They go out of their way to help someone in need. They look for opportunities to give of their time, efforts, and finances to work with organizations that seek to provide a positive impact on the people who make up their community. They are servant leaders.
Jeff Johnston, owner of Chick-Fil-A at Broadway Crossing, believes that volunteering in the community is a natural part of being a servant leader.
“We all are blessed with so much and by giving back and investing in others – through volunteering our time, resources, finances, and experience – we help develop leaders in our communities as well as the world,” he said.
As a servant leader, Mr. Johnston seeks to volunteer with a wide variety of community organizations and events, including the Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual golf fundraiser, the Salvation Army’s Hearts Behind the Red Shield event, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the No RUN RUN fundraiser for East Texas Cornerstone Ministries. His Chick-Fil-A restaurant provides food and helps with promotion of each event as well.
Mr. Johnson said he is proud to live in a country where every person has the freedom and opportunity to excel in life. However, he also notes that freedom comes with responsibility.
“Giving back and sharing with others brings us great joy,” he said. “But we can’t out give God. We are reminded by the Gospel of Luke, ‘To whom much is given, much is required.’”
Born in Texarkana, Arkansas, Mr. Johnston is a graduate of Texarkana Arkansas High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Arkansas. He also earned his credentials as a professional engineer, a certified safety professional, and a special government employee for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the United States Department of Labor. Mr. Johnston worked for Eastman Chemical Company for 33 years before joining Chick-Fil-A eight years ago.
He is a member of Salvation Army Advisory Board, East Texas Food Bank Advisory Board, Tyler Chamber of Commerce, and the South Tyler Rotary Club. He is also an active supporter of Breckenridge Village of Tyler, Bethesda Medical Center of Tyler, Habitat for Humanity, and the United Way. Prior to moving to Tyler, Mr. Johnston served with many organizations in Arkansas and Tennessee. He was also recognized as the Volunteer of the Year for OSHA’s National Voluntary Program, in which he assisted OSHA in developing and launching the “Special Government Employee” program, which serves industry sites nationwide.
Mr. Johnston and his wife, Debra, are the parents of one adult daughter, Melissa. She and her husband, Jeff, are the parents of Sadie, 5, and Camden, 4. The Johnstons moved to Tyler two years ago and are member of Green Acres Baptist Church.
“Tyler is a dynamic community that is filled with many passionate servant leaders who are always willing to help others,” Mr. Johnston said. “I completed the Leadership Tyler program last year and served as the logistics coordinator for this year’s class. During the two years I have been a part of Leadership Tyler, I have been amazed by the talent and resources in this community, as well as the exposure to opportunities to volunteer.”