New York Campus Welcomes Owner of the Largest U.S. Chick-fil-A to Student Leader Retreat

The annual Nyack New York City campus Student Leaders Retreat was held recently for those who serve in the Student Government Association (SGA), Social Work Organization (SWO), Psychology Society, Greater Works Prayer Ministry, Disciple Group, Business Club, Students Against Hunger and Chapel Worship Leaders.

In addition to team-building exercises and an off-campus luncheon, presentations on leadership were shared with the students to inspire them for the year ahead. NYC Dean of Students, Dr. Charles Hammond talked about leaders as learners and encouraged the group leaders to expand their capacity to develop and improve skills that will distinguish them from “followers.”

As a special guest speaker for the retreat, Dr. Hammond invited his friend and colleague, Luke Cook, the owner and operator of Chick-fil-A Fulton Street, the largest in the nation. Mr. Cook, who began his climb to success with a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, relocated to New York from his home state of Louisiana. The two gentlemen met nearly a year ago when Mr. Cook came to the College and discussed hiring Nyack students to work at his restaurant before construction of the five-story eatery was completed. Subsequently, six were hired. This blossoming relationship has the added bonus of Chick-fil-A food being delivered and sold on campus several times during the week.

Mr. Cook spoke to the young men and women who convened for the retreat about the opportunity that leaders have to be influencers. Sharing personal experiences, he urged students not to make the mistake of focusing solely on end results, but to instead take time to enjoy the journey on the way to reaching their goals.

The captive audience for the two motivational presentations included Chantal Venetal, SGA president; Alicia Chevalier, SGA public relations; Giselle Flores, SGA treasurer; Marissa Salazar-Hospedales, SWO president; Shaddai Richardson, SWO vice president; Stecie Petit-Homme, SWO secretary; Veronica De La Paz, SWO treasurer; Cesiah Lopez, SWO student rep.; Miryam Derosso, Psychology Society co-president; Delsie Carter, Psychology Society co-president; Kayris Courtenay, Psychology Society PR rep; Aldina Thomas, Psychology Society; Carla Dedier-Woney, Greater Works Prayer Ministry, prayer leader; Jennifer West, Greater Works Prayer Ministry, prayer leader; Matilde Salazar, Disciple Group; Franklin Zhumi, Business Club VP; Daniel Diaz, Student Against Hunger president; Dominick Smith, worship leader; and Martherson Bernabe, worship leader.