Dan Cathy was born in 1953 to a very devoted southern Baptist family. He spenthis childhood around his father, S. Truett Cathy’s first restaurant, the Dwarf House. Hewatched his father build an empire and began his actual employment with the company atage nine; Dan recorded radio commercials for the original restaurant.The native of Jonesboro, GA graduated from Georgia Southern University with abachelors degree in Business Administration then decided to devote his time to hisfathers second restaurant, Chick-fil-A. He has worked full time since 1970 whilereceiving his doctorates from the University of West Georgia, Anderson College, CarverBible College, and Pepperdine University.Dan earned his first job title as director of operations. While he was director ofoperations he opened more than 50 new Chick-fil-A restaurants. He has also served asSenior Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and Executive VicePresident before holding his current title. In 2001 Dan was announced the President ofthe company and Chief Operating Officer, the same year the 1000thChick-fil-A locationopened. While being president Dan claims he works in customer service, trying to createan exceptional dining experience for visiting customers.Dan travels from chain to chain interacting with the employees and customers.Rather than sitting in the office all day he attends grand openings and Chick-Fil-Apromotional events. Chick-fil-A has gained great recognition by Dan Cathy’sprofessional ways. By him being so involved BusinessWeek and J.D. Power rankedChick-fil-A in their top 25 “Customer Service Champs” poll. Restaurant and Institutionsmagazines also awarded Chick-fil-A “Choice of Chains” for 15 years as well as QSR
magazines 2009 “Best drive thru in America.” Dan Cathy’s most sacred award wasbeing honored with Fast Company magazines’ “Customer First” award.Chick-fil-A continues to grow, as do Dan’s responsibilities. Since he becamepresident and COO in 2001 he has tripled the company’s sales and set a record of $2.96billion in 2008. Dan was risky enough to launch a new sandwich to the menu: “The spicyChicken Sandwich,” which was the first new sandwich to come out since 1989. Morethan 10 million sandwiches were sold in less than two months. Dan opened 80 morerestaurants since 2010 throughout college campuses, hospitals, airports, stand alones, andshopping malls. This helped the economy by providing 4,500 job opportunities.Dan Cathy is an active member of many organization and colleges around theworld. A few named are:Member, Board of Trustees, Berry CollegeMember, Board of Trustees, Morehouse CollegeMember, Advisory Board, Global Teen ChallengeMember, Board Trustee, Gordon College FoundationMember, The New Hope Baptist Church (and trumpet player in the churchband)Sunday School Teacher, 12th Grade Boys – Youth teacher for 37 yearsMember, Jenkins Clinic Board of Directors, Vice ChairmanAdvisory Board, Heritage Preparatory SchoolRecipient of the Outstanding American Award from the NationalWrestling Hall of Fame – 2003Being apart of these college boards he offers opportunities to all employees bygiving out more than $1.5 million in scholarships every year. Dan Cathy is also apart ofthe WinShape Foundation along with the rest of the Cathy family. WinShape wasfounded by Truett as a nonprofit organization and charitable foundation. This programhelps to “shape winners.” This foundation includes long term foster care program,summer camps, and more scholarship programs. Cathy also runs the Chick-fil-A Bowl,
the annual college football bowl game played in Atlanta between the rivals of ACC andSEC. Chick-fil-A is very proud of their Cow Calendar full of events no other fast foodchain has.In addition to his business life, Dan is quite the family man. He met his wifeRhonda of 36 years in the first grade. Cathy has two sons Andrew and Ross and onegranddaughter. Dan has earned his pilot license and frequently competes in marathonsthroughout Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles, Boston and New York. When he is not flyingor running he enjoys gardening and being with his motorcycle friends who name themself “Moo Cow bikers of South Georgia.” On Sundays Dan teaches at a Sunday school tojuniors and seniors in high school at New Hope Baptist Church.