From Flying to Frying to Philanthropy

Large book cover for Dream Big, Add Moxie

Darlene L. Pfeiffer, a recognized force as a philanthropist and business leader, embodies her philosophy of living and giving fearlessly.

Since the age of eight, I’ve always had a laser beam fixed on what I want to accomplish.

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Dream Big, Add Moxie

The Darlene L. Pfeiffer Story

At age 20, Darlene achieved her first major goal: As a hard-working TWA flight attendant, she led a glamorous lifestyle. Her celebrity passengers included Mickey Mantle, Frank Sinatra and Bishop Sheen. She enjoyed exciting off-duty hours on the glittering Strip in Las Vegas and traveled to Cuba.

When she got married, she had to quit her beloved TWA job since married women couldn’t work as flight attendants. In 1967, boredom with housewifery and her love of Kentucky Fried Chicken coalesced into a lightning bolt idea: Why not open her own store? Darlene became one of the first women to own franchise restaurants and a leader in the new fast food industry. For 52 years, she employed hundreds of workers in her KFC stores.

During these pivotal years, she helped lead the franchisees’ successful lawsuit against corporate owner, PepsiCo. This win protected franchisee rights and upheld a business model envied by McDonald’s and other franchise groups. She also spearheaded a dramatic national expansion of the KFC Colonel Sanders’ Scholarship program.

In Dream Big, Add Moxie, this generous philanthropist and devoted champion of women, students and entrepreneurs shares the challenges she’s overcome. Get inspired to transform your goals into reality — with hard work, assertiveness, perseverance and a little moxie.

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A collage of photos of Darlene L. Pfeiffer.

... Colonel Sanders’ philosophy and exacting business standards deeply impressed me. The Colonel showed me and so many others how much influence one person can have — and formed a foundation for my passionate advocacy for scholarship programs, both at KFC and more recently at SUNY Ulster. Over time, I came to understand more fully the enduring impact of giving. I hope these stories from my life will inspire you to live fearlessly, to persevere and to create meaningful ways to give to others.
— Darlene L. Pfeiffer

Small book cover for Dream Big, Add Moxie

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