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KaTom CEO urges students to ‘cultivate greatness’

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KaTom CEO Patricia Bible, the vice chair for Carson-Newman University's Board of Trustees, speaks to students during Chapel about following God's plan to cultivate greatness.

(March 26, 2021) JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — In the years since her husband’s unexpected death, KaTom Restaurant Supply CEO Patricia Bible has faced breast cancer and West Nile Virus. She’s ran the company and raised her children.

Bible told Carson-Newman University students attending Tuesday’s Chapel service that she knew the tasks before her would not be easy but that she would have God’s help to find her way. That’s because she had delved into his Word and developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ the day she called on him for salvation.

From that day forth, I was forever changed, and it was absolutely miraculous what that did for our company,” she said.

Bible, who also serves as vice chair for the Carson-Newman Board of Trustees, has led KaTom to join the 10 largest companies in the restaurant sector. Although COVID-19 was “an absolute death blow” to much of the restaurant industry, Bible said that last year KaTom grew from a $200 million company to a $250 million company.

“This month alone, 89% growth. For the year, 50% growth. All of that doesn’t have a thing to do with Patricia Bible,” she said. “It’s God’s plan.”

Bible credits God’s guidance for every step of the company’s growth and success, from leading her to the right location in Kodak to giving her the confidence to run a multimillion-dollar company that started in the family’s garage.

She is passionately committed to excellence, and you see that just when you talk to her and meet her, but you see it also in her life,” University President Charles A. Fowler said. “I am inspired every time I am with her.”

A Morristown resident and member of First Baptist Church of Morristown, she said her Bible study groups and prayer warrior friends saw her through difficult times. But she said it was the near audible voice of God pushing her to be better and do more for her company that drove her success.

“You guys are better today than you were yesterday, if you choose to be. What are you doing to cultivate greatness?” she challenged students. “Seek God in all that you do.”

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts-based university affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention. The University is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and celebrated a record 2,900 students in the fall. Carson-Newman offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

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