While attendees of the April 27 Trinity Business Network (TBN) event enjoyed sweet tea and lemonade compliments of international restaurant chain Chick-fil-A, and the famous Eat Mor Chikin cows made friends with the Troll, Chick-fil-A President and COO Dan Cathy prepared to present “Business Leadership Ethics” to hundreds of local business people, friends of the College, and students.
Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta-based, quick-service chicken restaurant chain, was founded by Cathy’s father, S. Truett Cathy, and is one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses.
Some of the Cathy family values of faith in God and service to others took root in the days when Truett was a child and learned Bible verses from his mother, Cathy told the crowd. Those Bible verses and others have been the foundation of many business decisions, one of the primary being to “go the extra mile” for customers.
This service component started with Matthew 5:41, which speaks to the first mile involving doing what is required but the second mile going beyond what is required—to “do the unexpected,” said Cathy.
The family’s faith is inextricably woven into their lives and into their business, as evidenced in Chick-fil-A’s corporate purpose statement: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Joining Cathy for the event was Kevin Bulmann, owner operator of Chick-Fil-A in Orland Park, Illinois. Every visitor received a coupon for a complimentary chicken sandwich.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for Trinity Christian College and the Trinity Business Network to make some incredible connections with our local business people,” said Larryl Humme, vice president for development. “Mr. Cathy’s presentation was inspiring, relevant, challenging, and uplifting all rolled together. I can’t wait to invite him (and the cows) back to campus.”
After the presentation, Cathy answered questions submitted by members of the audience and signed copies of Eat Mor Chikin: Inspire More People, a book written by his father. He also gave this advice to soon-to-be Trinity graduates:
“Find a mentor,” said Cathy. “There is somebody already living your dream. Developing a mentoring relationship can compress the learning curve.”
Following the event, special guests enjoyed a Chick-fil-A dinner with Cathy in the Grand Lobby.
Ashley Veurink ’11 of Corsica, South Dakota, and editor in chief of Trinity’s College newspaper The Courier, attended with her business ethics class and Assistant Professor Deborah Windes.
“Mr. Cathy’s presentation was genuinely inspiring in both the business and religious aspects,” said Veurink. “The way he has woven his faith in Christ with his desires to serve and practice business is a testimony that many Trinity students – not just those studying business – can aspire to.”
The mission of the Trinity Business Network is to provide Christ-centered learning and service opportunities for Trinity alumni and friends.
A special thank you to our TBN partners:
Dreyer, Ooms & Van Drunen, Ltd.
Evenhouse & Co., P.C.
Service Sanitation, Inc.