Culinology - March 2020 - 39

Stretching toward leadership
and creating your own path
Mackenzie Gibson,
SONIC Drive-In
If you asked Mackenzie Gibson early in her
career if she envisioned working outside the
kitchen, her answer would have been no.
Today, Ms. Gibson is senior director of new
product development marketing at SONIC
Drive-In - a hybrid role of culinary arts and
marketing created two years ago specifically
to showcase her talents.
Ms. Gibson began as a culinary product
developer, but after building a career full
of goals, mindful leadership and proactive
thinking, her drive for success was noticed by
supervisors who were ready to tap into her
unique potential. In this interview, Ms. Gibson
discusses the skills she needed for the
role, what she believes Culinology brings
to the table, and areas the discipline can
continue to expand.
What skills were needed to
elevate your career? 
Ms. Gibson: Building relationships has
been crucial. Stepping into a new role is
easier if you've established a rapport with
your manager and your peers. Listening and
understanding what needs to be done for the
company is key to ultimate success.
In terms of business skills, strategic
thinking is one of the most important skills
in my new role. We do a lot of tactical
work in the kitchen: changing "A" to "B." In
a marketing role, you think about why
"A" needs to change to "B," and its longterm implications on the business. Strategic
thinking demonstrates you have the 
knowledge to build a career outside the
kitchen.

Q: 

What does it
take to create a
career path toward leadership
in product development?
Ms. Gibson: First, become an expert
in your craft. Then, move toward building
a team and understanding people
management. Expand your responsibility and
push beyond what's comfortable. Doing
this continually builds new skills. People will
notice, and eventually you'll have a much
more robust portfolio of skills.

Q: 

Why does someone in product
development need a multidimensional discipline like Culinology?
Ms. Gibson: When I graduated school, the
path was food science or culinary arts. I wish
Culinology was available then. As a food
scientist, I knew how to make the food work.
But over time and with passion, I had to learn
how to make it taste good. Culinology gives
you those skills from the beginning. That's
what's so unique about it - it gives you and
the products a leg up from the start. 

Q: 

What skills should culinologists
work to improve?
Ms. Gibson: As people move into
leadership outside the kitchen, thinking at a
high level and communicating and presenting
that thinking is so important. Presentation
confidence is critical when showcasing your
plan for the year and how it will propel the
business forward. These can be difficult skills
to learn, but they are essential as you step
into that new role. 

Q: 

MARCH 2020 | Culinology |

39



Culinology - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - March 2020

Culinology - March 2020
Contents
PRESIDENT’S letter - Beyond the Bench
EMERGING trends - Is fungi-based protein the future of fake meat?
EMERGING trends - New products at the Winter Fancy Food Show
FLAVOR trends - The key trends driving flavor innovation in 2020
MENU trends - Plant based gets real
MEMBER profile - Applying the Midas touch
MARKETING trends - Vegan claims on the upswing
INDUSTRYNEWS - Driving the Future of RCA
INDUSTRYNEWS - Stretching toward leadership and creating your own path
INDUSTRYNEWS - Fuel your inspiration at the RCA Conference
INDUSTRYNEWS - Finding culinary roots
PETITS fours - Emerging trends and innovations at Natural Products Expo East
PETITS fours - New name, new focus for Grocery Manufacturers Association
NEWS bites
AD index
Culinology - March 2020 - Culinology - March 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - Culinology - March 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - 2
Culinology - March 2020 - Contents
Culinology - March 2020 - PRESIDENT’S letter - Beyond the Bench
Culinology - March 2020 - 5
Culinology - March 2020 - EMERGING trends - Is fungi-based protein the future of fake meat?
Culinology - March 2020 - 7
Culinology - March 2020 - EMERGING trends - New products at the Winter Fancy Food Show
Culinology - March 2020 - 9
Culinology - March 2020 - FLAVOR trends - The key trends driving flavor innovation in 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - 11
Culinology - March 2020 - 12
Culinology - March 2020 - 13
Culinology - March 2020 - 14
Culinology - March 2020 - 15
Culinology - March 2020 - 16
Culinology - March 2020 - 17
Culinology - March 2020 - 18
Culinology - March 2020 - MENU trends - Plant based gets real
Culinology - March 2020 - 20
Culinology - March 2020 - 21
Culinology - March 2020 - 22
Culinology - March 2020 - 23
Culinology - March 2020 - 24
Culinology - March 2020 - 25
Culinology - March 2020 - MEMBER profile - Applying the Midas touch
Culinology - March 2020 - 27
Culinology - March 2020 - 28
Culinology - March 2020 - 29
Culinology - March 2020 - 30
Culinology - March 2020 - 31
Culinology - March 2020 - 32
Culinology - March 2020 - 33
Culinology - March 2020 - MARKETING trends - Vegan claims on the upswing
Culinology - March 2020 - 35
Culinology - March 2020 - 36
Culinology - March 2020 - 37
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Driving the Future of RCA
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Stretching toward leadership and creating your own path
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Fuel your inspiration at the RCA Conference
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Finding culinary roots
Culinology - March 2020 - 42
Culinology - March 2020 - 43
Culinology - March 2020 - PETITS fours - Emerging trends and innovations at Natural Products Expo East
Culinology - March 2020 - 45
Culinology - March 2020 - PETITS fours - New name, new focus for Grocery Manufacturers Association
Culinology - March 2020 - 47
Culinology - March 2020 - NEWS bites
Culinology - March 2020 - 49
Culinology - March 2020 - AD index
Culinology - March 2020 - 51
Culinology - March 2020 - 52
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/culinology-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2020_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2020_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2020_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2020_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2019_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2019_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2019_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2019_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2018_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2018_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2018_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2018_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2017_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2017_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2017_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2017_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2016_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2016_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2016_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2016_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2015_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2015_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2015_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2015_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2014_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2014_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2014_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2014_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2013_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2013_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2013_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2013_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2012_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2012_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2012_06_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2012_03_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2011_12_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2011_09_01
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/2011_06_01
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com