Prior to founding the KGR Group, Edith Kelly-Green worked for almost 30 years at FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, where she served in many roles including Vice President and Chief Sourcing Officer. She also served as Vice President-Internal Audit of FedEx Corporation and reported directly to the Chairman and Founder, Frederick W. Smith. She was the first black woman to receive officer status. During her tenure, she received three Five Star Awards, the highest performance award at FedEx.
In 2005, Kelly-Green started The KGR Group. KGR’s primary investments are Lenny’s Grill & Subs (LGS) franchises and Wimpy’s Burger and Fries restaurants (WBF) located in the Greater Memphis Area. Edith made a $215 thousand loan to The KGR Group to acquire her first Lenny’s store in Oxford, MS, guaranteed a $300 thousand loan and then immediately invested $450 thousand of her own money to purchase three more franchises. The KGR Group expanded from one location in 2005 to a high of 13 Lenny’s Grill & Subs stores. Based on economic conditions, geographical dispersion and other opportunities, the LGS locations were reduced to five, a new concept, Wimpy’s Burgers and Fries was added (one location purchased and two new locations subsequently opened) and Runway 901 was opened to support the Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority in the Delta dehubbing transition. The KGR Group still has the largest number of LGS locations in the 90 unit LGS system and serves on the LGS national Advisory Board (one of five franchisees elected by the LGS franchisee community. Organically and through acquisitions, revenues have increased from $500 thousand in that first location to $7 million annually. Additionally, LGS has provided first jobs or launch pads for hundreds of Memphis citizens, many who have completed college or become technicians. A goal is to ultimately create self-sufficient, tax paying and productive Memphis citizens.
Edith Kelly-Green serves the business and civic community currently by participating on the following boards: Director-Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ) since 2018 Member Audit Committee and Chairman-Governance Committee; Director-BULAB Holdings, Inc.,-Compensation and Chairman-Audit Committee; Director-Methodist LeBohneur Health Systems Board since 2018-Member Finance and Compensation Committees, Chairman-Audit, Compliance and Technology Committee, and Director-Hattiloo Theatre, Inc.
Kelly-Green is Founding Member – The Circle of Friends in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Founding Board Member and Treasurer-Women’s Foundation of Memphis, Founding Member –Philanthropic Black Women of Memphis: nine African American philanthropists who “pool” their money for impact grants to the Memphis community, Founding Board Chairman-Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy and many more.
Edith Kelly-Green is a 25-year breast cancer survivor who believes that to whom much is given, much is expected. She tries daily to fulfill that expectation.
Largest Lennys Grill & Subs Franchisee, Owner of Wimpys Burgers and Fries, Miscellaneous Real Estate Investments
“Every business and/or non profit was started by an entrepreneuer who had an idea or a cause that they believed in enough to commit their time and personal resources to make it happen. Most times, they did not see themselves as entrepreneurs, but just someone who want to, could and did make a difference. I believe everyone is an entrepreneur in some form or fashion even though most of us never are recognized like the Amazons, the Fedex or Lennys of the world. We do our thing, invest our time, add a footprint however small and as a result, our community and world becomes a better place!”
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