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Chick-fil-A President to Speak at UT March 21

Published: March 16, 2012
Even though he is president of one of the nation’s largest family-owned businesses, Dan T. Cathy has defined his role in much humbler terms — “I work in customer service,” he says. The University of Tampa will welcome Cathy, president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A Inc., on Wednesday, March 21, to speak on the topic of “Building Effective Leaders.”

The event, part of the Entrepreneurship Center in the Sykes College of Business’ MainStreet Speaker Series, will be held in the Vaughn Center, 9th Floor, Crescent Club. Breakfast and networking begins at 7:30 a.m. and the program will start at 8 a.m.

Chick-fil-A was founded by Cathy’s father, S. Truett Cathy. His nearly lifelong career with the company began at age 9 when he sang songs for customers and did radio commercials for the chain’s original “Dwarf House” restaurant in Hapeville, GA. After working in several roles at Chick-fil-A, Cathy took the reins as president and COO in 2001.

Rather than lead from his corporate office in Atlanta, he spends the majority of his time traveling to the chain’s more than 1,540 restaurants, interacting with operators and team members. This unconventional approach to leadership allows him to share his customer service philosophy with the chain’s 57,000-plus employees.

The event is sponsored by NorthStar Bank. Tickets are free for UT students, faculty and staff with a reservation; $15 for individuals; $100 for a table of eight (four seats go to sponsor a student); and a corporate sponsorship is $500.

For more information, go to , or contact Lindsey Smith, coordinator of centers and institutes, at or (813) 257-3782.