Church’s Chicken Announces Top Market Leaders, Restaurant Managers of the Year

Church's Chicken Announces Top Market Leaders, Restaurant Managers of the Year

The Brand Celebrates the Spirit of ‘Show We Care’ During 5th Annual Conference in Houston, TX

Atlanta, GA  (  Last week, during its annual Excellence in Leadership Conference (ELC) in Houston, TX, Church’s Chicken®, one of the largest fried chicken restaurant chains in the world, acknowledged its top-performing employees for their commitments to excellence and achievement. As part of a system-wide awards presentation given at the conference, dozens of employees were recognized. Two of the biggest awards bestowed during the event’s gala dinner were for Market Leaders of the Year –  Lashonda Clark of Columbus, GA for company restaurants and Lynn Teasley of Mobile, AL for franchise restaurants; and Restaurant Managers of the Year, going to Jessica King of Natchez, MS for company restaurants and Rukmani Gurung of Detroit, MI for franchise restaurants.

“All of our award winners embody the spirit of our conference theme Show We Care,” said Church’s Chicken Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations, Peter Servold. “It shows in their operations, in their teams and in how they support their communities. We could not be prouder of our staff and especially our general managers, whose continued commitment to evolve the brand and dedication to excellence remain unmatched.”

Each of the winners’ exceptional leadership skills were captured in action on a personal and inspirational video, which played during the awards ceremonies as the winners walked up to the stage to receive their awards.

“The awards conference is a great way to recognize individual achievement, but they all share a commitment to utilizing all of the tools and the operating systems that Church’s Chicken provides. It’s a direct reflection of how fully engaged they are with their businesses. Their results are proof that the system is successful when we all work together,” added Servold.

Market Leaders of the Year

Lashonda Clark
Company Market Leader of the Year, Columbus, Georgia

Passionate, hardworking and competitive are just a few words that describe Lashonda Clark. Lashonda started with the company 16 years ago, and quickly moved up the ladder into a Market Leader role. When she moved to Columbus in 2015, she made it her mission to build relationships in the community and as a result more than doubled weekly sales. She went the extra mile, negotiating a deal with a radio station to promote the restaurants on a regular basis, for the cost of an 8-piece with a family side of okra and mashed potatoes. Talk about exceptional negotiating skills! Lashonda’s commitment to community can be seen with her regular visits to nursing homes where she and her managers deliver meals to thankful residents. No wonder she’s known as “Ms. Church’s Chicken of Columbus, Georgia!”

Lynn Teasley
Franchise Market Leader of the Year, Mobile, Alabama

Lynn Teasley has been the Market Leader for the Mobile, Alabama restaurants, owned by QSR Holdings, for the past 18 years. Lynn started out as a restaurant manager in Saraland, AL where she broke nine sales records within nine months! She credits her strong work ethic, but her compassion for her team has translated into great market success. One of 13 siblings, Lynn knows how to encourage teamwork and is always there to listen and provide a helping hand. When Lynn found out one of her regular guests couldn’t make it into the restaurant due to an operation, she arranged to have his order delivered to him at home every day until he made a full recovery! Lynn’s commitment to customers and Church’s Show We Care value makes her a winner in her community and beyond. 

Restaurant General Managers of the Year

Jessica King
Company Restaurant General Manager of the Year, Natchez, Mississippi

Jessica King joined Church’s as a Regional General Manager just over three years ago and quickly moved to training within her first year. Jessica’s success is based on her strong leadership. She is a seeker of new talent, always looking to develop the next generation of leaders. She supports external training efforts, having certified four Restaurant General Managers and two Market Leaders for franchisees. She is the living example of Church’s Show We Care value. Her restaurant offers year-long school fundraisers and hosts a lunch every 3rd of the month for a local retirement home. With a drive-thru speed service of less than three-minutes, Jessica continues to lead her team by example!

Rukmani Gurung
Franchise Restaurant General Manager of the Year, Detroit, Michigan

Rukmani Gurung started out as a cashier 13 years ago and is now the Training Restaurant General Manager for QSR Holdings in Detroit, Michigan. Rukmani not only makes sure her staff demonstrates a caring attitude towards each guest, she makes it her mission the team understands the standards around product quality, speed of service, friendliness and food safety. Rukmani goes door to door to local apartments and businesses providing coupons and information about catering sales. Her efforts have increased sales by 11 percent over the last year! Rukmani exemplifies the Show We Care value on every shift, making it a point to thank each person for their efforts, reinforcing their strengths and redirecting their areas of opportunity. Her goal is to become a Market Leader. We have no doubt she will achieve that and more! 

About Church’s Chicken®

Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken® is one of the largest quick service restaurant chicken chains in the world. Church’s® specializes in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips®, Honey-Butter Biscuits™ made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church’s® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 25 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion. For more information, visit Follow Church’s® on Facebook at and Twitter at

Kim Miller