Chick-fil-a CEO Inspires Samford Audience with Words, Music

Published on February 19, 2014 by Jimmy Lichtenwalter  
Dan Cathy

Dan Cathy, president and CEO of the fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-a, entertained a Samford University audience during a Feb. 18 convocation.

A well-known music lover, Cathy joined Samford's Jazz Band and Samford President Andrew Westmoreland on stage for a brief performance. With the addition of Cathy on flumpet-a cross between a flute and a trumpet-and Westmoreland on trumpet, the band played "Feels So Good" by Chuck Mangione.

Cathy also addressed the students about his passion for music and how "there are reasons why God gives us gifts and talents."

According to Cathy, his interest and talent in music not only helps him lead worship at his church, but it also aids him with his responsibilities at Chick-fil-a. Music stimulates creativity, which is something man in his position needs, he noted.

Additionally, Cathy touched on the changing world of business. To him, long-standing companies, such as Chick-fil-a, run the risk of ceasing to be innovative and starting to be complacent.

"My job as director of Chick-fil-a is recognizing what is changing and what's not changing," he said.

Cathy also addressed the role his Christian religion has on his business practices."If you want to be a champion of what you do, you need this," he said, holding up a pocket New Testament. "God's word is meant to make you strong and to encourage you."

Cathy joined the Jazz Band, playing the theme song for the film "Ghostbusters" to close the convocation.

Jimmy Lichtenwalter is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in Samford's Office of Marketing and Communication.

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ABOUT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY -- Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 3rd among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,509 students from 45 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.