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Alumnae Stories

Chick-fil-A Franchise Owner Ashley Derby Honored by the Company

June 2017

Spelman Alumna Ashley DerbyEarlier this year, Chick-fil-A franchise owner Ashley Lamothe Derby, C’2006, was awarded the company’s Symbol of Success, an honor reserved for Chick-fil-A operators whose businesses experience particularly high sales growth. Derby is the owner and operator of a Chick-fil-A near the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

She began her career with Chick-fil-A at age 15, working at a restaurant in her hometown of Marietta, Georgia. After entering Spelman, she began working at a Chick-fil-A near campus. Noticing her work ethic, her restaurant operator pulled her aside and suggested that she consider a career in leadership with the company. She changed her major from theater to economics.

After graduating from Spelman, she spent the next three years completing numerous Chick-fil-A management and development programs. In 2011, at age 26, she became the youngest African-American female franchise owner in the history of the company. Now, she encourages employees at her restaurant to never give up on their goals.

“I want to help them get to where they want to go, whether it’s a career with Chick-fil-A, or studying law or medicine, or anything,” said Derby. “I want to help them make that next step, just like so many have done for me.”

Read Chick-fil-A's "Women Who Inspire" feature about Ashley Derby.