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Yum! Brands: How I Got Here: Burge Diemer

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / April 23, 2024 / Yum! Brands
In the HowIGotHere series, you'll read about the career paths of some of the world-renowned leaders at Yum! Brands. Learn more about Burge Diemer, Vice President, Brand Marketing at The Habit Burger Grill in this installment.


  • Yukselis Lisesi
    Ankara, Turkey (1992 - 1995)
  • METU University
    Bachelor of Arts, Foreign Language Education Ankara, Turkey (1995 - 1999)
  • University of California San Diego
    Pre-Master of Business Administration/Marketing Program San Diego, California, United States (1999 - 2000)

If we were to interview your teachers, what would they say about you?

Burge was curious, tenacious and focused, except in geometry - her least favorite subject.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

In high school, my best friend's father was a NATO diplomat. I was fascinated by the countries he visited, the critical issues he tackled, the multiple languages he spoke and the pictures he had with some of the world's leaders. So, I took the Foreign Service Officer test but failed the last round of interviews, and while disappointed, looking back, I would not have enjoyed the bureaucracy and red tape that come with diplomacy.


First Job: I worked as a tour guide in the ancient Greek city, Ephesus, in western Turkey. I wanted to improve my conversational English, get to know people from different cultures, learn the rich history of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and save money to buy my first Volkswagen Beetle. Because of this job, I made lifelong friends in various parts of the world who I am still in touch with today.

  • The UPS Store, San Diego, California, United States
    2000 - 2004: Marketing Manager, Franchise Sales
    2004 - 2007: Senior Manager, International Marketing
  • Jack in the Box, San Diego, California, United States
    2007 - 2011: Senior Marketing Manager
    2011 - 2012: Senior Manager, Operations Services
    2012 - 2014: Business Unit Leader
    2014 - 2016: Director, Regional and Product Marketing
    2016 - 2018: Vice President, Product Marketing
  • Boston Market, Golden, Colorado, United States
    2018 - 2019: Vice President, Brand Strategy
  • The Habit Burger Grill, Irvine, California, United States
    2019 - present: Vice President, Brand Marketing

What moments, or who, in your life influenced the way you work?

Moving from Turkey to the United States

One of my favorite marketing professors in my pre-MBA program told me that he was really impressed that I had the courage to move from Turkey to the U.S. at 23 years old. He advised me to never lose sight of my adventurous spirit, and to this day, getting out of my comfort zone has always taught me the best lessons and made me more resilient both personally and professionally.

Stretch Assignment

In one of my previous jobs, I was put on a stretch assignment in Canada for a year and a half, which taught me how to adjust our brand messaging and tone based on cultural nuances while staying true to the core of our brand essence.

Lateral Move

When I worked at Jack in the Box, I made a lateral move from marketing to operations to broaden my perspective of the business and build trust and credibility with the franchisees. This experience helped me appreciate the key role the restaurant teams play in delivering great customer experiences and helped me become a well-rounded marketer, as I quickly realized that no matter how great a product or marketing idea is, if it cannot be scaled up and executed consistently, it will not work.

Do you believe in work/life balance?

Earlier in my career, as a young mother, trying to achieve the perfect work/life balance created unnecessary pressure and guilt on both fronts. Therefore, I try to embrace a more flexible approach that accommodates the fluctuating demands of my work and personal life even when it is not always balanced.

I focus my energy on living a more fulfilling life by driving results and impact in my work, never missing special moments with my kids such as watching their soccer games, doing Pilates and taking long walks while listening to my favorite podcasts. These walks allow me to immerse myself in the environment, providing a deep appreciation for nature's beauty and a gentle reminder of the importance of preserving and caring for our planet.

What do people think you do versus what you actually do?

People think my job is to come up with new food ideas, but really, my role is to spearhead marketing strategies, elevate The Habit as a modern and distinctive brand and drive our sustainability objectives. One of the most exciting initiatives I championed was the integration of plant-based burgers into our core menu, which reduced our carbon footprint. I was also proud to lead efforts to transition our to-go packaging from plastic to paper.

I still constantly get new recipes from passionate food enthusiasts, friends and family. If they are a good fit for our brand, I often pass along these ideas to our talented chef. Most recently, I got a suggestion for a fried doughnut burger from one of my son's soccer coaches who was confident that it would be a massive hit for The Habit. I am still holding on to that idea!

What is the best piece of advice that you've been given?

Since I was a little girl, I have carried with me the inspiration instilled by my grandmother. She was the first female school principal in a small, conservative town in Turkey who had to overcome gender bias in a male-dominated society. She taught me to always chase my dreams, be proud of my heritage and to never allow any obstacle to hinder my pursuit of what may seem hard or even impossible.


As once a young immigrant with a thick accent striving her way forward to build a career in the U.S., I love helping others be seen, heard and be the best version of themselves, just like many of my mentors have done for me over the years.

One of my most rewarding accomplishments has been to establish The Habit's first Equity, Inclusion & Belonging team, launching our first Business Employee Resource Group and the mentorship program to support our young talents' professional and personal growth.

I am also passionate about helping refugee women and children through my involvement with several international NGOs. Seeing the resilience of people in the hardest situations helps me stay grounded, not to sweat the small stuff, appreciate all the ups and downs of life and role model empathy, kindness and compassion for my kids.

View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Yum! Brands on

Contact Info:
Spokesperson: Yum! Brands

SOURCE: Yum! Brands

View the original press release on

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