Tuesday, December 18, 2007

inspiration



We were very fortunate to meet Truett Cathy on Saturday. He is the developer of the Chicken Sandwich and Founder of Chick-fil-A.

Mr. Cathy was the guest speaker at the Company Christmas luncheon. Mr. Cathy was introduced very graciously by the president of the W. H. Bass Construction company, Carl Herndon. Carl told of the long relationship the company has had with Chick-fil-A, over 20 years, how Bass has built 400 Chick-fil-A stores.

Mr. Cathy is 86 years old and sharp as a tack. He got up and acknowledged the longstanding relationship with Bass, and went on to add that since he gave Bass so much business, maybe he should get a quantity discount?

At our tables we found an autographed copy of his latest book, How Did You Do It, Truett?, a gift card for a free Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, and a toy cow wearing the sign Eat mor Chikin.

Mr Cathy was quick to explain these items found on our table. First, the books were not a gift, that he was planning on bringing his new book to sell, as he has found that a book is more likely to be read if it is purchased than if it is a gift. (Thanks to W. H. Bass company for the books!). Second, he pointed out that the coupon for the chicken sandwich is good only for the sandwich, that we might want to buy the fries and drink to go with it. And finally, he wanted to know, "What do the cows say?" It took us two tries, but we finally convinced him loudly that cows say Eat Mor Chickin!

He told some of the stories his childhood in the depression in Atlanta, how as a kid he would buy 6 cokes for a quarter and turn around and sell them for a nickel a piece, how he made a deal with the ice delivery man for the broken blocks of ice to cool his cokes, how as a kid he didn't have anything to play with except a loose tooth - "and that wasn't mine. It was my brother's."

He spoke of the Chick-fil-A corporate office built back in 1982 in Atlanta. Buddy's father built that corporate office, and after the speech, we went up to meet Mr. Cathy, Buddy told him that was his dad who was the superintendent on the Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters job, how we heard stories of Mr. Cathy coming by the job site with a trunk load of chicken sandwiches for the construction crew.

Truett Cathy is very down to earth, entertaining, and inspiring. He challenged everyone with question, "Why not?" Why not do the best you can, why not give your all to anything you attempt. Hard work, confidence, consistency, character, commitment, never working on Sunday, and giving back, just a few of the many traits of this special man.

Some of Truett Cathy's awards/acknowledgments:

Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans

Cathy is the the 380th richest man in America and the 799th richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine. (You would never know this by talking to him, he shared how his wife still clips coupons and he compares prices on ketchup at the grocery store).

He established the WinShape Foundation in 1984 which supports a long-term foster care program, a summer camp for nearly 1,800 kids each year, and a scholarship program.

Thanks for the opportunity to meet a great man, to receive just a little of his wisdom and experience, to shake his hand.


~featured on Georgia Blog Carnival #25

4 comments:

Sandy said...

Chick-fil-A is my granddaughters favorite place to stop and eat.

Linda_J said...

What an inspiring speaker and interesting man!

You know, Susan, I had not heard of Chick-fil-a Restaurants till we moved South. My husband still teases me time about my saying "who would name a restaurant Chick-fill-" and then pronounced he last letter with a short "a" instead of a long "a" sound, LOL. DUH!!! Suddenly it all made sense.

Now, I have a quilt top pinned that my mom made with black and white splotchy fabric and big snowballs in between and I am tempted to put "Eat Mor Chikin" in the empty blocks. It's going to Mexico and they might not get what that means or I definitely would.

Thanks for stopping by my place.

andsewitis Holly said...

I saw an interview between Cathy and Charles Stanley. I was really impressed with the man.

Mimi said...

We rarely go out for fast food but I recently went out to Chikfila with the girls and read his history. I can't believe he's still going strong.

Mimi