Yum! CEO: Drinks are on me

By |  August 5, 2014 0 Comments

Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 11.49.33 PMAll week, Roger Meier, superintendent at Valhalla GC, has arranged for guest speakers to come address the grounds crew.

On Monday, it was David Novak, CEO of Yum!, along with Ted Bishop, president of the PGA of America.

Both men gave great speeches to the crew, but for this post, I want to focus on some of the fun Novak had.

In case you’re not familiar with Yum!, let me tell you… you actually are familiar with Yum!. Yum! is headquartered here in Louisville, Ky., and includes Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC. We’re talking 40,000 restaurants in 125 countries. When it comes to companies, Yum! is grande size.

So Novak opens with some encouraging words. “It’s special when you get to be a part of something great,” he said. “It takes passion to strive for greatness.”

Novak shows one of the rubber chickens he'd give away when he was president of KFC.

Novak shows one of the rubber chickens he’d give away when he was president of KFC.

Then he told a story about Bob, someone who had worked for Pepsi for years, but didn’t realize he was appreciated until weeks before his retirement. Novak wanted to change that, so he started giving out fun gifts of recognition. When he was the president of KFC, it was a rubber chicken. When he was president of Pizza Hut, it was a cheese head (think Green Bay Packers.)

When he became CEO of Yum!, he started giving out these chattering teeth, like the one seen in the top photo. He’d sign and date the teeth and include a check for $300 inside, for a job well done.

At this point, he told the crew at Valhalla that he thought they deserved something even better. So he presented the chattering teeth to Meier, and then announced that inside the mouth was a check for $2,000.

“When this is all over, I want you to take the crew out and celebrate,” Novak told Meier. The crew went nuts.

“The reason this place looks excellent is because of you,” Novak said, looking at the crew. “You should be really proud of what you’ve done. When you come to Valhalla, there’s no way you don’t get a chill up your spine.”

And with that, the crew seemed more than ready to take on the evening’s work.

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About the Author: Seth Jones

Seth Jones, a 25-year veteran of the golf industry media, is Editor-in-Chief of Golfdom magazine and Athletic Turf. A graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Jones began working for Golf Course Management in 1999 as an intern. In his professional career he has won numerous awards, including a Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) first place general feature writing award for his profile of World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman and a TOCA first place photography award for his work covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In his career, Jones has accumulated an impressive list of interviews, including such names as George H.W. Bush, Samuel L. Jackson, Lance Armstrong and Charles Barkley. Jones has also done in-depth interviews with such golfing luminaries as Norman, Gary Player, Nick Price and Lorena Ochoa, to name only a few. Jones is a member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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