Through the shared vision of Prestonwood Christian Academy and the Prestonwood Foundation, the Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award was established in 2009 with the purpose of encapsulating the legacy of Zig Ziglar by annually naming a recipient who embodies the very essence of his servant leadership.
The Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award Banquet not only honors an individual who represents Ziglar's Christ-like humility and service, but all proceeds from the banquet directly benefit Sponsor a Lion, the tuition assistance program at Prestonwood Christian Academy.
MICHAEL W. SMITH (2023)
Multi-platinum artist and bestselling author Michael W. Smith has written 35 No. 1 singles and sold more than 15 million albums while accumulating numerous accolades, including three GRAMMY® Awards, 45 Dove Awards, an American Music Award and, most recently, induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Smith wrote his first song when he was five. After moving to Nashville in 1978 to work as a songwriter and performing with several local bands, Smith later signed on as a staff writer with Meadowgreen Music, where he penned gospel hits for artists including Sandi Patty, Kathy Troccoli, Bill Gaither, and Amy Grant.
Smith began touring as Grant’s keyboard player in 1982, and the next year he became her opening act after releasing his debut album. The 1984 follow-up, Michael W. Smith 2, earned him a GRAMMY® for Best Gospel Performance.
He won his second GRAMMY® in 1995 for I’ll Lead You Home and another in 2002 for Worship Again. In between, he became the first Christian artist to be honored with the ASCAP Golden Note Award for lifetime achievement in songwriting in 1999.
In 2021, Michael released a re-envisioned live version of #1 highest-selling album of all time, Worship, in honor of its 20th anniversary. The re-envisioned album is called Worship Forever and is available on all music platforms. Michael is currently on The WayMaker World Tour, his international tour full of worship songs and greatest hits. The tour kicked off in the U.S. in the fall of 2022 and will continue throughout 2023.
More than just an outstanding songwriter and performer, Smith has given back to the global community throughout his career. In 1994, he launched Rocketown, a holistic, faith-based youth outreach facility in downtown Nashville aimed at providing a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope. Smith has also helped more than 70,000 children through his work with Compassion International.
Dr. James and Shirley Dobson (2022)
Dr. James Dobson is the founder and president of the James Dobson Family Institute, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.” He has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Southern California and 18 honorary doctoral degrees. He is the author of more than 70 books dedicated to the preservation of the family. They include The New Dare to Discipline; Love for a Lifetime; Life on the Edge; Love Must Be Tough; Child; When God Doesn’t Make Sense; Bringing Up Boys; Marriage Under Fire; Bringing Up Girls; and, most recently, Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years in the divisions of Child Development and Medical Genetics.
Dr. Dobson’s first film series entitled, “Focus on the Family,” has been seen by over 80 million people around the world. As Dr. Dobson considers the initial film series to be the first bookend of his professional life, a new eight-part DVD series, “Building a Family Legacy,” is the second bookend.
Over the years, Dr. Dobson’s commitment to the institution of the family has resulted in his being called upon for various civic responsibilities. He served on the task force that summarized the White House Conference on Families and received a special commendation from President Jimmy Carter in 1980. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Advisory Commission to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and to Attorney General Edwin Meese’s Commission on Pornography. He also served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Board on Missing and Exploited Children. Dr. Dobson was appointed by Senator Robert Dole to the Commission on Child and Family Welfare and was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. He has advised five U.S. presidents on the welfare of the family and has served as the Honorary Chairman for President Trump’s White House Faith Advisory Board.
In 2008 Dr. Dobson was inducted into The National Radio Hall of Fame.
Dr. Dobson has been married to Shirley for 61 years, and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren.
Tim Tebow (2021)
Tim Tebow serves as Chairman of the Board to the Tim Tebow Foundation which was established in 2010 with the goal to bring faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The foundation fulfills this mission every day by making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses, building Timmy’s Playrooms in children’s hospitals, providing life-changing surgeries to children of the Philippines through the Tebow CURE Hospital, sponsoring Night to Shine, a nationwide prom and worldwide movement for people with special needs, providing care for orphans in six countries and adoption aid grants for families who choose to adopt an international child with special needs.
Additionally, Mr. Tebow is a two-time national champion, first-round NFL draft pick and Heisman Trophy winner. He also serves as a college football analyst for ESPN. Prior to joining ESPN, Tebow played three years in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets. Tebow is currently pursuing a career in professional baseball as a member of the New York Mets organization. Tebow is the author of three New York Times Best Selling books; Through My Eyes (2011), Shaken: Discovering your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms (2016) and This Is The Day (2018). Tebow is married to Demi-Leigh Tebow who is a South African model and was crowned Miss Universe 2017.
As evidenced by the work of his foundation, Mr. Tebow continues to be passionate about sharing the love of Christ with children around the country and world. His missionary background and training from his parents instilled in him the importance of God’s word, the salvation we have in Jesus, and the responsibility we have to give back to others. This same training is highlighted in PCA’s mission of partnering with parents and churches to equip students to model Christ-like leadership to influence their homes, churches and communities for Christ.
Mr. Norm Miller (2020)
Norm Miller began his career with the company shortly after graduating from North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) in 1962. In the past 57 years, he has moved through the ranks of Interstate – from his father’s Tennessee distributorship, to the National Field Sales team at Dallas corporate headquarters, and on to the helm of Interstate’s Executive Management Team.
Miller assumed the President and Chairman roles in 1978 after working 16 years under his mentor, company-founder John Searcy. Since then, Interstate has grown to become the number one replacement battery in North America. Searcy developed the successful Interstate system of marketing, product delivery and service, and Miller expanded the team that established the current Interstate network of more than 179 retail battery centers, 259 distributors and 171,398 dealers across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. Unit battery sales have steadily improved from the 1965 total of $250,000 to a world record of more than $18.8 million replacement battery sales for a twelve-month period ending this past fiscal year. In 1991, Miller relinquished the Presidency to spend more time focusing on ministries and other Interstate strategies and issues facing the company.
Additionally, Miller led the company in the founding of the Interstate Batteries Great American Race in 1983 and it became the world’s richest old car race and American’s premier vintage car event. In 1989, he pioneered Interstate’s entry into NASCAR racing. Teaming up with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992, Interstate won the 1993 Daytona 500, the 2000 Winston Cup Championship, the prestigious 2015 Sprint Cup Championship and the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Championship.
The year of 1974 was a major turning point for both Miller and Interstate Batteries. It was then he became a follower of Christ and changed the way he approached business and his personal life.
Through all these years and successes, Miller has maintained a commitment for spiritual development, as has the Interstate management team. As a result, Interstate encourages employees to develop fully as individuals, not just professionals. With the stress and pressures of the times, combined with those of career and family, it is crucial for people to have easy access to spiritual support. Interstate management believes the workplace should be included, and therefore they try to make God’s love and help a priority in business.
Miller was one of the key leaders interested in funding the original vision for a Christian School in the Bonton/South Dallas Community shared by Founder of BridgeBuilders, Mike Fechner. And in 2017, Miller contacted Daron Babcock, Executive Director, Bonton Farms and Dr. Larry Taylor, Head of School, Prestonwood Christian Academy to assist with the development of a Kingdom education school in South Dallas. One year later, Miller made this dream a reality by committing to provide the start-up funding for The King’s Academy. This incredible leadership gift provided the two to three-year funding essential to launch the school. And, in August 2019, The King’s Academy opened its doors to 27 students in PreK through 1st Grade.
Norm and his wife, Anne, have been married for 57 years and have two children, Tracy and Scott; five grandchildren, Zach, Kyle, Braden, Grant and Matalin Anne; and one great-grandson, Jackson.
Dr. Benjamin Carson (2019)
Dr. Benjamin Carson is a renowned former neurosurgeon who rose from the depths of the inner city in Detroit, Mich., to working at one of the most esteemed hospitals in the country, serving as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland for nearly three decades.
He is a philanthropist, popular motivational speaker, and a prolific, best-selling author, who has written more than a dozen books ranging from his autobiography to motivational books to books on his political values.
Dr. Carson has garnered countless awards, including two very prestigious honors. In 2001, he was named a Library of Congress Living Legend. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest award given to civilians in America.
Dr. Carson was among 17 candidates in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary. Dr. Carson currently serves as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Dr. Carson’s story is well known. He shared his story beautifully in his best-selling book, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, published in 1989. The tagline in the book succinctly states the essence of his life: “The remarkable surgeon who gives children a second chance at life.” The inspiring biography was adapted for television in 2009—a movie by the same name starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Ben Carson was raised by a single mom in dire poverty in Detroit. Although he dreamed of becoming a doctor, he was not a good student academically; he has often spoken of his bad temper and low self-esteem. His mother, who only progressed as far as the third-grade, often worked three jobs to raise her two sons. She wanted a better life for them, and she challenged them to strive for excellence in all things.
He graduated high school and continued his studies at Yale University, where he would meet his future wife, Candy, a classical violinist. He went on to Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan, and then served as a neurosurgery resident at Johns Hopkins. In 1984, he was appointed Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the hospital at the age of 33.
In 1987, Dr. Carson became the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins joined at the back of the head, and he was the first surgeon to successfully place an intrauterine shunt in a hydrocephalic twin.
He has said that his greatest medical memory was every time he concluded a surgery and was able to “tell a family that the operation went well and their loved one is doing well.”
The Carsons cofounded the Carson Scholars Fund, a nonprofit organization awarding scholarships to students throughout the country who embrace high academic achievement and community service. More than 8,000 scholarships have been awarded since 1996, and recipients have attended more than 700 colleges, garnering more than $6.3 million in scholarships.
The Carsons have been married for 43 years and have three sons and two grandchildren.
Dr. Kenneth Cooper (2018)
For nearly 50 years, Kenneth H. Cooper, MD, MPH has inspired millions to exercise for good health since the release of his first best-seller Aerobics. Today Dr. Cooper is revolutionizing health and fitness again—calling on America and the world to Get Cooperized™. As a leading pioneer of preventive medicine, Dr. Cooper challenges everyone to follow these “8 Healthy Steps” to live better both sooner and later: maintain a healthy weight; make healthy food choices most of the time; exercise most days of the week; take the right supplements for you; do not use tobacco; control alcohol; manage stress; get a regular, comprehensive physical exam.
Born March 4, 1931, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dr. Cooper was influenced by his father, a periodontist, who instilled in him the idea and desire to practice preventive medicine. Dr. Cooper received a Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine at The University of Oklahoma and a Master of Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health. He is certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.
Recognized as the leader of the international physical fitness movement and credited with motivating more people to exercise in pursuit of good health than any other person, Dr. Cooper has long advocated moving the field of medicine away from disease management to disease prevention. The Cooper philosophy, “It is easier to maintain good health through proper exercise, diet, and emotional balance than to regain it once it is lost,” has been proven valid in scientific research.
During Dr. Cooper’s 13 years of service in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, Dr. Cooper served as a flight surgeon and director of the Aerospace Medical Laboratory in San Antonio. In 1970 Dr. Cooper resigned from the military to explore the relationship between cardiovascular fitness and health and longevity. He founded Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas where he serves as Chairman of six health and wellness companies and The Cooper Institute research and education nonprofit.
Dr. Cooper’s work with the Air Force and NASA launched his aerobics life work, but it was his own health crisis that made it personal. While water skiing at age 29, Dr. Cooper thought he was having a heart attack. At the hospital, his doctor told him he was simply out of shape, having gained 40 pounds and become inactive due to the stress of medical school. That first-hand experience catapulted the young doctor to lose weight and run his first marathon, the Boston Marathon, one year later.
A grandfather of five, Dr. Cooper is passionately involved in the fight against childhood obesity both locally and globally. In Texas, Dr. Cooper was instrumental in getting physical education back in schools through the passage of Senate Bill 530 that requires enhanced PE activity levels and annual physical fitness testing using FitnessGram®. Since then, The Cooper Institute has partnered with NFL Charities PLAY 60 initiative to bring FitnessGram to students in more than 1,000 schools nationwide, created the Healthy Zone School program and established The Perot International Youth Data Repository containing health-related data from children worldwide.
At age 86 and having logged more than 38,000 miles running, Dr. Cooper sets a Christ-like example for maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising at Cooper Aerobics Center on a regular basis, along with his wife, Millie, daughter, Berkley, son, Tyler, and their families—all to Get Cooperized.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (2017)
…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, - Luke 12:48
This biblical truth has been a guiding principle in the lives of the 2017 Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award recipients, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, leaders in the film and broadcasting industry. Together, Burnett and Downey have recently produced The Women of the Bible for Lifetime, The Dovekeepers for CBS, A.D. The Bible Continues for NBC, Answered Prayers for TLC. The Emmy® nominated miniseries, The Bible on History Channel was watched by over 100 million people in the U.S.
Burnett and Downey have also produced the feature film Little Boy for Open Road Films, Woodlawn for Pure Flix, and Son of God, a feature film that stunned the box office as the second highest faith movie opening of all time. The epic feature film Ben-Hur, a reimagining of the classic story with MGM and Paramount, was released in summer 2016. In December, the couple launched a 24-hour faith and family entertainment network called Light TV, in partnership with MGM, where Mark is President of MGM Television and Digital Group. Mark and Roma shared that they wanted to provide inspirational and uplifting programming “to reach the enormously underserved family audience.”
Using their celebrity as a platform, this renowned couple use their gifts to minister to the needs of others. After hearing reports of Christian communities in Iraq and Syria being targeted by ISIS, Burnett and Downey launched "The Cradle of Christianity Fund," a project to help refugees fleeing violence. The Cradle Fund, administered with the Arlington, VA based Institute for Global Engagement, raises funds to help return Christians and other persecuted people to their homes in the Middle East. In late 2014, Burnett and Downey launched a drive to raise $25 million, seeding the effort with a $1 million donation.
In February 2016, Burnett & Downey were keynote speakers at the 64th Annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have been married almost 10 years and have three children, James Burnett, Cameron Burnett and Reilly Marie Downey Anspaugh.
Dr. Tony Evans (2016)
Dr. Tony Evans is one of the country’s most respected leaders in evangelical circles. As a pastor, teacher, author and speaker, he serves the body of Christ through his unique ability to communicate complex theological truths through simple, yet profound, illustrations. While addressing the practical issues of today, Dr. Evans is known as a relevant expositor. New and veteran pastors alike regard him as a pastor of pastors and a father in the faith.
The first African-American to graduate with a doctoral degree from Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS), he served as an associate professor in DTS’ Pastoral Ministries Department in the areas of evangelism, homiletics and black church studies. He continues to serve DTS on the Board of Incorporate Members. Dr. Evans holds the rare honor of serving as chaplain for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks over the last three decades, the longest standing NBA chaplaincy on record. He is also the former chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys.
Through his local church and national ministry, Dr. Evans promotes a Kingdom agenda philosophy that teaches God’s comprehensive rule over every sphere of life as demonstrated through the individual, family, church and society.
This philosophy connects biblical spirituality with social responsibility. Dr. Evans teaches that the church, not the government, is the best social service delivery system since it is closer to the needs of the people, offers the largest potential volunteer force, has facilities for outreach programs, and provides a moral and spiritual frame of reference for making right choices.
At the heart of this vision is the use of church and school partnerships to effect spiritual and social change in communities. Dr. Evans’ church and school outreach philosophy has been attributed as a catalyst for former President George W. Bush’s Faith Based Initiative, which was his first formal act of office. Dr. Evans seeks to train churches, schools and volunteers in this philosophy, as well as in the functional practicalities, through the National Church Adopt-A-School Initiative which is a ministry underneath the umbrella of The Urban Alternative.
Dr. Evans has served as the senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for over 36 years, witnessing its growth from ten people in 1976 to now over 8,500 congregants with 100 plus ministries.
Dr. Evans also serves as president of The Urban Alternative, a national ministry that seeks to restore hope and transform lives through the proclamation and the application of the Word of God.His daily radio broadcast, The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, can be heard on nearly 1,000 radio outlets throughout the United States and in more than 130 countries. Dr. Evans serves as chaplain for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, a ministry he has done for over 30 years. He is also the former chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys.
Dr. Evans has written numerous books and booklets including his legacy work, Oneness Embraced, as well as his vision work, The Kingdom Agenda. Some of his most recent books include Kingdom Man, Kingdom Woman, A Moment for Your Soul, Marriage Matters, God’s Unlikely Path to Success and Victory in Spiritual Warfare.
Dr. Tony Evans is married to Lois, his wife and ministry partner of over 40 years. They are the proud parents of four children, all who serve in ministry: Chrystal Hurst, Priscilla Shirer, Anthony, and Jonathan as well as the proud grandparents of twelve: Kariss, Jessica, Jackson, Jesse, III, Jerry, Jr., Kanaan, Jude, Joel, Kelsey, Jonathan II, Kamden and Kylar.
Dr. Evans has received many honors, including the Father of the Year award voted by the Dallas Father of the Year Committee and the Marian Pfister Anshutz Award for “dedication to protecting, encouraging, and strengthening the American family” from the Family Research Center.
Other honors include:
• “Student of the Year”, Carver Bible College (1972)
• “Outstanding Achievement Award” from Dallas Theological Seminary (1976)
• Listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges
• Listed in Outstanding Young Men of America
• Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship named in the top 50 of America’s Most Influential Churches in 2006
• Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Eastern College in St. Davids, Pennsylvania
• Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas
David Green (2015)
At the heart of David Green is one of generosity, a value instilled in his life by his mother Marie. Generosity is the fuel that drives David toward excellence and the growth of Hobby Lobby. Over the years, their family has felt the Lord’s leading to get involved with a number of Kingdom endeavors. The Green’s consider it a privilege to be a part of what God is doing around the world by sharing God’s Word and giving millions of people the opportunity to know Him through the work of One Hope and Every Home for Christ. The Lord has blessed them with the stewardship of a large Bible collection to promote the authority and influence of His Word through multiple different avenues such as a world class Bible museum in Washington, DC. Their most recent endeavor is working with the world’s largest Bible ministries to harness today’s technology to expand the access and reach of God’s Word like no other time in history. At the heart of it all is an eternal motivation, believing that “only two things are eternal: God’s Word and man’s soul.”
David & his wife Barbara are the proud parents of two sons and one daughter. Mart Green, C.E.O. of Mardel Stores, Steve Green, President of Hobby Lobby and Darsee Lett, Vice President of Art/Creative. Son-in-law Stan Lett, is Executive Vice President of Hobby Lobby.
Currently David serves on the Board of Reference for Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2013, he was honored by receiving the World Changer award, and is also a past Ernst & Young national retail/consumer Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient, (and lifetime member of the The Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame, which is part of the Entrepreneur of the Year Academy). Green is also dedicated to a myriad of ministry projects. Cites Green, “We believe it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured. He has been faithful in the past, we trust Him for our future”.
Hobby Lobby is the largest privately owned arts and crafts retailer in the world. The headquarters are located in a 7 million square foot manufacturing, distribution and office complex in Oklahoma City. Affiliated companies include 8 Hemispheres Fine Furnishing stores, located in Oklahoma and Texas, as well as Mardel, a popular Christian office and educational supply chain found in 7 states. Hobby Lobby also has offices in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. David remains chairman of the affiliate companies, the CEO of Hobby Lobby and a buyer of merchandise.
Sondra Saunders (2014)
Sondra Saunders has been part of the Prestonwood Baptist Church ministry leadership since it was a church plant of Northway Baptist Church. Perhaps no other Children’s Minister in the country has touched the lives of as many children as Sondra. In her 34 years in the position, she saw more than 30,000 children come through Prestonwood. And, until recently, she was the only leader the Children’s Ministry had ever known. In September, Sondra transitioned to a new role in the Pastoral Ministry at Prestonwood.
Mrs. Saunders says that her passion for children’s ministry can be owed in part to her own childhood in Florida. Although her family did not attend church, she began attending church at the age of four with a neighborhood family that would take her with them.
That is where she first experienced the love of Sunday School teachers who would continually invest in her life.
When she was a young lady, Sondra dreamed of becoming a missionary, but had to give up that dream after a bout with cancer. Upon taking the advice of a pastor, she became what Baptists call a home missionary and began focusing on children. After more than 50 years in children’s ministry, serving two churches in Florida, Northway Baptist in Dallas, and joining Prestonwood as an original staff member, Sondra is still serving faithfully. Sondra saw many changes throughout her tenure in the PBC children’s ministry, and she became an integral part of those changes by prompting Prestonwood to invest in technology and interactive programming that teaches the Bible and Christian doctrine. Though things around her have changed, her philosophies about children’s ministry have remained the same. “First, I want kids to have fun at church,” she said. “If they don’t have fun, they don’t come back. Second, I want them to know they are loved unconditionally, like Christ loves them.” “Although she has not known each of them by name, I can tell you that she has had each of them in her heart and in her prayers,” said Prestonwood Baptist Church Senior Pastor Jack Graham. “She has a never-ending love for our Lord and Savior and for the children she served so well.” He continued, “You can’t compare anyone to her. She is the very heart of this congregation and its love for children and families.”
As described by one of her dear friends and co-laborers in children’s ministry at Prestonwood, “It’s never been just a job with her. It’s been a passion for helping boys and girls come to know Jesus.”
Dan T. Cathy (2013)
As CEO of one of the nation's largest family-owned businesses, Chick-fil-A's Dan Cathy represents the next generation of leadership for the Atlanta-based fast-food chicken restaurant chain. Since taking over the business from his father and founder, S. Truett Cathy, Dan Cathy has been eagerly infusing his own skills and talents into the business. Already he’s known for taking an unconventional, yet personally and professionally rewarding approach to Chick-fil-A leadership.
Named as Chairman and CEO in 2013, Dan served as the president and chief operating officer of the 2,000-plus unit chain since 2001. Throughout his tenure, he has personally challenged himself with upholding Chick-fil-A’s efforts to provide genuine, heartfelt hospitality, while ensuring that all customers have an exceptional dining experience when visiting a Chick-fil-A restaurant. In his quest to provide customers with “second-mile” service (exceeding even the highest expectations one would have of a typical fast-food restaurant), Dan has humbly defined his role by saying, "I work in customer service."
Rather than leading from his corporate office in Atlanta, Dan chooses to spend the majority of his time traveling to the growing number of Chick-fil-A restaurants and interacting with the thousands of committed restaurant operators and team members. His actions stem from a belief that working in the field provides a clearer understanding of the ever-evolving wants and needs of Chick-fil-A customers; so he leads from the front lines where he is personally able to convey his servant spirit to the more than 100,000 restaurant employees.
The majority of his travels include participating in grand opening ceremonies for new Chick-fil-A restaurants. As yet another example of how he stays in tune with customers and employees, Dan attended numerous restaurant openings last year. In celebration of those openings, he spent many nights camping in restaurant parking lots with customers participating in the company’s First 100 events (participants win free Chick-fil-A for a year). Reflecting on these experiences, Dan notes, "I’m having the most fun I have ever had at Chick-fil-A."
Several major marketplace awards have affirmed the commitment and performance of Chick-fil-A operators and team members. Technomic’s survey of 85,000 consumers recognized Chick-fil-A in 2015 with the “Consumer’s Choice Award” for pleasant and friendly service. Chick-fil-A was honored again in 2015 as leader of the fast-food industry in Temkin’s Customer Experience Survey. In the 2014 Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Awards, Chick-fil-A ranked among the top 50 Best Places to Work in the nation. Forbes also ranked Chick-fil-A as the fourth most inspiring company in the country based on a survey of more than 2,000 consumers evaluating 25 companies.
While Dan Cathy took the reins at Chick-fil-A in 2013, his career began at age nine when he sang songs for customers and performed radio commercials for the chain's original "Dwarf House" restaurant in Hapeville, Ga.
After attending college and receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University, Dan returned to Chick-fil-A where he served as director of operations – opening more than 50 new Chick-fil-A restaurants throughout the country.
As Chick-fil-A continued to grow, so did Dan's responsibilities. Prior to being named president and chief operating officer, he served as senior director of operations, vice president of operations and executive vice president.
While fully dedicated to the employees and customers of Chick-fil-A, Dan also gives generously to his community. He currently serves on the board of directors for The Georgia Aquarium and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. He is a board member for the Atlanta Committee for Progress, and he serves on the board of advisors for Eagle Ranch, Global Teen Challenge, and Heritage Preparatory School. Additionally, he is a member of the board of councilors for The Carter Center. He has received honorary degrees from Pepperdine University, Anderson College and Berry College. Dan is humbled to have received numerous honors for his service to others. He is a recipient of the Council for Quality Growth’s Four Pillars Award, the Urban League of Greater Atlanta’s Community Empowerment Award and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Outstanding American Award.
In his "spare" time, Dan earned his Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license and has completed numerous marathons in Atlanta, Orlando, Los Angeles, Boston and New York. Additionally, Dan is a passionate trumpet player, gardener, and avid motorcyclist.
A native of Jonesboro, Ga., Dan has been married to Rhonda Palmer Cathy (whom he met while in the first grade) for more than 40 years. He has two sons, Andrew, senior vice president of people at Chick-fil-A, and Ross, owner/operator of the Midland, Ga., Chick-fil-A restaurant. He is also the proud grandfather of three young grandchildren.
His personal passion is to see the fulfillment of the Chick-fil-A Corporate Purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Franklin Graham (2012)
The 2012 Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award recipient, William Franklin Graham III “Franklin,” is known around the world for his servant leadership in ministry and missions through his personal spiritual leadership, his role in leading both the worldwide organizations of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and the Christian relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse. Franklin was born July 14, 1952 as the fourth of five children to evangelist Billy Graham and his wife, the late Ruth Bell Graham. He was raised outside Ashville, N.C.
As the President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, people in more than 100 countries know Franklin Graham for his hands-on, worldwide relief ministry, “Operation Christmas Child,” and the organization’s onsite, international disaster relief efforts for those affected by war, famine, disease and natural disasters. Franklin was elected to the Board of Samaritans Purse in 1978, one year prior to his election as president. Headquartered in Boone, N.C., Samaritan’s Purse provides its worldwide relief and assistance through international offices in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, plus field offices in 18 developing countries.
Since being appointed to his position at BGEA in 2001, Franklin has further carried on his father’s legacy and ministry through numerous ministries touching millions of lives for Jesus Christ.He conducted his first evangelist event in 1989 and committed to spend 10 percent of his time preaching. Now he conducts Festivals around the world as an evangelist for BGEA. Since 1989, he has preached to more than 7 million people in cities from Johannesburg, South Africa to Tupelo, Miss.
Franklin is a servant leader sharing the gospel through the Billy Graham response team, Dare to Be a Daniel and the spiritual resources and conferences through the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove which is a spiritual training center in Asheville, NC.Franklin has authored nine books and has been the honorary chairman of the 2010 National Day of Prayer and received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award.Additionally, he has been the recipient of six honorary doctorate degrees.
Frankin is married to Jane Graham and they live in the mountains of Boone, N.C. They have four children, Will, Roy, Edward and Cissie, and eight grandchildren.
Quotes by Franklin Graham:
On Growing Up Graham:
“Just being the son of Billy Graham won’t get me into heaven.”
Franklin Graham the International Relief Worker:
“I’ve been called to the slums of the streets and the ditches of the world.”
Franklin Graham the Evangelist:
“Evangelistic preaching is what Daddy does, I never thought I would.”
Judge Ken Starr (2011)
On June 1, 2010, Kenneth Winston Starr became the 14th President of Baylor University. Judge Starr has enjoyed a distinguished career in academia, the law and public service.Prior to his unanimous election by the Baylor Board of Regents, he served as theDuane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law at Pepperdine University from 2004 -2010. He was Of Counsel and a Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP from 1993-2010, specializing in appellate work, antitrust, federal courts, and constitutional law. He practiced law with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP from 1974-1981. Elected to the firm’s partnership in 1980, he resigned effective January 20, 1981 to become Counselor and Chief of Staff to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith. Judge Starr served as United States Circuit Judge for the D.C. Circuit from 1983-1989 and as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 -1993. He has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a law clerk to both Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975-1977 and to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from1973-1974. He was appointed Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994-1999.
Judge Starr taught Constitutional Law as an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law for 13 years and was a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law and Chapman Law School. A graduate of San Antonio’s Sam Houston
High School, he earned his B.A. from George Washington University in 1968, his M.A. from Brown University in 1969 and his J.D. degree from Duke University Law School in 1973. He is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Hampton-Sydney College, Pepperdine University and Shenandoah University.
Judge Starr has authored more than 25 publications, and his book, First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life, was published in 2002. He has received many significant honors and awards, including the Edmund Randolph Award for Outstanding Service in the Department of Justice, the Capitol Book Award, the Jefferson Cup award from the FBI, and the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Judge Starr was born on July 21, 1946, in Vernon, Texas, and was raised in San Antonio. He married Alice Mendell in August of 1970. They have three children— Carolyn, Randall, and Cynthia—and four grandchildren. He has volunteered many hours improving the administration of justice in the federal courts, teaching in the inner city of Washington, D.C., and assisting at-risk students with internships and after-school programs.
Mike Fechner (2010)
Mike Fechner was the President & Founder of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders. He began this ministry while serving as a volunteer and then as a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas.
Mike Fechner formerly served as the Minister of Global Outreach Prestonwood Baptist Church. Mike’s heartbeat at Prestonwood was to develop and engage the membership of Prestonwood in a living faith that impacted them, the community, the city and the nation.
Mike’s responsibilities include the operations of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders in Dallas, San Antonio & West Virginia, as well as the establishment of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders in Galati, Romania. The mission of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders is to glorify God and fulfill the Great Commission through prayer and evangelism of diverse segments of cities, building a bridge of Christ’s love to bring hope to people, restore communities and revive cities. This organization continues to unite and empower corporations, government, educational entities and churches around the city to bring about life change to residents of the communities where H.I.S. BridgeBuilders serves.
From small business start-ups to a free eye clinic and a free dental clinic to small group encouragement teams to GED and college-prep classes, this collaborative effort is continuing to impact lives in cities globally.
Mike was recognized by the Texas Youth Commission with the Legend Award for cross-cultural service and other community related organizations as a bridge builder and community servant.On June 7, 2006, Mike was awarded the Legends of Service Award for outstanding service to the community by the Dallas Life Foundation. On October 23, 2006, Mike was named the recipient of the 2006 “Let Justice Roll on Like a River” Economic Development Award from the research arm of the Foundation for Community Empowerment, the J. McDonald Williams Institute.
Mike received his degree in business administration at Texas Christian University. After working for Chubb Insurance Company, he founded a security company, which he owned and operated until being led into the ministry. His combination of corporate and church experience enables him to use diverse gifts and skills to further God’s kingdom.
Mike was on the Board of the Prestonwood Baptist Church Foundation, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Victory Life Ministries and Vision 360. He also served as advisor to A Flame for Christ ministries and counsel for various other city and national organizations.
Until the time when God called him home on April 9, 2014, Mike enjoyed giving his time to initiatives that connect people and resource to enable transformation of lives for eternity.
Mike Huckabee (2009)
Serving as the inaugural recipient of the Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was chosen for his values, integrity and Christ-like attitude in all he does. Whether he’s known for campaigning for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, assisting Republicans running for nationwide office through HuckPac, or leading a health movement across the nation through his own weight loss, Mike Huckabee remains a man of integrity. Mike Huckabee was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007, becoming one of the longest serving Governors in his state’s history, and was only the fourth Republican elected to any statewide office since Reconstruction, serving longer than the other three combined. He left a legacy of tax cuts, job creation, the reconstruction of his state’s road system, K-16 education reform, and a nationally heralded and duplicated health initiative that focused on the less expensive approach of prevention than the costly big-government approach of intervention. His administration fought long-standing corruption in the state’s political machine, resulting in numerous indictments and convictions of powerful legislators and other elected officials.