008: Rodney Bullard (Vice-President at Chick-Fil-A)

Rodney Bullard on Innovation City

“But a calling is then answering that pain, that discomfort, and doing something about it… I think those are important starting places for a hero.” — Rodney Bullard

Welcome to Innovation City, where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors who are breaking through the status quo to change the way that business happens today.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in conjunction with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community.

Today’s guest is Rodney Bullard, the Vice President of Community Affairs at Chick-fil-A. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Rodney is also a former Assistant United States Attorney, and a former White House Fellow at NASA. Rodney also serves as the Executive Director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, where he leads the company’s corporate community and philanthropic strategy, which is focused on fostering youth and furthering education.

Rodney’s book, Heroes Wanted: Why the World Needs You to Live Your Heart Out, is available now. Find Rodney on Twitter at @Rodney_Bullard and on Instagram @Rodney.Bullard.

They discuss:

  • Where to eat in Atlanta, where Rodney lives, on Sundays when Chick-fil-A is closed
  • What Atlanta is doing right as a city
  • Education in Atlanta: Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State and The Atlanta University Center Consortium; Morehouse, Spelman, Clark
  • Atlanta University, Morris Brown and Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Fortune 500 Companies in Atlanta: Coca-Cola, Mercedes Benz, Porsche, UPS
  • ‘The Atlanta Way’ — everybody pitches in
  • Dealing with Atlanta’s challenges head-on through the Chick-fil-A Foundation
  • Leadership, fundraising, and philanthropy
  • Rodney’s background and building a positive influence everywhere he goes
  • The importance of respecting everyone
  • Chick-fil-A’s Mission and a life of service
  • Being intentional and believing in your own capacity to help others
  • Brene Brown and the story we tell ourselves
  • How to move past biases
  • Everyone is a hero
  • Overcoming reading difficulties in school
  • Confidence and Self-Belief are superpowers
  • Ubuntu philosophy
  • Finding your greatness through service
  • Seeing heroes made manifest
  • Rosa Parks and the necessity of standing up for what’s right