Renee Zelenka, The Pantry Inc.


Don't ask this category director for favors until after her morning coffee

Renee Zelenka has spent her entire 12-year career focused on marketing and sales, where she says "all the fun happens." After graduating from Meredith College, a private women's college in Raleigh, N.C., she began her career at Ford Motor Co. in Detroit. From there, she moved on to CARQUEST Auto Parts before joining The Pantry in 2011 as a category director.

Zelenka currently lives in Fuquay Varina, N.C., with the joy of her life, Miss Juicy Puff Couture, her 5-year-old Pomeranian. As the youngest of four siblings, she is most proud to be the self-proclaimed, "favorite" auntie to her five nieces and nephews: Dylan, 8; Jacob, 5; Kaylei, 4; Mikayla, 2; and Felicity, 1; plus two more on the way. Her key loves in life are golf, North Carolina State football and her amazing friends.

What is your favorite place to visit?

Aruba. My sister and I visited Aruba together, and I will never forget the beautiful horseback ride up the lava rock formations and across the white sand beach to snorkel in the beautiful crystal clear waters of the Aruban Sea.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Hangman and the Kardashians — yes, each and every show about them.

If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Queso dip. It's already a weekly staple in my diet.

What fictional character would you like to spend a week with?

Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs from "NCIS."

What actor would play you in a movie about your life?

Reese Witherspoon, most relatable from her role in "Sweet Home Alabama."

If you could be another person for a day, who would you be and why?

Oprah Winfrey because in a single day, I would have the connections, financial backing and power to make a true difference in the world.

What do you do when you are stressed out?

Break out in hives.

If you won the lottery, your first purchase would be…

A lot of land large enough to build a whole neighborhood, so my entire family could move in.

If you were to change careers, what would you want to do?

Be a business professor at Meredith College to hopefully inspire students the way so many of my professors inspired me.

What is your favorite c-store item?

Bean Street coffee from Kangaroo Express. I start every day with one, and everyone knows to wait until I'm finished before asking for any favors.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds