Occupation: owner/operator of Hunters Crossing Chick-fil-A
Family: Wife, Mitzi, and three children, Nicholas, 19, Joseph, 16, and Madison, 14.
Frankie Turner is a William Blount High School graduate who made the most of the part-time job he worked during high school and college.
Turner, owner/operator of the Hunters Crossing Drive Chick-fil-A restaurant in Alcoa started working for the company in high school and continued during college at Walters State. He attended the University of Tennessee for a time before he moved to Atlanta where he worked at the Chick-fil-A corporate office for a year before he returned home.
“When the Foothills Mall store came available, I got to come back to my hometown,” Turner said. “It was kind of a dream job getting to come back. I was there as owner/operator for 12 years, had both stores for about two years but missed seeing my family. I decided to come back to this location and live life a little bit. We opened here in August of 2000.”
Turner said the company is serious about helping their employees be successful. “We’re not in the chicken business. We’re in the people business. It’s about developing young people and enjoying our job,” he said.
Turner said the biggest joy and toughest thing is working with employees through the different challenges they have in their personal lives. “I’m as much a counselor as an operator. We used to managed a business in order to grow it, and now it’s all about mentoring to the employees and all their hurdles they have,” he said. “We have great managers and employees, and I hear customers who brag on our employees every day. They say they are the reason they keep coming back is the employees.”
Turner said he met the woman who would become his wife through his sister. “My wife was a friend of my sister’s who came to our house to visit. I was in high school, and we dated for six years. We’ve been married 22 years.”
Turner said his family enjoys eating out together. “We also enjoy the kids’ activities, plus we love going on Jeep rides, going to the lake and going to the mountains.”
Here is Frankie Turner:
What is your favorite quote from television or a movie?
“You can’t handle the truth.” From “A Few Good Men”
What are you guilty of?
“Throwing things away that should have been kept. I discard everything into the trash that I can because I don’t like anything piling up.”
What is your favorite material possession?
“Family pictures. I just enjoy having those memories to remind us.”
What are you reading currently?
‘“Next Generation Leader’ by Andy Stanley. It’s a business leadership book.”
What was your most embarrassing moment?
“In December 1990, my wife was pregnant with our first child. We were waiting in line in the gift wrap department at Proffitts. A young lady asked us when our baby was due, and I went on to ask her when her baby was due. She said her baby was a young toddler now. I felt horrible and had no where to hide in a crowd of people. It got so quiet you could a needle drop.”
What are the top three things on your bucket list?
“Visit Australia, ski the Swiss Alps, and fly a helicopter.”
What is one word others often use to describe you and why?
“Hard question. I asked some of my employees, and they said ‘generous,’ because I’m always willing to help others in need.”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
“I would love to have my head of hair back.”
What is your passion?
“Chick-fil-A and my family and the kids’ daily activities. Mainly it is ball games three or four times a week. It is just fun to be a part of the team and get to watch them grow in the friendships and memories they will take with them.”
With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a long lunch?
“My parents, Frank and Sylvia Turner, who passed away when they were only 61 and within 18 months of each other. I have got an uncle who gets emotional whenever he says he wishes mom and dad could see how we’ve developed and been successful.”
If you could go back in time for a week, what time period or year would you visit?
“”The late 1800s during the Western days. I think I’d like to be around during the horse and buggy days and out on the ranch. I think I would enjoy horses.”
What is the best present you ever received in a box?
“For our first Christmas when we were dating, Mitzi surprised me with a gold nugget splash and necklace. This was in the 1980s, and gold nugget splashes were popular at the time. It was special because, as dating young adults, we didn’t have much cash flow.”
What is the best advice your mother ever gave you?
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Other than your parents, who has had the biggest influence on your life and why?
“Harold Jarvis. He was a big influence on my teenage and young adult years as a role model and as second Dad in my personal life. Professionally, he was my first operator with Chick-fil-A.”
Do you Myspace, Facebook or Twitter?
“I just started on Facebook.”
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
“Stacking hay in a barn during the summer of 1982. It was hot and miserable and low paying work.”
What was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon and why?
What irritates you?
“Clutter. I am pretty organized I especially don’t like my office getting cluttered at work.”
What’s one place in Blount County everyone should visit?
“Chick-fil-A, of course, but Look Rock along the Parkway is priceless.”
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at 18?
“Slow down and enjoy being a young adult. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up.”
What is your greatest fear?
“Not having good health in my older days and my kids having to take care of me.”
I still can’t quite get the hang of?
“Golf is a game that God never had in mind for me to master.”