For the first time since 2014, Church's Chicken has added a new member to its prestigious Hall of Fame. As part of a gala awards ceremony at the company's annual Excellence in Leadership Conference, Church's CEO Joe Christina welcomed Terry White as the fourth member of the Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors the brand bestows on individuals.
"The Church's Chicken Hall of Fame recognizes individuals that have made long-lasting and impactful contributions to the growth and stability of our great brand around the world," Christina said during the presentation. "This award exemplifies the highest standard of commitment to the brand, its ideals, and its values."
Christina introduced Terry White, franchisee of 37 years and counting, and now the newest member of the Hall of Fame. White began his career with Church's in the early 1970s in Alabama, where he dedicated himself to every day excellence and meeting the standards of the brand's Step 13 program. By May 5, 1980, he earned the distinction of master merchant—a top honor recognized with a Golden Key to the restaurant, White's first, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
White acquired additional restaurants throughout the state and made each one a successful turnaround story by achieving double-digit sales improvements and adhering to core brand principles such as friendly team members, quality, service, and cleanliness. He now operates 15 Church's restaurants throughout Alabama and Mississippi. During the presentation, White was honored with a video salute of his business and personal successes as a respected restaurant owner, family man, and community leader. "Terry is the nicest guy you'd ever meet and has an energy that radiates warmth and hospitality," Christina added. "He has spent his career focused on taking care of those around him … his managers, team members, and guests are all very important to him … his family is his No. 1 priority and they are an essential part of the business. I am honored to announce [Terry White] as our 2017 Church's Chicken Hall of Fame Inductee."
"I am honored to receive this award and to be where I am with Church's today," White said. "I have always enjoyed working hard and being proud of what I have been able to accomplish, and I owe that to my team members, family, and my Church's Chicken family."
Terry White joins other Hall of Fame members: George Church Sr., founder of Church's Chicken; Francisco Gerardo Larrea, franchisee from Puerto Rico; and Bob French, former Church's Chicken regional franchise director. Church's places great value in recognizing those that have paved the way to forming an iconic brand, 65 years in the making. The honor is not awarded on a regular schedule, but is instead only presented to those who have gone above and beyond in service of the brand and their communities.