The Prince William Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Chick-fil-A is rescheduling all of Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy’s personal appearances for the remainder of 2012.
Cathy was scheduled to visit the chamber in November 2012 to host a "Leadership Toolkit" seminar at the .
"In light of the recent passing of their Vice President of Public Relations, a twenty-nine year employee of the company, and the concurrent public controversy, Chick-fil-A is rescheduling all of Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy’s personal appearances for the remainder of 2012," said a release from the chamber.
Dan Cathy has recently been the subject of media attention in response to his stance on the definition of marriage.
The chamber said that an alternate date for the previously announced event "is forthcoming."
"Prior to the postponement, had signed on to sponsor the event," said the release. "They have agreed to honor that commitment when the event is rescheduled for early 2013."
“While we are disappointed at having to move the date of the event, we look forward to offering this opportunity to our membership early in 2013. We know that a great many of our members will understand that, as a business leader, there are times when you must pull back and focus on day-to-day operations," said Chamber President & CEO Rob Clapper in a release.
"In light of recent events, particularly the loss of one of their long-time employees and top executives, we respect the decision of the Chick-fil-A leadership team in taking the time to do just that," said Clapper of Chick-fil-A's spokesman Don Perry. Chick-fil-A said Perry passed away suddenly on July 27.
The chamber also said in its release that "reports that the Prince William Chamber of Commerce had reconsidered holding its Nov. 27 event with Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy are not accurate. Clapper has gone on the record saying that the organization is moving forward with plans for the event, which will offer insight into one of the nation’s most successful family-owned business."
In an earlier statement, Clapper stated the relevance of the Chick-fil-A program to local businesses, “Our membership is comprised of more than 60 percent small business. Given the fact that Chick-fil-A has built their business into the largest family-owned company in the country, there are clear business lessons many of our members have expressed a desire to learn.”
The chamber's release said that Cathy will resume his tour next year, stopping in Prince William to recognize the chain’s highest-grossing restaurant, located on Prince William Parkway in . He plans to meet with the owner/operators of all five of the Chick-fil-A’s in the Prince William region; four of which are members of the Prince William Chamber.
The Woodbridge Chick-fil-A recently reopened after a
For additional questions, or to be notified when the event is rescheduled, please call the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600.