Just as our wings come in many flavors, we believe our people come to Wingstop with many stories. So, throughout the Black History Month, we will create a platform for all team members to speak their flavor and celebrate the richness of our diversity. This week, we are spotlighting Senior Strategy Analyst, Laketress “Treece” Jones! Read below to learn more about Laketress’ Wingstop journey, and how she is unbottling her flavor working with a few non-profits in the Dallas area!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I’m Laketress (La-key-tress) Jones or Treece! I’m a Dallas, Texas native and enjoy sleeping, reading, dancing, participating in community outreach and traveling! I am a graduate of THE University of Texas at Arlington, where I earned both my bachelors and masters in business with finance and management concentrations. I have worked in the food and beverage industry throughout my career, which is very on-brand because I waited tables and worked as a to-go person from high school all through college!
I worked in finance the first six years of my career analyzing real estate, FP&A, and supply chain – procurement. This last year at Wingstop, I have had the opportunity to switch it up, and I get to work in the Environmental Social Governance (ESG) space with the chance to assist in helping build out The Wingstop Way and our approach to sustainability. Outside of work, I serve with quite a few nonprofits in the Dallas area such as: Director of Finance for Crowned Scholars, Finance Chair for National Black MBA Association – DFW, and Board Advisory Member for NAF.
How does Wingstop’s culture enable you to bring your full self to work?
I have always been told the pronunciation of my name is too difficult and to go by “Treece” to make it easier on recruiters and colleagues to pronounce my name. I even introduced myself at Wingstop as Treece when I first started… but 2020 was a unique year for change. Wingstop did something I have NEVER seen a company do: we talked about the social injustice of what was happening OUTSIDE the walls of our company. It made me feel just a little bit safer to be Laketress over “Treece,” and in addition to us talking about it – Mahesh, our Chief Operating Officer, made a comment about the importance of getting someone’s name right. It may seem silly to some, “she just went from a nickname to her real name,” some may say, but this has been a constant struggle for me. I love that I feel comfortable enough with my team to share something that I feel I never could in a professional setting.
What is your advice for others looking to get into this field? How can they succeed?
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the chance to start your career in the field you went to school for! I didn’t have any mentors or connections in finance and had to work EXTREMELY hard to go from waiting tables for a brand to sitting as their financial analyst. I started as a real estate intern and advocated for myself and took initiative to prove I deserved a shot at being an analyst. Some other things you can do to be successful:
- What are your transferrable skills? You would be surprised what you can leverage from waiting tables that is applicable to the corporate world. Don’t dismiss those jobs you work while you were in college on your resume.
- Find a mentor! Write down your desired role/title and then assess your circle. Have any of your current connections been in the role you desire to be in? If not, join some professional organizations! National Black MBA Association has been one of the best experiences for me! I highly recommend getting involved with someone who has already achieved where you desire to be.
- Give yourself grace! Choose to see how you have improved in all areas of your life as opposed to focusing on not being where you thought you would be at a certain age.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about yourself, your job, or a message for others?
Don’t be discouraged. Sometimes you career path is a journey – don’t compare your timeline to others. Your journey is a journey, always remember!