Thursday, December 05, 2013

TOP STORY >> Cabot man saluted by Taco Bell

Cabot resident Todd Mills, 41, who passed away on Thanksgiving after a battle with brain cancer, is being remembered around the country for helping to make Doritos tacos at Taco Bell a huge success.

Those tacos have sold more than $1 billion worldwide since it was introduced last year.

Taco Bell donated $1,000 toward Mills’ medical expenses.

Mills was known for founding the Facebook page “Taco Shells from Doritos Movement” to raise support to get Taco Bell and Frito-Lay to collaborate and create the Doritos Locos Taco. He had originally pitched the idea to Frito-Lay in 2009, but the company rejected the idea.

Frito Lay flew him to California, where he toured the Dorito plant.

A release on about Mills’ contribution to the Dorito taco says, “We know this is a tragic time for Todd’s family. He was a huge Taco Bell fan. He was passionate about the Doritos Locos Taco, and although he did not invent it, he founded a Facebook page to drum up support. In light of his passion, we invited him to be one of the first to try it. He became a true friend of the brand, so when we learned of his ill health, we made a $1,000 donation towards his medical expenses. We will miss Todd very much and our hearts are with his family and friends in this difficult time.”

Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed in March called the Dorito-Loco Taco, which has a near-fanatical following among Taco Bell customers, “the biggest launch in Taco Bell history.”

Mills’ supporters took to the “Taco Shells from Doritos Movement” page to express disappointment in the corporations involved in making the Doritos Loco Tacos.

A follower named Niz Judy posted, “So, Taco Bell made billions and Todd made zero? I will never buy another taco until I hear that family was compensated. A few million will not hurt your wallet, think of his girls!”

Another, Diane L. Loberger posted “To the family of Todd Mills our thoughts and prayers are with you. We thank Todd for his wonderful idea of the Doritos taco shell. Taco Bell and Frito Lay need to step up and do the right thing by admitting this was Todd’s creation. The greed of these companies is outrageous. They owe Todd so much. I do hope they will share some of the billions they made from Todd’s creation with your family. A $1,000 come on Taco Bell and Frito Lay be generous and show your integrity please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Mills was the vice president of communications and marketing at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce.

Although his life was brief, Mills lived a full life. He graduated high school in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1990 and joined the Air Force in 1992.

In the Air Force, he was a K-9 policeman and trained dogs in Panama for a year. While stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, he was President Clinton’s personal escort whenever he traveled to Arkansas. Todd and his dog Henry worked the Atlanta Olympics bombing case in 1996.

Todd was an accomplished bass player and played in a band.

He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a degree in industrial writing. He loved working on computers. He also loved fishing and golfing.

He married Ginger Hickey in 1998 and they enjoyed 15 years together.