Ian Keene

Ian has made an impact on foodservice by leading by example and demonstrating excitement and enthusiasm in every situation.

Why Selected?

According to Jodi Smith Westwater, senior director of marketing, communications and advocacy at Compass Group supporting Microsoft Real Estate & Facilities, Ian has made an impact on foodservice by:

  • Demonstrating his personal commitment to inclusion and diversity by serving as co-chair of the Compass Group Diversity & Inclusion Action Council representing 23 members nationwide
  • Actively supporting Microsoft’s Supported Employment Initiative, which aims to employ 122 individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Leading by example and demonstrating excitement and enthusiasm in every situation
  • Focusing on the people and the greater good of the team by looking for new ways to leverage employees’ strengths and include everyone in the improvement of the business


District Manager (Compass Group), Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Age: 29
Years at organization: 4

Get to know

Q. What has been your proudest accomplishment?

Getting to the position where I am today at such a young age and remaining true to who I am, while never losing sight of my passions of inspiring, impacting and influencing others.

Q. What's the best career advice you've been given?

I’m a big quote nerd, so my advice would have to be pulled off of a couple of quotes: “Lead through inspiration, not authority,” and “Be the change you want to see in the world” by Gandhi.

Q. What's been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome?

Balancing my personal and professional life while being career driven. With a young family, I constantly strive to make my days impactful and efficient so that I can “be home” when I’m home.

Q. What's been your most rewarding moment?

Hearing “thank you” from people because they expressed how I changed their lives. Most of these changes took place simply by offering a genuine approach to their situation and instilling in them that I cared and would push them to be great and support them when there were opportunities.

Q. What would you like to accomplish in your career in the next two years?

I would like to better myself through new challenges and opportunities. I don’t know what the next opportunity will be, but I’ve always come to work focusing on my job at hand and on doing it well so that every next step or opportunity comes to me, as opposed to me going to it. I truly want to better my management style, my leadership skills and abilities to overcome every difficult situation and seek the opportunity at hand. 

Q. What can you look back at now and laugh at?

I first got into the hospitality/food industry when I was only 14 years old. I was at a friend’s house and saw his money jar and thought to myself, “I want to make that kind of money.” At that time, it was a bunch of one-dollar bills because he was a busser in an Italian restaurant. To me, it was gold. I was able to join him as a busser, and the rest is history.

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