KAREN A. BRENNAN
Vice President, Marketing, Coco's Bakery Restaurant, Irvine, Calif.
Age: 48. Why she's rising: The articulate Brennan is among the best full-service marketers in the country, having demonstrated her ability by helping grow Max & Erma's (from 10 to 40 units) with several outstanding promotional campaigns and creative menus. Ladder climbing: Vice president, marketing & strategic development; vice president, marketing; director of marketing, Max & Erma's Restaurants. Schooling: M.B.A., Ohio State University, 1983; B.S., Indiana University, 1971. Wins praise for: Ability to understand customer behavior; garnering a prestigious industry award for a 1995 advertising campaign. Mentor: Dan Sweeney, former CEO of Management Horizons, "who always thinks outside the nine dots." First job in foodser-vice: MCL Cafeteria, salad pantry, age 19. What the future holds: Brennan says job number one is to make Coco's "a global household name for relaxed dining."