TROY – About 470 Troy University students are expected to participate in the first-ever commencement exercise held in Trojan Arena on Dec. 14. The ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. and this graduating class represents 20 states and 12 countries. Providing the commencement address will be John Cywinski, president of KFC USA, a subsidiary of Yumi! Brands, Inc. In his role at Kentucky Fried Chicken, he is responsible for managing the strategy and vision KFC USA. The KFC USA leadership team reports directly to Cywinski. Recognized as the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain, KFC operates 15,000 restaurants in more than 109 countries and territories. More than 5,000 of those restaurants are in the United States. Cywinski joined KFC USA in August 2010 as chief marketing and food innovation officer, and was promoted to general manager in February 2011. He assumed his current role in November 2011. He began his marketing career at the Leo Burnett Advertising agency in 1984. In the late 1980s, he served as KFC’s Southeast Division marketing manager, before beginning a seven-year stint with the Burger King Corporation, rising to the post of vice president of U.S. Marketing. From 1996 – 1999, he served as president of Buena Vista Pictures Marketing for The Walt Disney Company until joining McDonald’s Corporation as vice president of U.S. Brand Strategy. From 2001 until 2006, Cywinski was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Applebee’s International. Beginning in 2007, he was president and chief executive officer of his own franchise company that operated seven Dunkin Donuts and two Sonic restaurants in Chicago. He and wife Laura have three children.