April L. Watkins


Vice President, Human Resources & Inclusion  
Burger King Corp. 
Age: 39


April L. Watkins’ human resources career spans more than 10 years. She began as a corporate generalist for automotive manufacturers GKN and then became a senior manager of human resources at Ingersoll Rand, the industrial solutions and services multinational. Now, as vice president of human resources and inclusion at Burger King Corp., she sets the strategic direction and integration for human resources to support the growth and profitability of the Americas operations. She also leads the human resources synergies for the brand by bridging company and franchise best practices throughout the system.


Watkins credits her family support system for helping her attain both personal and professional successes. She says, “My mother drove my education and confidence, my father instilled individuality and self-worth in me, my brother inspired me to be creative and competitive and my grandmother taught me the importance of family solidarity.”


Watkins received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of South Carolina, an Executive M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina and a human resources certification from Human Resources Certification Institute. She is also a licensed realtor and broker in North Carolina. A member of the National Black MBA Association, National Society of Human Resources Management and Mother of Multiples Society, Watkins also sits on the boards of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, the Urban League of Broward County and the Diversity Action Council. If she had the time and resources, Watkins says, she would indulge herself more in her interests of real estate development, songwriting and music production.


Amid a burgeoning work schedule and service projects, Watkins maintains balance by having a positive outlook on life and never believing in limitations. Her self-developed motto “Let go of inhibitions to foster infinite possibilities” helps to keep her motivated from day to day.


Fun Facts

Favorite singer: Marsha Ambrosius
Last movie: “The Social Network”
First job: Pianist