Christine A. Specht
Cousins Submarines, Inc.
Christine Specht grew up with Cousins Subs—the sub sandwich chain her dad, Bill Specht, founded with his cousin two years before she was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While attending Milwaukee Lutheran High School, she learned the ropes of the family business by working in the restaurant.
After receiving a bachelor's degree in criminology and law studies from Marquette University and a master’s degree in public administration from American University, she returned to the family business. Specht has held the roles of Human Resources Manager, Chief Operating Officer, President and CEO, and she now serves as the company’s CEO. She has successfully brought new life to a legacy brand by leading a series of system changes, including: a largescale rebranding strategy to establish consistency and unify the brand in look and feel across all locations, the implementation of grills in restaurants and the inclusion of Cousins Subs’ Midwest heritage throughout its menu with signature local products including subs served with all Wisconsin cheeses, Wisconsin Mac & Cheese and Wisconsin Cheese Curds.
Specht serves on a number of boards that focus on healthcare, senior care and higher education, including: chair of the MRA board, chair of the Concordia University Wisconsin Ann Arbor Foundation board, member of the Concordia University Wisconsin Board of Regents and member of the First Federal Bank of Wisconsin board. She also serves as the president of the Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation board.
In 2018, Specht was honored as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Women of Influence and recognized inFastCasual magazine’s “Women in the Lead” series. She lives in the Milwaukee area with her husband J.J. and two sons.