Brynn Gilbreath Albretsen
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration ’04
In many schools, you might just be another number in a database, but at the University of Mobile they really saw me. When I had lofty goals that seemed crazy (taking 21 hours a semester…or taking a week during the semester for a hands-on business experience in New Jersey) they worked with me to make those things a reality.
– Brynn Gilbreath Albretsen ’04
Who in their right mind would bulldoze a Chick-fil-A? Brynn Gilbreath Albretsen did just that, and says she rebuilt it bigger and better, “complete with a dining room, playground and double drive-through. From 2008 to the present our business has grown in volume by more than 400%.”
Albretsen says that in college, the faculty and staff in the Grace Pilot School of Business at the University of Mobile helped her pursue her dreams, even the ones that seemed crazy. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she has taken that go-for-it attitude across the country, living close to New York City for a time because of her love for theater, buying her first restaurant franchise in New Jersey, and then moving back to Florence, Alabama – where she bought her current Chick-fil-A and leveled it before raising it again to new heights of success.
Albretsen says, “I enjoy the opportunities I have had to affect my community because of my service on boards and committees.” She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Mobile; the Children’s HopeChest in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and The Shoals Chamber of Commerce and Safeplace, both in Florence, to name a few.
Passionate about community theater, Albretsen also encourages young actors and actresses and production members through work on The Stanley Awards board that acts as the “Tony Awards” for her local community. She says, “We go to every local show (high school, college, and community shows) and come up with winners for all categories. It is a lot of fun and culminates with a big fancy award show.”
Q. What inspired you to enter the career you’re in?
A. I began working for Chick-fil-A when I was in high school. I was in management by the time I went to college. By my junior year I was the acting general manager. I realized early on that I enjoyed the industry and that I could make a lucrative career if I pursued franchise ownership. I really enjoy the opportunity to grow and develop young leaders and help them find their potential. I also enjoy the opportunities I have had to impact my community because of my role through service on boards and committees.
Q. Tell us about your job. What is a typical day like?
A. Most of my day revolves around goal setting, vision casting, and coaching and developing my leaders to allow them to act on the daily operations of the business. I meet with my director team to help them with problem solving to elevate their perspective on the totality of the business and how to develop the staff that they lead. Additionally, I spend time in meetings throughout the community, either in a service capacity, or in intentional relationships to grow and challenge myself.
Q. How did you get involved in community theater?
A. At the University of Mobile I participated in a production of the Upper Room Dinner Theater. I’ve always enjoyed live theater. In the last several years I have gotten really involved with our local community theater. I have been in three productions, was the assistant director for two shows, stage manager for one show, and assistant set designer for three shows. I am currently in rehearsals directing my latest project.