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Golden Bell is Taco Bell’s premier restaurant leadership award. To be selected among 8,000 restaurant managers and only 24 Area Coaches (ACs) nationwide is exceptional and we’re proud of the 11 individuals here at Border Foods who won this year. These special people have just returned from their celebratory trip to Hawaii!

“This lifetime experience is available to all general managers.” – Gay Demaree, Director of Operations

According to Gay Demaree, our Director of Operations, what’s especially exciting about this year’s winners is that we not only had eight Restaurant General Managers (RGMs) named to the top 100+ list, but three of only 24 ACs across the entire Taco Bell system were from Border Foods!

For context, there were no ACs from our company on the 2022 list and only one the previous year.

“That’s a really big deal,” Gay says. “Top 24 Area Coaches must have at least one Signature Restaurant in the Top 200 and achieve an “A” letter grade for their area.”

Letter grades, Gay says, speak to an AC’s consistency in performance across all of the restaurants in an area. Octavia Erickson from Area 2 doubles down on the accolades — she’s our AC of the Year, too!


As for the stellar GMs who made Golden Bell, Border Foods is honored to have so many within our ranks. Selected managers also need to achieve “signature status” by following brand standards, committing to 5-star restaurant performance all year long, and maintaining a clear focus on people, guests, the fundamentals and sales.

“Golden Bell is Taco Bell’s way of adding más flavor to recognition culture by celebrating the success of the “best of the best” restaurants and leaders across the system,” Gay shares. 

As a company, let the record stand, we support our finest leaders in celebrating their achievements in big, bold ways! Beyond the brand’s Golden Bell accolade, Border Foods hosts its own annual “Best of the Best” reward trip to honor our top performers.

Congratulations to the following purveyors of operational and brand excellence!


General Managers

Area Coaches


Brittany Caldwell*
Daniel Mulhair*
Gayle Grigsby
Jose Jimenez*
Kaci Denman
Lindsay Wuhrman*
Paula Volenski*
Tamaran Carlson


Heather Aos, Area 31*
Hillary Roelse, Area 23
Octavia Erickson, Area 2* (also Border Foods’ AC of the Year!)



*Lucky to be treated to Border Foods’ Best of the Best trip in Cancún, Mexico, AND Taco Bell’s all-expenses-paid Golden Bell escape to Hawaii!