Thanks to LaShelle London, director of real estate for the pizza franchise, Papa John’s International, the company has increased its geographical footprint, allowing their delicious product to grace the doorsteps of many homes in North America, while increasing Papa John’s awareness on a global scale. Papa John’s International started over 30 years ago in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and now boasts over 5,000 stores in 45 separate countries. As a real estate development professional, LaShelle London has over 25 years of national and international experience in the planning and execution of development over several sectors of the market for retailers like Taco Bell, Shell Oil, Dunkin’ Brands, and others. Currently, as a team leader, her area of responsibility covers a whopping 630 stores, spanning across 14 states throughout the Midwest and Central United States, Canada, and Alaska.
After joining the company in November 2020, LaShelle began implementing and executing growth strategies for corporate and franchise stores under her management. Her primary duties include market planning, trade area analysis, site selection, and approval for new and relocated stores. She is also responsible for property management in her areas of coverage, including lease renewals, extensions, terminations, renegotiations and managing sub-tenants’ lease issues.
LaShelle’s global endeavors have also impacted her ability to skillfully tackle tasks. While traveling to different markets around the world in the process of forming and leading the International Retail Division of a manufacturing company, Federal Mogul, LaShelle met with local architecture and engineering firms to adjust the company’s original American design and construction plans to better suit local standards. Her travels took her to South Africa, Chile, Australia and Puerto Rico. Through this experience, LaShelle gleaned the ability to effectively create policies and procedures around growth strategy, real estate policies, and design—skills she now expertly applies in her area of influence at Papa John’s.
LaShelle manages projects for Papa John’s in a hands-on fashion, venturing out to immerse herself in the field in order to assess what is changing, what has grown, and what is new across markets. “I’ve always got that real estate hat on,” says LaShelle. As she gathers empirical research to enhance the company’s reach, her global experience continues to inform her in navigating how to remain aware of cultural differences. “Traveling the world, you begin to understand culture and diversity,” LaShelle asserts.
LaShelle’s broad range of experience allows for self-sufficiency, as well as ample success in team settings. This collaborative nature aligns with the company’s core values; “1) Everyone Belongs, 2) Do the Right Thing, 3) People First, 4) Innovate to Win and 5) Have Fun!” For LaShelle, this positive working environment, in tandem with the rewarding nature of the job, continues to incite success. “The biggest motivator for me,” she states, “is to go back to markets that I’d been in in the past, and think, “Wow, that store is there because of me.”
Director of Real Estate — Papa Johns