At six-foot-four – and with a voice deeper than most radio personalities – North Valley dad Chad Barnett may at first seem a looming personality.
But in reality, the father of three is more teddy bear than grizzly.
Even his career oozes family.
“The only two careers I’ve had as an adult are in frozen yogurt and sandwiches,” laughs Barnett, who got his start working in his native Texas at TCBY at just 19 years old.
Newly married, he and his wife, Jeana, would move from Texas in 1993 to Arkansas, then to Indiana and finally to Arizona with the organization in 1997.
One Big Brand
In 2000, Barnett met Rick Ueable, who owned about a dozen Subway franchisees in Arizona under the business name Foods 2000, Inc. He and his partner were looking for someone to assist in operations management, and Barnett – who had fallen in love with the Valley – jumped at the opportunity.
“Over the past 19 years, we’ve worked together to expand the business to 49 Subway locations and
counting, says Barnett, who today serves as president of Foods 2000 – which is located in Scottsdale – as well as chair of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFAFT), overseeing marketing and advertising for the entire Subway brand in the market.
Along the way, Barnett’s path has been littered with great kids – some of his own, and some he has had the honor of helping in any way he could.
Two Volunteer Boards
Barnett began volunteering with Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona in the mid-2000s. The organization has been focused on to providing sports equipment, uniforms, registration fees and access to major sporting events for kids who might not otherwise be able to participate.
“We raise money in order to provide grants to local kids’ sports organizations each year. But in addition, we work with partners on a program called Cycle for Success, which goes into schools and rewards children with new bikes, helmets, locks and a Subway-catered party for doing random acts of kindness that might otherwise go unnoticed,” says Barnett, noting that 2019 marks the organization’s 20thanniversary as well as their millionth dollar raised.
According to Barnett, the all-volunteer board is a project of passion for both fellow franchisees and a select group of partners who make all of the “magic” happen.
“Each year, we host a series of fundraising events that helps us to do what we do. Partners who have stepped up in such a major way to not only make these events happen but ensure their success include our event title sponsor West Liberty Foods, our long-time signature sponsor Coca-Cola and our tireless event sponsors Mobivity, Frito-Lay, Shamrock, Proof Advertising, Craftmark and HMA Public Relations. They are the real rock stars,” says Barnett, noting that this year’s tournament will take place in October at both Top Golf Scottsdale and Talking Stick Golf Club.
In addition to Subway Kids & Sports, Barnett more recently took on another appointment, in 2018 joining the Phoenix Advantage Charter School board, which oversees the business affairs of the school, including setting policy, maintaining compliance with the charter and applicable laws and helping to guide the ongoing vitality of the school, its staff, and its students.
“One of my biggest continuous dreams is a world where all kids have their best chance,” says Barnett.
Three Busy Kids
of course, however, more than anything, Barnett’s overarching dream is to see his son and two daughters – ages 17, 15 and 13 – grow, become successful and happy and learn how to be contributing members of the community on causes for which they have a passion.
“Right now, making sure their dreams come true mostly involves Jeanaand me acting as their chauffeurs, of course,” jokes Barnett. “Whether its choir rehearsals, track practice or football, this stage in life it is all about being able to see the kids participate in things they enjoy while looking forward to what their futures hold.”
Written by: Alison Bailin Batz
Alison Bailin Batz is a freelance writer on interesting people, places, things – as well as all thing travel, food and drink. Her musings can be seen in more than two dozen media outlets across the Southwest. She is also a senior account executive at HMA Public Relations in Phoenix.