President’s Welcome

Welcome to the AKFCF!

Hello KFC Family,

I want to start by saying ‘Thank you’ for entrusting me with this opportunity to be your AKFCF President. I am excited and inspired to begin this new year in our Association!

We, the AKFCF Board and EC, have a lot of planned for this year.  We intend to continue our top-to-top meetings with KFCC, keeping the communication lines open.  We just went through a strategic planning session, and have a lot of work to do so that those goals become reality.  We have a little project called ‘Iron Mountain’, that I’ll be telling you more about throughout the year, and a personal goal of mine this year, is to continue to support and strengthen the Regions.

The Regions are the origin story of the AKFCF, and I hope to highlight and share as many of your stories as possible over the next year.   Storytelling is a powerful way to share knowledge and connect us.  It has always been important to the people in my home state of Kentucky, but storytelling played a very special role in myhousehold growing up.

My father was a master storyteller, and I have realized as an adult, that his sharp skills as a storyteller were a product of necessity and not an indulgence.  Many of you probably know that my dad was originally a Franchisee, who began under the Colonel and his family in 1966, Vero Beach, FL., under the ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc., A Florida Corporation’, and then went on to become a Franchisee for KFCC from 1969 until his death in 2004.

My dad and his perseverance is my origin story.  Obviously, my dad helped give me life, and so much more, but he also gave me the world of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I have never lived in a world where I wasn’t ‘aware’ of Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Being a KFC Franchisee for over 20 years now myself has been more than just a career for me, it is part of my history, and a way of life for me.

As we trade stories over the next year or so, (which I hope that we do) I’m sure you will hear the story about how I never intended to go into the family business, but having done so, I’ve never regretted my decision.  I hope to tell you more about the incredible people who worked for my dad, and have continued to work with me all of these years.  You will hear me tell stories not only about the Southeast Region, and how it’s been my foundation, but about the love and support I’ve felt from all of the Regions as I’ve served on various committees, including the GAC and as the former vendor liaison of the AKFCF.

So many stories to tell over the next year, and I want to hear your story, and I hope that you will share it with others.  Sharing our stories builds trust, which then opens the door for growth, and I think that even after 50 years, we are still growing as an association, with so much potential in reach.  Let’s take the ‘Reaching Impossible’ inspiration and work together to make this our best year yet!  I, alongside you, feel the anxiety and uncertainty within our business in the tough environment we operate in, but I have complete faith in the strength of our AKFCF family, and I believe that better days are ahead.

Looking forward to hearing from each of you!

Leslie Sharp