Born and raised in Southeast Michigan, Joanie Hales began working in the service industry shortly after graduating high school. She fell in love with restaurants and customer service and was soon attending college for Hospitality Management in Ann Arbor.
It seemed inevitable that she would start working at Zingerman's Roadhouse while still in college. She was part of the opening crew in 2003 and spent the next two years at the Roadhouse as a server, host and bartender. In 2005 she became the Assistant Restaurant Manager, helping to manage 60+ front of house employees and finding a place for her passion for customer service to truly flourish. Joanie's service leadership is recognized throughout the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses and in 2007 she was honored with the first annual Zingerman’s Hall of Fame Award for Customer Service.
Still at the Roadhouse in 2010, Joanie took on the role of Catering and Marketing Manager where she remained until she joined ZingTrain in 2016.
All the training she did as a manager at the Roadhouse led Joanie to realize that she had a passion for teaching. In 2008, while still at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Joanie came on board as an occasional trainer for ZingTrain, focusing on Zingerman’s Customer Service and Leadership practices. Representing Zingerman’s and sharing the company's philosophies and best practices with clients all over the country remain, to this day, one of the greatest rewards Joanie has ever received.
In September 2016 Joanie took the leap to leave the Roadhouse and join ZingTrain full time as a Trainer. Her 13 years of experience putting Zingerman’s business philosophies into day-to-day practice and her passion for the principles and culture of Zingerman’s shine through in her training.