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Evangel grad develops “high performance teams” at Chick-fil-A corporate headquarters

November 6, 2012 | Paul K. Logsdon

Mike Sevener developed a solid work ethic at an early age. He also understood the value of teamwork. Both skills have led to success in life.

As a student at Evangel in the late 1980s, he was able to juggle his academic career as a Business major with a budding career racing bicycles professionally. “My brother and I were members of a team of guys who competed nationally,” says Sevener. “A couple of them went on to become internationally known racers.”

One two-wheeled highpoint came during his senior year at Evangel when he beat Lance Armstrong in a Pro/Am Criterium in Little Rock, Arkansas.

After graduating in 1990, Sevener went to work in retail. While not a wholly satisfying experience, it led to his becoming familiar with Chick-fil-A. Employment with that family-owned restaurant chain soon followed.

Both strengths — the work ethic and skills at teamwork — are now put to use on a daily basis in his position as equipment operations manager at the corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-A, in Atlanta, Georgia. Essentially, Sevener is responsible for every piece of equipment at every one of their 1,600 stores worldwide.

In mid-October, 16 Evangel University students and four faculty members spent a day with key leaders at Chick-fil-A in Atlanta. In addition to Sevener, they met with the head of marketing, a long-term owner/operator, the senior director of supply chain operations, and the company founder himself, 91-year-old Truett Cathy.

One of Sevener’s key contributions to his work has been the development of a whole new playbook for their new equipment call center partner, using the concept of “high performance teams.”

“We have key people at the corporate office working as a team for specific markets,” he says. “The equipment operations team knows their operators and their business, and the result is faster service for each restaurant.”

Sevener fits well with Chick-fil-A. “Like Evangel, this is an organization that operates with integrity and places high value on people and on relationships.”

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