Speaking to the World
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Original Chick-fil-A Marketing Executive & Chick-fil-A Pioneer
David Salyers was one of the original two marketing executives at Chick-fil-A. He spent 37 years in the Chick-fil-A Marketing Department and most recently served as a Vice President before his recent retirement. Having worked at Chick-fil-A his entire career, he saw the principles of servant leadership and compassion play out in the growth of more than 2,300 Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. Chick-fil-A, one of America’s most successful, powerful and beloved brands, is a multi-billion dollar company built almost entirely on culture. Chick-fil-A has experienced over 50 consecutive years of sales growth and is at, or near, the top rankings of U.S. brands across all sectors. David has invested his entire career working in and helping to build a culture only to be described as remarkable. Read More >
Having graduated from college on a Saturday morning, David started his career with Chick-fil-A before the day was over. David started in Chick-fil-A’s training program on his graduation day in 1981, whose headquarters was located in a converted air freight warehouse at that time. “Talk about getting in on the ground floor,” says David. “I’ve held so many jobs at Chick-fil-A that I can’t count them all . . . and no job that I’ve held had ever been done before I did it. When I started at Chick-fil-A, we had a two-person marketing department. Today, we have more than 200 people in our marketing department, we have a 97 percent retention with people we hire throughout the company — and we’ll do $10 billion in sales this year.”
Over the course of 20+ years, David was instrumental in the growth and development of the iconic ‘cow campaign’ at Chick-fil-A and helped champion a marketing department that rose to international prominence and prestige. David is known for his marketing mind, his servant’s heart, and his entrepreneurial spirit.
His 2016 book, Remarkable, in which he co-wrote with Dr. Randy Ross, imparts leadership lessons that can transform one’s workplace culture. David is the co-founder of Champion Tribes, which exists to help fathers and sons connect in meaningful ways.
David attended Wake Forest University, the Universidad de Madrid (Madrid, Spain), and graduated from the University of Georgia. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (AMP166).
David serves as a board member for numerous organizations and has helped launch several startups and nonprofits, including:
Some of David’s community involvement includes:
Salyers has been an enthusiastic supporter of the University of Georgia’s 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. David is also a member of the Terry Dean’s Advisory Council. In 2017, David was awarded the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award.
David is currently a member of Northpoint Community Church, where he has served on the stewardship team and as an elder. David and his wife, Lynn, have been married for 29 years and have three children. Read Less ^
What organization doesn’t want to create more sales? But truly Remarkable organizations aren’t focused on increasing sales, they’re focused on creating raving fans. Raving fans are people who 1) are happy to pay full price, 2) come more often and 3) tell other people about your organization. In this talk, Former Chick-fil-A Marketing VP David Salyers recounts Chick-fil-A’s biggest successes and shares the principles and strategies behind those successes that you can use to connect deeply with customers, who ultimately demand and fund your business growth.
You may be surprised to learn that 80% of what Chick-fil-A does is exactly the same as what their competitors do. But 20% is dramatically different – and it’s what sets Chick-fil-A apart as a remarkable organization. A business worth “remarking” about that drives incredible results for their customers, employees, and stakeholders alike. What if you could take a deep dive into understanding that 20% in order to help your organization create your own, unique 20% that will help you get 100% better results? Read More >
In other words, what if we could truly understand what makes certain businesses “remarkable” and apply those principles to our own organizations? In this signature talk, David Salyers powerfully does just that. Exploring key themes on culture, values, and mission, “Remarkable” is an engaging and memorable talk that has the potential to impact you and your organization to the very core. Read Less ^
When businesses consider their customer experience strategy, they often focus on mitigating the negative experiences – making up for the slow service, apologizing for the inconsiderate employee, refunding for the lost order. By focusing only on the problems that need to be fixed, they set the bar at average or, at best, forgettable. Read More >
But there’s a new approach to customer experience, an approach that focuses on creating memorable positive experiences – “Remarkable moments” – instead of just fixing the negative ones. In this compelling talk, David will explore this paradigm shift and challenge the way your organization approaches hospitality and service, sharing about Chick-fil-A’s unique “Second Mile Service” strategy. Using moving examples from Chick-fil-A Team Members across the country, he’ll expand on your opportunity to generate incredible ROI through creating daily Remarkable moments and will challenge you to see your business as not only an opportunity for monetization, but also for “moment-ization.” Read Less ^
Think about the moments that make up your life to date. The big moments and the small, the funny and the heartbreaking, the memorable ones and those you’d rather forget. Now think about which moments you would include in your life story – the ones that are not only noteworthy but the ones that are truly defining. The moments that made you who you are today. What David, a father of three, realized is that he didn’t want to just be a part of his kids’ most important moments – he wanted to play an active role in shaping them. Rather than be a spectator, David desired to be a co-author of his childrens’ life stories. Read More >
Through a powerful experience at a neighbor’s bar mitzvah, David realized one way to do this was by crafting a key milestone experience for his sons that would transition them to, and prepare them for adulthood – a program that became what’s now known as Champion Tribes (link). In “Revolutionary Dads,” David explores the principles behind Champion Tribes as well as lessons that all fathers can learn from and be inspired by. He shares about the importance of blessing and affirming children, and inspires dads to not just coach their kids on the sports field but in life as well, guiding their children through what it means to truly be a success from both their dad’s and God’s perspective. Read Less ^
David thrives when he’s brought in to help organizations solve their biggest challenges. Just give him a piece of chalk (or a dry erase marker!) and he’s ready to go! Chalk talks are all about sparking a conversation with your team to help you innovate, strategize, and find the inspiration you’re looking for to get where you want to go. These can be a few hours up to multi-day work sessions. Complete the form below to start a discussion about how David can meet your specific needs! Read More >
Common topics requested that draw on David’s vast experience include: Read Less ^
"David provides compelling insight as to how personal character development and a healthy corporate culture are inextricably linked."
“Every organization has a culture. It will either be by design or by default. David will help leaders intentionally craft a compelling culture, where team members are inspired to bring their best to the table every single day.”
"David’s talk on culture was paramount in getting our system aligned and excited about our Mission, vision, and core values. David’s talk was the highlight of our two day conference and we’d recommend his inspirational message to any organization that aims to be best in the world."
“David Salyers defines remarkable at ExxonMobile Lecture Series!”
“When the culture of an group or organization is right, people are motivated by factors far more powerful than money. David Salyers will help you get the culture right!”
“For over three decades, I’ve seen firsthand how the emotional climate of an organization and its culture are both created and sustained by leaders. David Salyers will help you take control of your culture and help make it come alive!"
“David was truly amazing. The attendees loved him, his presentation was inspiring, he was on time and prepared. He was a true professional and gentleman. I can’t say enough good things.”
"The Community Bankers Association of Georgia is very grateful for the inspiring keynote presentation by David Salyers. More so than the message itself, was the passion in which David presented it. Our attendees received a new perspective on their business and were touched by the humanity of his presentation. I wholeheartedly endorse David and welcome anyone considering engaging him to call me with questions."
"David invigorated our group through purposeful self-reflection that took us on a journey to identify and create real inherent customer value and a meaningful hospitality into our food and beverage business. There are many ways to demonstrate servant leadership within your teams, business and communities, but seeing it through his filtered lens makes building a culture fun, creative and simply worthwhile."
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