Chick-fil-A Canton has its very own hero – Alex Gomez, and Reinhardt University boasts that he is their inspirational Eagle. On Wednesday, Nov. 11, Kevin Williams, owner and operator of the Chick-fil-A restaurants at Riverstone, Marketplace, and Hickory Flat – along with the Reinhardt community -- dedicated a bench in his hero's name.
Gomez has worked for Williams since 1998. While sharing the story of Gomez’s interview all those years ago, Williams said “The interview – that first meeting -- sparked a journey for us that I never knew God would lead.”
“I found the best place to work,” said Gomez. “I had worked for many other bosses and no one seemed to genuinely care for their employees until I arrived at Chick-fil-A. Here, someone was always asking how my day was going, how my family was doing, what my goals were in life. They just wanted to know me and my story.”
Williams’s encouragement pushed Gomez to further his education. As a busy adult learner challenged by personal, professional and often-competing priorities, Gomez persisted. First, he completed his GED, then he attained two associate degrees from Chattahoochee Technical College, and finally he completed a Bachelor of Arts from Reinhardt in spring 2021. “It was very challenging,” Gomez said talking about his college experience. At one point Gomez was working 50 hours a week and taking an 18 hour course load. “I had a lot of support from my co-workers, from Kevin and from my family – they made it possible.”
“I’m very honored to have a bench on this campus with my name. I think it’s going to remind a lot of students of what is possible,” said Gomez.
Williams hopes that the Alex Gomez Bench encourages students to learn his story and “let it be an inspiration about persistence, perseverance, and overcoming obstacles. Often times, hard work is thought of as ‘tough’ and ‘bad’ when actually, if you celebrate the hard work like Alex does, and just realize that hard work is part of life… that’s actually the beauty of life.”