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Texas Diversity Council Recognizes Whataburger’s Elena Kraus as 2022 Top General Counsel Winner

Kraus is recognized for leadership excellence, driving innovation in the legal field while inspiring others to succeed

Elena Kraus - Headshot

In her more than 30 years of experience in the legal field, Elena Kraus, Whataburger Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, has demonstrated leadership and vision — navigating what's best for her clients and their people while mentoring the next generation. Today, she is honored for doing just that as a Texas Diversity Council 2022 Top General Counsel award winner, which annually recognizes Texas' top general counsel executives, partners and professionals who exemplify personal and professional excellence. 

Prior to joining Whataburger this spring, Kraus served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Walgreens. In addition to leading the organization's legal strategy during record expansion and innovation for the company, she developed Walgreens' high-performing legal team, promoted key initiatives such as the Walgreens Legal Pro Bono program and mentored rising talent across the organization.

Kraus has made a significant impact in her short time with Whataburger, gearing up for the next wave of growth as the company continues to expand its footprint within the United States. 

“Being a trusted advisor is not always easy… but it is the highest calling of the legal profession and the most rewarding aspect of the general counsel role,” Kraus says. “It’s about building relationships based on trust, integrity, and a solutions-based practical approach to business problems.”

For the Top Counsel award, the Texas Diversity Council honors General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer, Vice President or Associate General Counsel who have demonstrated achievements across the full spectrum of in-house responsibility; performed above and beyond the usual requirements of his or her professional capability; shown commitment to diversity and community well-being; and displayed high integrity and ethical behavior. 

Kraus and other honorees will be formally recognized this afternoon at a virtual summit titled “A Firm Foundation: Reaching for Excellence with DE&I.”

The Texas Diversity Council is committed to fostering a learning environment for organizations to grow and leverage their knowledge. Through various events and programs, the organization serves as a resource for diversity best practices and leadership development throughout the state. 


Congratulations, Elena!

Whataburger is the hometown hamburger place that hasn’t compromised. We serve bold flavors and original recipes made to order, just like you like it, and pride ourselves on extraordinary hospitality and meaningful connections in our communities. That’s what’s led fans to Whataburger since Harmon Dobson served our first customer in 1950. Headquartered in San Antonio, we’ve stayed close to our roots while building sales of more than $3 billion annually across our 14-state footprint and over 900 locations. Even with our exceptional menu, we know that people make the difference at Whataburger. That’s why we’re a 2022 Top Workplaces Culture Excellence award winner. Want to become part of our orange spirit? Apply to become a Family Member (what we call our employees) at whataburger.com/careers. Just hungry for a great meal? Download our app on ios or android to order ahead. Shop Whataburger branded merchandise and selected sauces including our famous Fancy and Spicy Ketchup at WhataStore.com and find Whataburger original-recipe products in grocery stores. See our press kit for a list of locations, fun facts, milestones and other company information.