published Friday, October 28th, 2011

Dalton Chamber banquet features White’s Chick-fil-A tales

DALTON, Ga. — Trudy Cathy White remembers doing homework at their family restaurant south of Atlanta while her dad experimented with chicken seasonings and riding in the car with her family as they discussed names for their new restaurant.

The name Chick-fil-A was her dad’s idea, White said.

Now decades later, the family opened their 1,551th Chick-fil-A restaurant this week, but the business still operates on their core values of glorifying God and having a positive influence on their team members and customers.

“Some people think we are in the restaurant business — we are really in the people business,” White said.

White was the keynote speaker at the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce’s 71st annual banquet Thursday evening at the NorthWest Georgia Trade and Convention Center. She is the daughter of Chick-fil-A founder, Truett Cathy.

At 90 years old, her dad still goes to work every day and continues to guide the company with his core principles, White said.

“Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of rules, we had a lot of role modeling,” she said. Her dad always said young children may do what their parents say when they are young, but they will do as their parents do when they are older, she explained.

Her father always believed there was no difference between biblical principals and good business principals, White said, a tradition his children hope to carry on.

After the address, Chamber director Brian Anderson praised White as “the right speaker at the right time.”

“We are thankful for the corporate example you represent in the business world,” he told White.

The Chamber of Commerce also awarded their first ever “Chairman’s Award” during the banquet. The award was given to Brian Cooksey, director of operations training for Shaw Industries, for his community service and leadership in local education efforts.

about Mariann Martin...

Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...

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