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Lehigh Carbon Community College

More than 30 Reinhardt University students in the McCamish School of Business traveled off campus March 28 to learn more about Chick-fil-A’s operations at its headquarters in Atlanta thanks to local Chick-fil-A owner/operator Kevin Williams.

Local Chick-fil-A owner/operator Kevin Williams stays busy in the community and earlier this week he sponsored a field trip for Reinhardt University’s McCamish School of Business students to Chick-fil-A’s headquarters in Atlanta.

More than 30 students attended the trip on March 28, where they were able to speak with CEO Dan Cathy and learn about what Chick-fil-A has to offer.

Williams paid for the tour and accompanied the students on the trip, while Chick-fil-A provided lunch. Williams said he was happy to sponsor the trip and enjoys showing business students what kind of opportunities are available.

“Basically, I love spending time with business students and Reinhardt students. I enjoy being able to take them into the corporate world and let them see what’s going on in some forward-thinking businesses like Chick-fil-A,” Williams said. “Sometimes a college student doesn’t understand the opportunities with a franchise and owning your own business. I enjoy exposing them to all the marketing and innovation going on. You have to get out there and see it all.”

Students met with Dan Cathy who spoke about the company and his father’s passion for the business.

“We toured Truett’s office, talked with guides about the culture and history, toured the innovation center and visited the museum. Students also got to see collaborative work environments that they will experience as they begin work,” said Professor Tina Boosell.

Students on the trip met with Andre Kennebrew, a talent manager at Chick-fil-A. He held a mock interview with student Carlos Guzman and offered tips on how to prepare for the job search and interview process.

McCamish School of Business students and Reinhardt University faculty and staff are pictured with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy at his company’s Atlanta headquarters.

“When I asked students what they liked most about the day, they all went back to the fact that Chick-fil-A was very open about their strong Christian values,” Boosell said. “In a culture that makes you think you must suppress your beliefs, they were able to see that Christian companies can thrive.”

Student Allie Hale said she enjoyed getting to see the ins and outs of a successful business and was thankful for Kevin Williams and Dan Cathy for taking time out of their days for the RU students.

“I loved being able to go behind the scenes and see how one of the most respected and popular companies that started in our own state of Georgia worked. Seeing Chick-fil-A headquarters only strengthened my respect for them,” Hale said. “I learned that Chick-fil-A’s success comes from more than just selling chicken. It came through their faith and hard work.”

Another component of Chick-fil-A’s business that the students saw first-hand with Williams’ support of the trip is its encouragement of its owner/operators to get involved in their communities.

Williams said he enjoys working with the community outside of the four walls of his Chick-fil-A stores.

“I have a good mentor in Truett Cathy who said the more you give it seems like the more you get. That is the way it is for our business,” Williams said. “The way I view my job is to glorify God by being a faithful steward. That is being my best and pouring myself into the community.”

Being active in the community also educates people about Chick-fil-A and Williams said the recent field trip has yielded his stores potential new crew members.

“I enjoy getting to know our community and honestly, it’s the way to recruit. I’m always out there looking for someone,” he said. “There are a couple of people who came up to me after (the field trip). I’m meeting with two next week. They want to look into possible careers with Chick-fil-A.”

In addition to the students, Dr. Roger Lee, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, Dr. Dana Hall, assistant professor of business, Cindy Moss, lecturer of business, Tina Boosell, instructor of business, and Dr. Kathy Hyatt, associate professor of business, attended the trip.