Jimmy Collins, former president and chief operating officer of Chick-fil-A, will speak at an event hosted by the Catherine T. MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University and the PBA Alumni Association at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, in the DeSantis Family Chapel, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.
Collins will speak on “Creative Followership.” The presentation is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the MacArthur Leadership Speaker Series. For more information, call Delesa Morris, assistant vice president for Alumni Relations and Annual Fund, at (561) 803-2022.
Collins retired on May 31, 2001, after 32 years of providing exemplary leadership to this company that is now an icon and model of a values-based company. Before joining Chick-fil-A, Collins operated a food service consulting business and designed the forerunners of the Chick-fil-A stores as well as the first Chick-fil-A mall restaurant in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1967.
In 2000, Collins received the prestigious Silver Plate Award as Chain Fast Service Operator of the Year. Collins has been heavily involved in church, educational activities and civic affairs. He formerly served on the boards of Southwest Christian Church, Point University, Christian City, Southwest Christian Care and the Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts, all in Georgia; Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tenn.; and Christian Missionary Fellowship in Indianapolis, Ind.
Currently he serves on the board of The Bedford School, a school in Fairburn, Ga., for children with learning disabilities. His new book, “Creative Followership: In the Shadow of Greatness,” is an appeal for developing leadership and followership skills as individuals seek to lead within organizations.
Also during the event, the Jerms McGraw Second Chance Scholarship will be presented to three PBA students. The scholarship was created in memory of U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Jeremiah McGraw. Known by his nickname “Jerms,” Lt. McGraw was a student in the MacArthur School of Leadership while serving as a Marine reservist, part of the 4th ANGLICO unit in West Palm Beach.
Lt. McGraw died on Sept. 10, 2009, during a training exercise in Central Florida while serving his country. He was 22. Prior to his death, Lt. McGraw earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from PBA.