Submitted by Tommy Fulton, Contributing Editor
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Tom McGehee, President of the Rotary Club of Mobile.
Janet Hayes gave the invocation, followed by Larry Sindel with a song and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Introduction of Guests & Visitors: Tommy Blankenship introduced our Member’s Guests and visiting Rotarians.
Student Guest: Jeff Luther introduced Anna Lee from UMS-Wright High School.
New Members: N/A
Announcements: District Conference May 1-3 at The Wharf in Orange Beach.
Rotary Children’s Foundation Grants – Bo Mattei
Easter Seals Camp ASCAA ($32,000.00)
Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast/Children & Family Services ($16,000.00)
Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast/Medical & Technical Programs ($16,000.00)
Christopher Jones introduced our speaker, Daniel Nance who operates the Chick-fil-A locations in Daphne and RSA-Downtown. His topic was “What You Get/What You Pay For!”
Mr. Jones was a banker. His Dad was the 13th store owner of Chick-fil-A after leaving Eastern Airlines for Pensacola. Eventually our speaker became the operator for his own Chick-fil-A’s stores.
Mr. Jones told the story of Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Mr. Cathy and his brother, Ben, opened The Dwarf Grill, a pre-cursor to Chick-Fil-A. They were located near the Ford plant and were open 24 hours a day except for Sundays. In 1967, he opened the first Chick-fil-A in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Shopping Center.
This was the beginning of the food-court concept. Mr. Cathy developed the first chicken sandwich in 1946. At that time, the breast was the least desirable part of the chicken.
Mr. Cathy brought together his leadership team to create their “Corporate Purpose.” It was, and continues to be, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
He believed that there is no distinction between biblical principles and good business practices. Now they have more than 2,200 stores in 50 states. They have developed a program for excellent customer service, which has been given to competitors as a presentation, which includes McDonalds.
Mr. Jones said, “The key to our success begins with their recruitment.” Their philosophy is rooted in Matthew 5:41 which says, “whoever will have compelled you for one mile, go with him two miles.”
During a Q&A session, Mr. Jones explained the controversy regarding their donations to Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The Corporation is not a Christian company, but is run by Christians. He stated that the Salvation Army is re-applying for their grant.
Tom McGehee thanked Mr. Jones for his presentation and presented a certificate to him, noting that a donation in his honor had been made to the Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 pm.