M ARCH 2009
President and COO of Chick-fil-A Speaks on Business Strategy
Mr. Dan Cathy, President and COO of
Chick-fil-A, one of the nation’s largest
family owned businesses, is a speaker
in the School of Business’ Jim Wood
Speakers Series. The
Speaker Series provides a forum for
Georgia’s most celebrated business personalities to engage in
insightful discussion
with the School’s
Dan Cathy
students, faculty, and
staff. The goal is to create opportunities for students to gain insights into
current business trends and corporate
Since 2001, Cathy has served as
President and COO for Chick-fil-A,
representing the next generation of leadership for the Atlanta based restaurant
chain founded by his father, S. Truett
Cathy. In 1946, Truett Cathy opened
the first restaurant, Dwarf Grill, in
Hapeville, Georgia. Credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken
sandwich, Truett Cathy founded Chickfil-A in the early 1960s and pioneered
the establishment of restaurants in shopping malls in 1967. Since then, Chickfil-A has grown to become the second
largest quick service chicken restaurant
in the United States, with more than
1,400 locations in 37 states and Washington D.C. Known for his Service
Leadership approach to running the family business, the company is flourishing
under Dan Cathy, boasting more than $2
billion in annual sales and 16 percent
According to Jacob M. Chacko,
Dean of the School of Business, “Dan
Cathy is a special guest for us because
he represents the leadership of well
respected, highly successful, family
based business. The company is also
from the south side of Atlanta; Chickfil-A is homegrown for us. Dan
Cathy’s presentation is also personally
special for me because he is an example that hard work, high ethics, and
closely held principles can lead to
success. Our students need this message. Frankly, everything about Dan
Cathy and Chick-fil-A is inspirational.
I’m delighted and honored that he is
part of the series.”
Advisory Board Engaged with Strategic Initiatives
Last October, the School of Business
Advisory Board met to review the new
strategic plan initiatives designed by
the School’s faculty and staff to take
the School toward the next step in the
five year plan -- to be the school of
first choice for parents, students, and
businesses in Southern Metropolitan
Atlanta. The board created committees and subdivided the plans into
three focus areas: Branding and Marketing; Executive Education, Management Training and Increasing Resources; and Career Development and
Mentoring. These three committees
will reconvene on March 20 to report
on their progress.
Mike Brady, retired airline CEO,
and Bob White, Executive Director of
the Henry County Development Authority,
chair the Branding and Marketing Committee. According to Brady, the School
has brought together
an impressive team to
tackle branding the
School of Business.
He says the team’s
initial challenge is to
decide, “What do we
call our product?
There has been a lot of
Mike Brady
confusion surrounding
Clayton State University’s name because
of the recent accreditation problems
associated with the Clayton County
Board of Education. Clayton State Uni-
versity is an entirely separate entity.”
In March, Brady plans to seek counsel
from the board, faculty, and staff regarding taking a traditional naming
approach for the School of Business by
seeking a primary donor, which would
raise money for the school and eliminate some of the confusion related to
the Clayton Board of Education.
Brady also would like to see a
partnership develop between the committee’s co-chairs, professors, local
business people, and students from the
School who want to focus on business
development. “Once we settle on a
course of action, there are several decision paths our team could follow,” says
Continued on page 2
Speaker from Georgia-Pacific Corporation Challenges MBA Candidates
On February 28, 2009, the School of
Business held the MBA Networking
Event. Charmaine Ward, Director of
Community Affairs for Georgia-Pacific
Corporation, keynoted the event, offering
advice on the importance of networking
for career growth and development.
Faculty and staff joined students at a
barbeque luncheon that followed
Ward’s presentation.
With the four MBA cohorts studying on different campuses in Clayton
and Fayette County, the event was the
first time all cohorts have been at the
same location at the same time, offering
them the rare opportunity to network
with each other. “We want the students
to utilize each other’s social, business,
and collegiate networks,” says Dr. Michael Tidwell, Assistant Dean-External
Relations. “You can talk about the importance of networking, but it’s a learned skillset that can only be
learned by doing.
The contacts students make at events
like these will serve
to further their career interests.”
Pam Davis, Vice
President of Real
Estate Services for
Charmaine Ward
Delta Community
Credit Union, is a member of the third MBA
cohort that meets on the Peachtree City
campus. Davis says students have often
discussed the importance of the cohorts
getting to know each other. “These are the
people I will keep in touch with after I’ve
finished my degree. It’s important to know
the other students and their skill levels so
you can reach out to them in the corporate environment,” says Davis.
Myesha Cottom, a labor unemployment paralegal, is a member of the second cohort that meets on the Clayton
Campus. Cottom is hoping to use her
degree to make a career change into Human Resources. She says, “My entire
career has been about relationships in and
outside the work place. I’m trying to
make a career change, which is difficult
because most of my contacts are associated with my current work. Events like
these are vital to my career development.”
In the future, the School of Business
plans to host at least two similar events
each year--one in the spring and one in
the fall when a new cohort begins classes.
Advisory Board...continued from page 1
Brady. “What a great opportunity for
students. This project would offer them
a chance to take their academic training
and temper it in the real world with real
business executives.”
Virginia Gibbs, President of the
Fayette Chamber of Commerce, and Sabrina
Crawford, owner of Heritage Cadillac/
Saab, head up the Executive Education
Committee. Their job is to find good
matches for the School of Business’
community outreach and development
programs, as well as create new resource opportunities for the School.
Nancy Whatley, CEO of Vantage Point
Staffing Solutions, and Janice Rys, Senior
Vice President of the Metro Atlanta
Chamber of Commerce, chair the Career
Development and Mentoring Committee. Whatley and Rys have worked to
put together a mentoring program for
the School of Business’ MBA program.
Editor: Michael V. Tidwell, Ph.D.
Principal Writer: Jennifer Hebblethwaite
Photos: Christopher White or Michael Tidwell, Ph.D.
Currently, they have established about a
dozen matches, but the ultimate goal is to
match every student, who wants a mentor,
with a mentor.
Whatley’s committee has created a
brochure for potential students and executives, containing information about how to
be a good mentor and
mentee. When someone expresses an interest in the program,
they complete a questionnaire that asks for
information regarding
Janice Rys
work experience and
goals, as well as interests outside of work.
The committee then tries to match people
with shared commonalities. Whatley adds
“most business executives have been very
happy to mentor a student and share their
time, especially those on the Advisory
Board and those with businesses on the
Southside of town who understand Clayton State’s relationship to the community. We’re excited to see our program
According to William F. Flynn,
Chair of the Advisory Board and School
of Business Executive in Residence, “We
are blessed to have the quality of people
we have on the Advisory Board. We are
made up of top executives and business
leaders, as well as political leaders in the
community. These people are making
the contributions that will make our
school the first choice for the Southern
In the February 2009 newsletter, the
term Career Planning should have been
used instead of Career Services. Career
Services is a University department.
Dean: Jacob Chacko, D.B.A.
Associate Dean: Diane Prince, Ph.D.
Phone: (678) 466466-4500