Melissa A. Richards-Person ’89
Senior Director of Advertising and Promotions, Papa John’s International

Melissa Richards-Person has been bringing insights to action and connecting to consumers through food, drinks and the meal experience for more than 10 years, working for leading restaurant brands like Olive Garden, Starbucks, KFC and Papa John’s. Her 20-year marketing and advertising background focuses on harnessing consumer passion and using insights to change behavior and drive a business.

She began her career in radio promotions, and served as promotion director for several top 25 market radio stations. She later worked in advertising and PR account management in agencies in the Southeast and Midwest before moving to the client side.

She joined Papa John’s in 2009, leading all traditional advertising, media, promotions, calendar planning and sponsorships, and overseeing the national media budget and two agencies. She negotiated the company’s three-year agreement with the NFL, and leads their activation.

Due in large part to her leadership in leveraging Papa John’s first ever Super Bowl sponsorship into its best sales day ever, Richards-Person was named a 2010 “Woman to Watch” by Advertising Age.

She is a 1989 graduate of the Newhouse School.

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