Hometown: Birmingham, Ala.
Education: BA in economics, Auburn University
Current Position: Owner/Operator, Chick-fil-A Regions Plaza
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, an Atlanta businessman, once wrote, “It’s easier to succeed than to fail.”
Derek Schiefer, a native of Alabama, says he began working for the fast food restaurant chain in his junior year of college. “Working (my way up) from team member to now owning my own restaurant at 26 has been very fulfilling,” he says.
Schiefer said he now wants to use his position to encourage other young men and women his age to get involved with the successful chicken sandwich inventing empire. “(Chick-fil-A teaches all) the skills that any entrepreneur could ever need to succeed in business,” Schiefer says. If they are willing to go the distance, Schiefer says they can own their restaurant, too.
The abbreviated hours that come from owning a downtown restaurant in the Capitol City have allowed Schiefer to spend a good deal more time with his family. He is also actively involved in the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals Alliance. Schiefer and his wife attend Redeemer Church (PCA) in Jackson.
“Jackson is a great city and Mississippi is a great state that has welcomed my wife and me with open arms,” he says.
Mississippi’s Best Kept Secret: “The diversity of arts in Jackson.”
Must-have Mississippi Food: Chick-fil-A
Favorite Hangout: Fondren Arts District, Jackson
Favorite Movie: “Castaway”
Favorite Band: Mumford & Sons
Last Book Read: “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck
Best Role Model: Metro Jackson’s Chick-fil-A operators
First Job: Fabrication and installation for Awning Concepts in Birmingham