Even the most beloved independent businesses were blindsided by the COVID-19 pandemic, and ZingTrain was no exception — despite being the part of the Zingerman’s family of businesses that teaches people nationwide how to provide exceptional customer service and business management.  Katie Frank, Managing Partner of ZingTrain, shared an honest yet optimistic overview of how ZingTrain has managed its business in the face of the pandemic during her keynote address at the AMIBA Virtual Conference on Building Equity on October 9.  

As Katie noted,  maintaining a growth mindset and a willingness to try new things was central to making the necessary pivots to keep the business running.  She quoted visioning materials developed during that process: 


  • Unless principles tell you otherwise, say Yes.
  • Until thoroughly investigated, say Yes. 
  • Unless the numbers tell you otherwise, say Yes.
  • When your mind is screaming no, especially say Yes.
  • If it makes you uncomfortable, especially say Yes.  Saying Yes may lead us to something wonderful.  

Katie also emphasized the importance of detailed and ongoing customer feedback, including the use of Zingerman’s well-known Red and Green forms. As Katie noted, an “orientation toward learning” becomes crucial to executing the business’s vision within a shifting environment, and customer feedback provides a crucial source of that information. 

You can watch Katie’s 12-minute keynote and Q&A with some of the conference participants here:



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