A woman of many talents, April Powell has seen incredible growth during her time at Bon Appétit Management Company. She started out as Washington University in St. Louis’s director of marketing and communications; was later promoted to director of operations for the Danforth campus; and is now general manager, overseeing 350 people at one of Bon Appétit’s largest education accounts.
If that alone doesn’t impress, April got her MBA from WashU’s Olin Business School and had her second daughter during this time. “I’ve always been motivated by looking at where I could continue to learn the most. I’m the lifelong student,” she explains. Despite all April has on her plate, guests and fellow team members will say that even on a busy day she has time for every person who greets her.
April started her career working for an Italian fine-dining chain around 15 as a hostess. Following a variety of experiences in publicity and marketing (and a double major!), she went into hospitality development in Las Vegas. In that role, she helped renowned chef Hubert Keller open several restaurants, including one in St. Louis where she would later move.
In her position as director of marketing and communications, April launched a campaign to reignite chefs’ excitement about food by sharing articles on trends, visiting new restaurants, and connecting with other local chefs. She also saw an opportunity to help educate WashU students about cooking basics. She worked with the culinary team to start a series of cooking classes, which are still going a couple times a month.
District Manager David Murphy, who hired April, says that she has “huge confidence, but she’s a deep thinker—she has an insatiable appetite for understanding why things fail. That’s what a leader wakes up every day and thinks about. I wouldn’t be surprised to end up working for her someday!”