You might not recognize Richard Montanez's name, but chances are you've nom-nom-nommed through a package of his Flamin' Hot contribution to American cuisine. Montanez was working as a janitor at a California Frito-Lay plant when he boldly called up the company's CEO to see if he could pitch his own idea for a new snack food, which he'd already been testing on his family and friends. The CEO was intrigued enough to invite Montanez to pitch his Flamin' Hot Cheetos to the marketing team, and two success stories were born that day. Montanez is now PepsiCo North America's Executive Vice President of Multicultural Sales and Community Activation, and Flamin' Hot Cheetos are still bestsellers. "My greatness is courage," Montanez, who never even attended high school, told the audience at a Kansas City diversity event this week, "I'm willing to take a chance." [Source]
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