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Staff Council Hosts Customer Service and Brand Development Workshop April 22

April 29, 2021

The Staff Council at OBU hosted a special professional development opportunity for staff members Thursday, April 22. The group welcomed guest speakers Jeff and Kathy Madison, owner/operators of the Shawnee Chick-fil-A, to lead two identical sessions on brand development and customer service. The events took place in the Geiger Center on the OBU campus in Shawnee.

The Madisons led staff members through various aspects of customer service, emphasizing that at both OBU and Chick-fil-A, the way customers interact with employees largely determines their perceptions about the organization. They discussed many aspects of successful brand development with regards to managing customer interactions, delivering a quality product, resolving customer issues, and remaining consistent in how customers experience the University. They likewise encouraged engagement within each table, where group members discussed various questions and issues, then reported out to the room.

The Madisons shared many insights and nuggets of wisdom with the group, some of which came from Jeff’s time in the U.S. Army. He discussed the importance of confidence in generating good outcomes, noting that as you gain confidence in your work, your performance improves.

“As you get better at the task, and gain your confidence, your speed picks up,” he said. “And when you have confidence, it brings calm in the chaos. Without that confidence, chaos is going to reign and you’re going to have trouble.”

He also discussed the importance of collaboration in all organizations.

“Collaboration is when you have information you know somebody else needs and you go out of your way to get it to them,” he said. He shared about how collaboration helps improve performance and execution throughout an organization, which in turn also delivers a better customer experience.

The OBU Staff Council represents staff interests and viewpoints regarding issues and concerns at the University by promoting internal communication between and among employee groups, providing input to the executive cabinet, serving on committees and task forces, and encouraging unity among employees.

Jeff and Kathy Madison are both from Harrah, Oklahoma, and 1989 graduates of East Central University, respectively earning degrees in business administration and elementary education. Jeff went on to earn an MBA from Syracuse University.

Jeff retired from the United States Army as a colonel after a 26-year-career. Through his years in the U.S. Army, he took his family to duty stations in Fort Knox, Fort Polk, Fort Harrison, Fort Bragg, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Sill, the Pentagon, Republic of South Korea, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt and Israel. While serving on active duty in 2014, Jeff was selected to become the first owner/operator of Chick-fil-A Shawnee. He now serves on the OBU community advisory board, OBU Dickinson College of Business executive board and the board for Shawnee Forward.

Kathy has worked as an elementary, middle and high school teacher in both home and public schools, with more than 16 years of teaching and coaching experience. She is also a mentor with Lydia’s Lamp, a women’s mentoring group at OBU that matches female business majors with professional businesswomen for one-on-one mentoring and networking. She also participates in and supports OBU’s Women of Vision, a giving circle that brings women together to create a valuable financial source to enhance the university’s mission through funding projects which meet critical needs on campus. She also serves on the board for Mission Shawnee.