David Salyers - 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Vice President, Brand Activation Marketing, Chick-fil-A

David Salyers (BBA '81) is vice president of brand activation marketing for Chick-fil-A Company, and he confesses that his career at the Atlanta-based company has been a remarkable journey.

"I graduated from Georgia on a Saturday morning," says Salyers, "and started my 35-year career with Chick-fil-A before the day was over!"

Salyers has spent his entire career as part of a Chick-fil-A team, committed to building the kind of company culture that people talk about and admire! As a passionate student of life and business, he has seen the guiding principles articulated in his 2013 book, Remarkable — servant leadership, positivity, and compassion — played out in more than 1,600 Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country.

What is also remarkable, Salyers notes, is that Chick-fil-A has experienced 48 consecutive years of sales increases with 2015 sales reaching $6.8 billion.

Salyers has served on numerous boards — ExecuTain Corp., Peachtree Partners, American Marketing Association, Mobilization Labs, Atlanta Sports Council — and he is a partner in Rocky Mountain Ventures LLC.

In the community, David was selected by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to serve as the envoy to the 1996 New Zealand Olympic team, which involved a two-year commitment to an extensive training program, as well as a six-week, full-time commitment during the Atlanta games. Additionally, he has been very involved in the development of Eagle Ranch Inc., a home for needy children in North Georgia.

A marketing major at UGA who graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Salyers has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Terry College's Institute for Leadership Advancement. He spearheaded a $1.2M campaign to raise endowment funds for ILA in honor one of his principal mentors, Chick-fil-A founder S.Truett Cathy. On the day the campaign concluded, Salyers volunteered to lead a new campaign to raise additional endowment funds for ILA — this time to honor ILA founder and benefactor, former Coca-Cola executive Earl Leonard.

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