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Smoothie King CMO Marianne Radley Talks Facing Challenges Through Determination

Radley is a speaker for Local Profile’s Women in Business Summit

Local Profile’s 23rd annual Women in Business Summit, presented by Baylor Scott & White Health, is set for Sept. 13, 2024, at Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel. 

This year, over 600 powerhouse women from various sectors including global enterprise, non-profit, small business and government will gather to celebrate, unite and empower each other to turn big ideas into reality.

Tickets are selling out quickly! Buy your ticket here

One of Local Profile's esteemed speakers, Marianne Radley, is the chief marketing officer for Smoothie King Inc, with extensive experience in global marketing, advertising, product innovation and community outreach.

Previously, Radley was the chief brand officer at YUM! Brands, overseeing Pizza Hut's $6.3 billion US business. Before that, she was the chief marketing officer for Monster Beverage Company, handling marketing, product innovation and sponsorships for the $32 billion company. Radley also spent 15 years at Anheuser-Busch InBev, where she led the Budweiser brand. She also served as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County during the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding the organization from three to eight clubs and improving its financial stability.

Radley graduated from Clemson University and sits on the board of directors for Clemson’s Erwin Center for Brand Communication. She lives in McKinney, Texas, with her husband Paul and their four children.

How do you deal with setbacks?
It’s important to maintain perspective and realize that setbacks are often temporary. Not losing sight of the bigger picture and keeping the focus on long-term goals is important. I also think it is important to focus on solutions and take proactive steps forward. Lastly, I would say it is so important to practice a bit of self-compassion. That is easier said than done — but being kind to yourself when experiencing setbacks really is critical when navigating those tougher challenges.

What do you do when an idea strikes?
My team knows that ideas pop into my head at any given moment, but my most productive and creative ideas usually strike at the end of the day when I can quiet myself, or when I am sleeping. When an idea strikes, I seize it with enthusiasm and if work-related, will socialize the idea among my team so that they can infuse their innovative and creative thinking to make that germ of an idea bigger and more impactful to our business.

How do you respond when feeling held back?
When I feel held back, I take a moment to understand the emotions at play, communicate openly about my concerns and seek constructive ways to transform obstacles into opportunities for growth. 

What is one idea that motivates you?
One idea that motivates me is knowing that even when life throws you curveballs, you always have the chance and the choice to make the most out of it and turn those challenges into opportunities. Embracing the challenge with a smile keeps me growing, thriving and content.

What was the most difficult decision you’ve made in your career so far?
The most difficult decision I have made in my career so far was when I chose to leave Anheuser-Busch after 15 years in marketing and product innovation to pursue a global sales role with a manufacturing company. That new path was an uncertain one, in an industry I had never worked in before, but aligned more closely with the professional development and long- term career goals I had set for myself.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your industry?
For the majority of my career, I have worked in male-dominated industries and was often the only woman at the leadership table. I faced challenges such as overcoming gender biases, navigating a sometimes male-dominated environment, and balancing professional ambitions with personal responsibilities. The challenges, however, fueled my determination to be a mentor to others and advocate for gender equality while driving meaningful change. That being said, I would not be where I am today in my career without the support and encouragement of several remarkable men including my husband.

Who is the first person you come to with an idea?
The first person I come to with an idea? That would be my inner creative muse — she is always available, is oftentimes the toughest judge and has a knack for sparking even more brilliant thoughts. From there, and depending on the idea, I go to who I think can turn that idea into reality in the most effective and efficient way possible.

What is a recent challenge you faced? How did you overcome it?
Developing and launching our Smoothie King app, without a CIO to partner with, was a significant challenge that my team and I just recently faced. Sales transactions through our app represent about 45% of our overall system business and launching the Smoothie King app and eCommerce platform without a CIO was like trying to blend a perfect smoothie without a lid — messy and unpredictable. But with a mix of determination, a lot of long hours and late-night brainstorming sessions, and plenty of trial and error, we managed to turn a potential disaster into a success. Turns out, you can whip up a tech solution with a passionate and committed team, a ton of creativity and plenty of sheer willpower.

What is the biggest mistake you see women making when advancing their careers?
One of the biggest mistakes I have observed women making when advancing their careers is underestimating their own worth and capabilities. Often, we tend to downplay our achievements, hesitate to speak up for ourselves or shy away from taking on new challenges because of self-doubt or fear of failure. Additionally, women tend to be more hesitant to negotiate for a better salary or benefits when taking a new role, However, by recognizing and embracing our strengths, advocating for ourselves confidently, and seeking out opportunities for growth, we can overcome these barriers and unlock our full potential in the workplace.

How do you define success?
I define success as the ongoing pursuit of personal and professional fulfillment, characterized by achieving meaningful goals, cultivating positive relationships, making a positive impact on others, and continuously striving for growth and self-improvement. Success is not merely a destination, but a journey marked by resilience, adaptability and a commitment to excellence — all while making memories and having some fun along the way. If I can work hard and play hard, it’s a success.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received came during a moment of doubt and uncertainty. A dear friend looked me in the eyes and said, 'In the darkest of nights, remember, it's the stars that shine the brightest.' Those words became my guiding light through every challenge, reminding me that even in the depths of struggle, there is always a glimmer of hope, a spark of resilience, waiting to illuminate the path forward.

What projects are you currently working on?
As the CMO of Smoothie King, I am currently leading initiatives aimed at enhancing guest engagement and driving brand innovation. From refining our digital marketing strategies to launching new product lines tailored to evolving consumer preferences, each project is carefully crafted to elevate the Smoothie King experience and solidify our position as a leader in health and wellness. As a mom, the project I am currently working on is preparing to send our youngest daughter off to college in NYC, I’m finding myself balancing waves of nostalgia over her departure and being so far from home, with anticipation and excitement for upcoming empty nester adventures with my husband.

What is the best book you read this year?
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It's a beautifully crafted novel that explores themes of regret, second chances and the limitless possibilities of life. It's not just a captivating narrative but it also provided me with some profound insights into the human experience, leading me to reflect on some of my own life choices and appreciate the inherent value of every moment.

Purchase tickets/tables here!


This isn't just an event—it's a movement! Join over 600 powerhouse women from various sectors including global enterprise, non-profit, small business, and government as we celebrate, unite, and empower each other to turn BIG IDEAS into reality. 

Seize this opportunity to invest in yourself and your future. You deserve to be among the North Texas community's leading ladies, shaping BIG IDEAS and making an impact that reverberates far beyond the summit. 

Speakers & Panelists

  • Marianne Radley, CMO, Smoothie King
  • Melody Lennox, People Operations Executive
  • Ginny Kissling, Global President & COO, Ryan
  • Nora Gomez, CMO, Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Hedy Popson, President & CEO, Productions Plus
  • Beth Garvey, President, CEO & Chair, BGSF
  • Angela Hutson, SVP, Chief Accounting Officer, BSW Health
  • Sharon Ramage, Founder, The Ramage Law Group
  • Lisa Clawson, SVP, Market Manager Private Wealth, Bank of Texas
  • Tatsumi Paredes, Senior Manager, Diversity & Inclusion, TOYOTA


  • Networking: Sip mimosas while forging invaluable connections during our morning networking session. Don't forget to strike a pose at our photobooth and capture the moment with watercolor portraits, painted live!
  • Speaker Sessions: Hear from influential speakers and engage in thought-provoking panel discussions centered around BIG IDEAS.
  • Post-Event Celebration: Wrap up the day on a high note at our post-event happy hour hosted at the trendy Bulla Gastrobar.


10 - 11:30 a.m. Mimosas & Networking with live water color portrait artist, Kiss-N-Teller, photobooth and more!

11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

  • Seated Lunch
  • Keynote Addresses with Marianne Radley, CMO at Smoothie King and Melody Lennox, People Operations Executive
  • Two Powerhouse Panels featuring esteemed local female leaders
  • Coffee Break & Networking

3 p.m. Happy Hour at Bulla Gastrobar

Purchase tickets/tables here!