Chris Fowler


Fowler Foods Inc.


Chris Fowler

Chris Fowler may be one of the few presidents of a multimillion-dollar company who began his career as a cook in a fast-food restaurant. Today, he's president of Fowler Foods Inc., which operates 23 KFC and seven Taco Bell restaurants and has systemwide sales that top $20 million.

He succeeded his father, Wallace Fowler, as president in 1987, just as the company was starting its Taco Bell division. Under the younger Fowler's direction, the restaurants have fared impressively: a Taco Bell in Jonesboro has the highest volume in the franchise system; a KFC in Jonesboro has the highest volume in Arkansas; and a KFC in tiny West Plains, Mo., is the highest-grossing KFC in that state.

Fowler, 32, is reluctant to take any credit, however.

"We operate as a team. We're we and us and not me," he says, explaining why the restaurants have been so successful.

Aside from work, Fowler is chairman of the Jonesboro Advertising & Promotion Commission. He's held leadership posts in numerous hospitality and civic organizations over the years. As of late, he's stayed busy coaching his two children, a boy and girl, in sports.