Sereena Quick’s criminal justice career and years of Operator mentorship help her open Chick-fil-A 4040 City Ave
The road to entrepreneurialism is seldom linear, but no roadblock could have averted Sereena Quick from what she believes is her calling.
Philadelphia’s newest Chick-fil-A® Operator is a proud product of the city, having been raised in Raymond Rosen Homes, a public housing community in North Philly.
From a young age, Sereena learned to problem-solve in the face of adversity, recognizing the importance of resiliency and positivity despite her circumstances.
“Growing up in a single-parent home in an underserved community, there were so many obstacles and limited resources,” shared Sereena, but she persisted with grace and a desire to give back to those facing similar challenges.
Later in her childhood, Sereena’s stepfather joined the family and played an instrumental role in encouraging her to dream, cultivate life skills and be an independent thinker.
Pursuing her passion
After graduating from college, Sereena was drawn to work in the criminal justice system, with plans to become an attorney. Discovering that life in the courtroom wasn’t what she pictured, she chose another profession that would still allow her to pour into those seeking second chances and positively influence the lives of young people.
Sereena began her criminal justice career in Philadelphia, working as a juvenile probation officer, an occupation that sharpened her problem-solving and leadership skills. Although she was satisfied with her accomplished career in law enforcement, she felt called to pursue her next chapter as a federal probation officer for the District of San Francisco.
The nudge to tackle a new venture would be validated when she crossed paths with Jon Hooper, the Operator of Chick-fil-A® Auto Mall Parkway in Fremont, California. Jon would be one of several Operators to change Sereena’s life and inspire her atypical journey to become a trailblazer in the Philadelphia market.
Jon was young, Black, educated and kind with an entrepreneurial spirit,” Sereena said. “Most surprisingly, he didn’t come from a family of wealth. He and I had so many similarities that made it easy for me to connect with him and to be inspired by him,” Sereena said.
Learning to lead
After her first encounter with Jon, Sereena’s life was forever changed. Sereena, who was used to counseling others, found herself in the role of mentee, soaking up as much business knowledge as she could from Jon. On top of her federal probation officer duties, she began working in Jon’s restaurant on Saturdays, engrossing herself on the ins and outs of the quick-service restaurant industry and Chick-fil-A’s signature hospitality.
After relocating back to Philadelphia to work as a federal probation officer for the District of Delaware, Sereena continued to spend her extra time at a Chick-fil-A restaurant. Jon, who saw Sereena’s commitment to excellence, introduced her to his best friend Stanley Webster, who, at the time, was the Operator of Chick-fil-A Liberty Place before later relocating to open Chick-fil-A Cienega Triangle in Los Angeles.
In downtown Philly, Sereena shadowed Stanley and volunteered at his restaurant, absorbing all the aspects of the business and advancing in her pursuit of one day being a part of the Chick-fil-A story. Stanley was a tremendous force, encouraging Sereena to dream big and showing her that business ownership was possible and attainable. He was her confidante and advisor, and a constant source of inspiration.
“Another Black businessman, he soon became one of my supporters, encouraging my dream of one day operating my own restaurant," Sereena said.
After 13 years in law enforcement, Sereena knew it was time to take Stanley’s advice – to take a calculated risk and bet on herself. This meant Sereena would fully pursue a career with Chick-fil-A.
A new chapter
Sereena joined the grand opening team at Chick-fil-A Malvern in Pennsylvania alongside Operator Chris Walsh, where she would spend nearly three years serving the Malvern community as the restaurant’s Executive Director.
“Chris went above and beyond in teaching me how to think, act and lead as an Operator,” Sereena said. “He empowered me with the autonomy to run the business as if it were my own, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had in his restaurant.”
From left to right: Operators Jon Hooper, Stanley Webster, Chris Walsh and Sereena Quick
In 2022, Sereena was selected to be the Operator of a new restaurant location in west Philadelphia. The little girl from Raymond Rosen Homes who beat the odds will become Operator of Chick-fil-A 4040 City Ave this November, alongside the support of her family. She’s humbled by the opportunity to serve her hometown, a community that she credits with her success.
“I love the city of Philadelphia. I am living proof of its rich history, vibrant diversity and endless possibilities,” she said. “I am passionate about creating long-term positive change in my community and look forward to this new chapter in the place where I was born and raised.”