Columbia County business owners will get the benefits of a successful business owner's experience at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce's inaugural Power Luncheon 2005.
Chick-fil-A founder and CEO S. Truett Cathy will speak at a Columbia County Chamber of Commerce event Thursday.
S. Truett Cathy, the mogul behind the Chick-fil-A franchise, will be the guest speaker at the event slated for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Warren Baptist Church, 3203 Washington Road in Augusta.
"Through our business development committee, we went out just to find out what our businesses wanted, what things would benefit our small businesses," said Terra Carroll, the chamber's programs director. "Just in speaking with those small businesses, they wanted to hear from some leader that has made it, and started from the bottom and moved right on up. And he is that."
Cathy is the founder and chairman of Chick-fil-A Inc. He and his brother opened The Dwarf Grill, later renamed The Dwarf House, in Atlanta in 1946. In 1967, Cathy founded and opened the first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Atlanta's Greenbriar Shopping Center.
Today, Chick-fil-A is the second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the country, with 1,200 restaurants in 38 states.
Carroll said she hopes Cathy's experience will benefit local businesses.
"He kind of speaks on all levels of small businesses, just from the startup perspective and how he made it to where he is," Carroll said. "And he has a lot of great values."
Cathy, who is a devoted religious man, operates all Chick-fil-A restaurants with a "closed on Sunday" policy.
Cathy also started WinShape Centre Foundation in 1984. The foundation helps young people through youth support programs, including Berry College scholarships and $1,000 scholarships to restaurant employees.
Carroll said the chamber hopes to offer Power Luncheons twice a year with guest speakers that will bring valuable knowledge to county businesses.
Carroll said the next luncheon, not yet scheduled, might be on a health-related topic considering the county's recent health care industry boom.
Whatever businesses need to be successful, Carroll said, the chamber will try to provide it.
"Anything we can do," she said. "Anything we can do, we try to."
The cost of the Power Luncheon is $25 for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers.
Registration is required and can be made through noon Monday by calling the chamber at 651-0018.
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