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  • Writer's pictureKelly Sartain

June 13, 2018 In-Person Meeting Michael Kelley, Operator Vero Beach FSU

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

I naively accepted my first Chick-fil-A client in the summer of 2018. Michael Kelley, Chick-fil-A Operator in Vero Beach, Florida, asked me to meet with his director Randy Parks, a past Buggy Bunch Board Advisor. Randy was seeking a mentor for ongoing coaching and mock interviews as he pursued Chick-fil-A franchisee selection. During my preliminary research, I remember marveling at the highly competitive selection process: "30x harder to get a Chick-fil-A than to get into Harvard." I'm a girl that likes a good challenge, so I decided to say yes to the horrible odds. I remember saying, "Well, someone has to be selected, why not my client?" I made it my full-time job to learn all things Chick-fil-A. I began by reading multiple books about Chick-fil-A leadership and culture. As I did, my heart was drawn to more than my usual number 1 with no pickle, waffle fries, and large sweet tea. I genuinely began to fall in love with S. Truett Cathy's vision of quick service excellence. Eventually, Michael Kelley ended up "hiring" me to work with four of his team members.

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