By Leslie Heimbaugh
Knightly News Reporter
Betsy Hamm has a passion for doughnuts. But not just any doughnuts — she loves the warm, fresh, completely customizable treats from Duck Donuts.
Hamm spoke about her career and her recent promotion to CEO of Duck Donuts with Central Penn College President Dr. Linda Fedrizzi-Williams during a recent interview on Fedrizzi-Williams’ podcast “The Bridge.”
Fedrizzi-Williams asked Hamm to describe what makes Duck Donuts unique.
“When you walk into one of our shops, there aren’t any doughnuts sitting there to be purchased,” Hamm said. “You walk up to the register and choose the doughnuts you want. All of our doughnuts are vanilla cake doughnuts, but you choose your toppings, coatings and drizzles. The doughnuts are made fresh, and you get to watch the whole experience happening in front of you.”
Hamm had worked in various positions at Hershey Foods — including director of marketing — for 15 years when a friend suggested she apply for the marketing director position at Duck Donuts. There, she would have the opportunity to build a brand-new marketing team at the little-known company’s corporate headquarters in Mechanicsburg.
“To be honest, I had never even heard of Duck Donuts,” she admitted.
“This was a marketing person’s dream,” Hamm continued. “Here was a brand that people who know it, love it. Duck Donuts wanted to build and grow and make it a national household name. So I jumped!”
After accepting the position in 2016, Hamm spent her first year assembling a crack marketing team and crafting the blueprint for the company’s promotion.
In her second year, the company tapped Hamm to be chief operating officer.
“It was a great way to learn about all of the different facets of the company,” she said.
Earlier this year, Duck Donuts founder Russ DiGilio sold the company to an affiliate of NewSpring Capital, a private equity firm based in Radnor. NewSpring promptly promoted Hamm to CEO in April.
“If somebody had said to me seven years ago that ‘You’re going to be a CEO of an international donut franchise,’ I would have thought they were crazy,” she told Fedrizzi-Williams.
Duck Donuts has over 100 stores in 22 states. There’s even a store in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, which opened last September.
Hamm will be the keynote speaker at the 17th annual Central Penn College Business Partner of the Year (BPOY) breakfast on Sept. 1, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., at the college’s Conference Center. The theme of this year’s BPOY is “Rooted in Tradition, Committed to Innovation.”
“I am thrilled to serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s Business Partner of the Year event,” Hamm said. “I look forward to sharing the stories of how innovation and resiliency were the key drivers that led us to our rapid growth and success.”
The event will also feature special recognition of an organization that has gone above and beyond as a partner with Central Penn College. Two students will also be honored as interns of the year.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $20 and are available here. With promo code “BOGO,” attendees can purchase two tickets for the price of one.
Heimbaugh is co-president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.
Comments or have a story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.