HGBA Meet and Greet: Christina Marsden

Christina Marsden 

Outback Steakhouse, 4995 Wellington Road, Gainesville
571-486-3902 / obs4740@outback.com / www.outback.com

 

When and why did you decide to join Outback?

I started with Outback Steakhouse more than 16 years ago and quickly learned it was my passion. Over the years I have had many roles. Being a manager, training staff around the country, and being a proprietor for two different Outbacks.

 

How does your business serve the local community? 

Right now we donate food through the local distribution center, Harvest Food. We also donated over $10,000 to Operation Homefront our first night of business. At my previous Outback, we donated hundreds of meals to local hospitals and essential businesses. We fed teachers and students as well as provided hospitality training to local schools. We fundraised for PTOs and supported literacy by creating our own reading frequency program for students. We are excited to get to know Gainesville better so we can find ways to be a valued member of this community too.

 

Please share one of the greatest moments you’ve experienced in your current profession. 

Developing people who work for me so they can grow into greater roles within the company and/or in their professional life. Seeing them flourish in their next phase and to know that I have been a part of it is a joy and a reward I wouldn’t trade for anything.

 

Tell us about your experience with the HGBA. How has it supported you in your local business? 

As a new member, I can say I am thrilled to be given this spotlight opportunity. It was unexpected and appreciated.

 

What are the top three business tips and tricks can you offer other professionals?

 

  1. Appreciate diversity. Representation matters and it will change the way you do business when people from different perspectives have a voice in the way that you do things.
  2. Challenge yourself to be uncomfortable. If something seems daunting or feels overwhelming, that is what growth feels like.
  3. Listen. All the time, to everyone. Everyone wants to be heard. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to forget.

 

Are you from this area? If not, what brought you here and what do you like about our town? 

I live in Vienna right now. We are looking to move to this area though, as I have been bombarded by some of the nicest people I’ve ever met since I started working in this community.

 

What is your favorite season in this area, and why? 

Fall is my personal favorite season anywhere. I look forward to finding out what this area does for the holidays to celebrate and be a part of it if we can.

 

What are some hobbies you enjoy? 

I enjoy going to museums and crafting with my goddaughter. Hopefully when the pandemic is over I can do more of both again.

 

What is your favorite restaurant? 

After all these years, I still eat in my restaurant every day. I have to say I genuinely love some good sushi and Bonefish Grill (and not just because Bonefish is a sister company!).

 

What is your favorite local high school sports team? 

Having a lot of employees that attend Patriot and Battlefield High Schools, I am going to choose the middle ground and say, “Go Bobcats AND Pioneers!” 

 

Are you involved with any nonprofits? If so, which one and why? 

As I mentioned before, we are passionate about our work with the Harvest Food Donation program. It allows us to provide nutritious meals to local families who need it. 

 

What was your first job, or your most interesting job prior to your current profession? 

My first job was working for my father’s auto shop in Florida when I was thirteen. While I loved going to work with my dad all summer long, I really appreciated my first restaurant job a few years later when I became a host. As a people person, I have been fated to love this industry more than any other and the discount on great food doesn’t hurt.

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