Team Member Duo: Twins Nikkie & Kimmie
Meet Nikkie and Kimmie, gregarious twins who’ve devoted their careers to Summerwood. They’ve both been with the company for 27 years! Both have successfully climbed the career ladder at Summerwood. Kimmie, now a Restaurant General Manager, who just opened a new Taco Bell in Marlton, NJ, where Nikkie joins her as Shift Manager.
Returning to the very beginning, the sisters’ story started with a teenage dream vacation: They wanted to go to Disneyworld together and needed money. Nikkie applied for a job first and became a crew member; Kimmie followed soon after. They were just 16 when they joined the Pennsauken, NJ Taco Bell, which was right down the street from their high school.
You could say these girls grew up at Taco Bell. Nikkie says she had no idea what she was going to do after high school, yet by age 21, she was already running her own restaurant after being promoted to Shift Manager and then Restaurant General Manager.
Life continued to speed by. There were pregnancies, weddings and a divorce, but there was also a cancer journey—for both sisters. Nikkie had breast cancer at the young age of 35, followed by a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery; Kimmie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her late 30s, something that their mom had undergone twice.
Through it all, they’ve always had each other. And they’re quick to credit Summerwood for being supportive through these major life events.
“Cancer kicked my butt, but we got through it,” Nikkie says. “And the support and love from my family, and Summerwood too, really helped.”
“When I was going through chemo, they were definitely there,” Kimmie says about Summerwood. She explains that disability pay wasn’t enough to pay the bills, so she was grateful for help through the company’s employee assistance program.
“It’s about these kids that come in that are my employees… and the little touch that I can put on their lives.” -Kimmie
Now, it’s their turn to support others, which they’ve been doing for years. Nikkie handles training and coaching at her current location. She appreciates hearing from former employees that they’re grateful for what she taught them. She can’t imagine ever leaving Taco Bell. Kimmie also loves her job.
“This might sound so cliche, but it’s not about the tacos, it’s not even about the customers,” Kimmie tries to explain about her managerial role. “It’s about these kids that come in that are my employees… and the little touch that I can put on their lives.”
“Taco Bell is a great place to start,” Kimmie continues. “It teaches you the fundamental basics of life in the workforce: responsibility, leadership, delegation. All that great stuff.”
Forging ahead as a team at the Marlton location, the twins have set their next big goal: To be in the top 100 and win the Golden Bell, an all expenses paid recognition trip to Hawaii. It’s one of many perks available to high performing leaders at Summerwood.
“We are living our best lives now,” Nikkie says. “And Summerwood had a lot to do with it.”