Sally Smith

Buffalo Wild Wings

Sally Smith has grown Buffalo Wild Wings from about 70 restaurants to more than 1,180 over 20 years, but next year could be her most challenging, due to slowing restaurant traffic, a persistent global commodity slump that has deflated grocery store prices, and activist investor Marcato Capital Management’s new 5.1 percent stake in the company. Marcato is pushing the firm to franchise more of its stores and find new leadership. Despite these challenges, Smith is on track to open 40 new corporate-owned stores in 2016 and is adding India and Vietnam to its growing list of markets this year.