Goldsboro Chick-fil-A owner/operator Russell Wade inspires and motivates students to succeed

Alfonzo Jones
Human Resources
Russell Wade


Russell Wade began working at a Chick-fil-A restaurant when he was 15 years old.  Today, he is the owner and operator of the Goldsboro Chick-fil-A location on Berkeley Boulevard.  Founder of the Russell Wade Corporation, he is passionate about sharing his story with high school students and offering them insight into the skills and attitudes necessary to become successful.

​Along with Alfonzo Jones, Human Resources Director for the Goldsboro location, the pair visited three different classrooms and a sit-down session with 4 specially selected seniors at Southern Wayne High School.  The pair shared strategies, skills, and expectations that all high school students should understand and be prepared to use.  "You can own a Chick-fil-A too, but you must be a college graduate," said Wade.  Nearly all of the students indicated they plan to go to a university or community college.  Wade surprised the students when he said that he doesn't fire employees but employees do terminate themselves.  "We have rules that employees are expected to follow.  he said.

​One of the most often-asked questions by the students was why Chick-fil-A is closed on Sunday.  Mr. Wade pointed out that S.Truett Cathy founded the company in 1946.  "In 1946 "Blue Laws" were common across the country, " he said. Blue Laws  restricted the sale of items considered to be non-essential on Sundays so most stores were closed on Sunday anyway.  Today, Chick-fil-A considers Sunday a day of rest and an opportunity to be with your family.  Mr. Wade removed some cash from his wallet and showed it to the students.  "Which is more important, money or your family," he asked. "Family", the students agreed.

​Mr. Wade is a Board Member for Communities Supporting Schools of Wayne County which hosted his visit to Southern Wayne.  CSS provides student support services at 6 area schools:  Goldsboro High, Brogden Middle, Spring Creek High, Mount Olive Middle, Grantham Middle as well as Southern Wayne.  Graduating seniors who participate in the Communities Supporting Schools program that attend Goldsboro High, Southern Wayne or Spring Creek High are eligible to apply for a $1,000 scholarship offered by the Goldsboro Chick-fil-A