Dan Cathy to Receive Four Pillar Award from The Council for Quality Growth

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, June 5th, 2015

The Council for Quality Growth will honor Dan T. Cathy, President & CEO of Chick-fil-A, Inc., with its 26th annual leadership award at the Four Pillar Tribute on Thursday, October 1 at the Georgia World Congress Center. A who’s who of Metro Atlanta and Georgia – including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, The Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, Georgia Power Company Chairman, President and CEO Paul Bowers, and Larry Gellerstedt, President and CEO of Cousins Properties – among others will co-chair and pay tribute to Mr. Cathy.

“Dan is devoted to continually improving the Greater Atlanta community,” said Tim Lowe, 2015 Chairman of the Council for Quality Growth. “His passion for and commitment to communities throughout metro-Atlanta gives us insight into the measures he is taking to bring growth and prosperity to areas of the city that need us most.”

The theme of this year’s tribute will be “Climb with Care and Confidence,” which is one of the many lessons Cathy learned from his late father, Chick-fil-A, Inc. founder S. Truett Cathy. While Dan and his siblings grew up working in the family business, his tenure officially began in 1975. Cathy has served as the President and COO since 2001 and became Chairman and CEO in 2013. As the next generation of leadership for the country’s top quick-service chicken brand, Dan embodies his Four Pillar theme selection through his work in and out of the office. He is committed to upholding Chick-fil-A’s mission to “have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

Cathy is also committed to the prosperity of Atlanta. He has been a vocal proponent of investment and community improvement in Atlanta’s most impoverished neighborhoods. To help further these efforts, the Council for Quality Growth will be making a gift in Cathy’s honor to causes supporting Atlanta’s Westside communities.

An esteemed group of Tribute Co-Chairs have assembled to pay tribute to Cathy for his demonstration of the “Four Pillars” of leadership – Quality, Responsibility, Vision and Integrity. The complete list of Tribute Co-Chairs include: 

  • Frank Blake, Former Chairman and CEO, The Home Depot
  • Ted Blum, Managing Shareholder-Atlanta, Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Paul Bowers, Chairman, President and CEO, Georgia Power Company
  • Rodney Bullard, Vice President, Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A, Inc.
  • Vince Dooley, Former Head Coach and Athletic Director, University of Georgia
  • Larry Gellerstedt, President and CEO, Cousins Properties 
  • Jack Harris, President and CEO, Junior Achievement of Georgia
  • Virginia Hepner, President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center
  • Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company 
  • The Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor, City of Atlanta
  • H. Jerome Russell, President, H.J. Russell & Company
  • John Stephenson, Jr., President and CEO, College Football Hall of Fame
  • Dr. Charles Wilmer, M.D., Chief of Patient Outreach, Piedmont Heart Institute


“Dan is a true servant leader,” said Council for Quality Growth President and CEO Michael Paris. “His unwavering commitment to company values and serving the community makes him the ideal recipient of the Four Pillar Award this year. In all he does, Dan represents Quality, Responsibility, Vision and Integrity, and we are so honored to be recognizing him this fall for what he has done for not just the Atlanta region, but the state and country as well.”

Cathy is involved in a number of local organizations, including the Metro Atlanta Chamber, City of Refuge, Junior Achievement of Georgia, the College Football Hall of Fame, Morehouse College, Global Teen Challenge and Eagle Ranch.

The Council is proud to honor Dan Cathy with its Four Pillar Tribute and invites you to celebrate on October 1. For tickets and sponsorship information, please visit http://www.fourpillartribute.com.

About the Four Pillar Tribute: 
The Four Pillar Award & Tribute is a unique honor that celebrates the recipient’s significant contributions to economic development and the region’s quality of life. This prestigious award is unparalleled in the Atlanta region and has come to be known as the highest honor bestowed for the aforementioned contributions.

Past recipients of the Council’s Four Pillar award include:  
1990    Steve Reynolds 
1991    Wayne Shackelford 
1992    J.W. Benefield 
1993    D. Scott Hudgens 
1994    Wayne H. Mason 
1995    Virgil R. Williams 
1996    Paul A. Duke 
1997    Jim Cowart 
1998    J.D. Caswell                                                   
1999    A. Ray Weeks 
2000    Richard L. Tucker 
2001    Louise Radloff 
2002    George Busbee 
2003    F. Wayne Hill 
2004    Charlie Brown 
2005    Senator Johnny Isakson 
2006    John Wieland         
2007    John A. Williams 
2008    Tom Cousins 
2009    Mayor Shirley Franklin 
2010    Arthur M. Blank 
2011    R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr. 
2012    Sam Massell 
2013    John Portman 
2014    Steve Selig