing their best, the women leading the charge — because when women lift other women up, that’s when magic happens!

What was your career path? I was born and raised in Wichita, went to Wichita State, where I received a degree in Sports Management, and then I coached tennis for over 20 years. I was fortunate to meet so many people and families and met Dave (owner of Chicken N Pickle) who recruited me to work at Chicken N Pickle. My sister (Kelli Alldredge) and I work together. I truly feel blessed to work at a company that holds the same values as I do. Their mission is “Our Hearts Are Local” and I have the privilege of seeing it lived out every single day.

What inspired you to choose a career in your industry? My love for connecting with people from all walks of life.

What do you like most about your job? All of the beautiful, inspiring people I get to meet and interact with daily. I can’t believe I get to wake up every day and find new ways to support our community and non-profits through all of the amazing initiatives done at Chicken N Pickle.

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