Local franchisee first up in entrepreneurship speaker series

Contact: Alyssa Benson

Western Michigan University Entrepreneurship Forum.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The franchisee who brought Chick-fil-A to the Kalamazoo area will be the first speaker in the Entrepreneurship Forum speaker series at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business.

Idris Rashid, a two-time WMU alumnus, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, in 2000 Schneider Hall. The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (269) 387-6059 or at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. Free parking is available in Schneider Hall Lot 72R.

Chick-fil-A and Rashid

The Kalamazoo-area Chick-fil-A opened in February of 2017. The store is Chick-fil-A's fifth location in Michigan and is known for its boneless chicken breast sandwiches. According to Chick-fil-A, thousands of entrepreneurs apply to become franchise holders, but the company only chooses about 100 annually. Growing up in Michigan, Rashid wasn't exposed to Chick-fil-A, as the restaurant originally got its start in the southeastern U.S. Once he had the opportunity to visit one in 2007, he was blown away by the customer service he experienced while dining.

Prior to owning and operating the Kalamazoo franchise of Chick-fil-A, Rashid worked for DaimlerChrysler in the areas of finance and logistics as well as the Pepsico Gatorade and Pepsico Frito Lay divisions in production supervisor and operation manager roles. Most recently, he worked in the Kalamazoo Public Schools as a behavioral specialist, also training teachers to use new technology. Rashid has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in organizational leadership, both from WMU.

Entrepreneurship Forum

Entrepreneurship Forum is a monthly series sponsored by BlueOx Credit Union and hosted by Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business. The forum brings stories of entrepreneurs and startup success to the greater Kalamazoo community. To learn more about the series, visit wmich.edu/business/entrepreneurship-forum.

Future Entrepreneurship Forum Speakers

  • Oct. 20: Noel Corwin, founder, Gorilla Gourmet
  • Nov. 10: Charles Grantier and Tim Davis, co-owners, Territorial Brewing Company

For more information or to RSVP please call (269) 387-6059 or register at wmich.edu/business/e-rsvp. To suggest an entrepreneur who should be considered for the series, contact Alyssa Benson at alyssa.benson@wmich.edu.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.