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Dan Cathy of Chick-fil-A to Speak to Chamber of Commerce Group

Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikin” commercials have become popular fixtures during televised sports games.

Dan Cathy, the chairman and CEO of Chick-fil-A, will be the special guest speaker at LOU Lead Talks, sponsored by the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, at 9 a.m., Friday, April 27, at the University of Mississippi’s Jackson Avenue Center Auditorium A.
Cathy’s father, billionaire Truett Cathy, founded Chick-fil-A in 1967 and grew the company into a fast-food juggernaut and the nation’s largest family-owned business. As heir to the family fortune and company, Dan Cathy grew up in the restaurants and sometimes did odd jobs, like scraping chewing gum from the bottoms of the tables with a butter knife. “It was all very glamorous,” he joked in a company bio.
Cathy’s career began at the age of nine, when he sang songs for customers and performed radio commercials for the chain’s original Dwarf House restaurant in Haperville, Ga. He became Chick-fil-A’s president and chief operating officer in 2001 and was named chairman and CEO in 2013.
Dan Cathy

Cathy sparked controversy in 2012 with comments to the Baptist Press in which he proclaimed his belief in “traditional marriage.” Supporters of gay marriage reacted angrily and called for boycotts of Chick-fil-A. The company kept growing anyway, ending 2012 with $4.6 billion in sales, a 14% increase over the previous year, and opening 96 stores, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC).
The AJC also reported that Cathy and Shane Windmeyer, executive director of LGBTQ group Campus Pride, became friends after the uproar. Windmeyer told the AJC that Chick-fil-A had pulled its financial support for groups that oppose gay marriage, suggesting “the chain’s willingness to change.”
Cathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University and serves on the board of directors for many Atlanta-based organizations. in his free time, he enjoys playing his trumpet, gardening, piloting small jets, riding his motorcycle as a member of the “Moo Cow Bikers,” and teaching Bible study to high schoolers on Sundays.
Cathy and his wife, Rhonda, have two sons and three grandchildren.

Staff report

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