Trudy is the daughter of Truett and Jeannette Cathy, and like her father, she is a beloved leader, communicator, and entrepreneur.
When she was just 19 years old, Trudy began working for the family business . She became an operator of a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama - making her the youngest Operator at that time. Though she had just finished her freshman year at Samford University, Truett believed in his daughter, and handed her the keys. She took a year off from school to run the restaurant and, in that time, hired fellow Samford student, John White. “When he came in, I knew I needed to hire him. It didn’t hurt that he was good looking,” she laughs.
And they’ve been together ever since.
Throughout their marriage, Trudy and John White have actively sought opportunities to connect with and invest in others’ lives. They served for 20 years with the International Mission Board; 10 of those years as missionaries in Brazil where they ultimately started a small church as well as “Lar WinShape,” a home for children in need. This home became a model establishment and opened doors for several other orphanages and foster homes throughout the city of Brasilia. “When I think back on my time as an international missionary,” Trudy explains, “I remember these words my Dad said to me: ‘If you help enough other people get what they want in life you’ll eventually get what you want out of life.’ Today, I know that true happiness is less about me and more about others. That's what brings me real joy.”
"Today, I know that true happiness is less about me and more about others.”
The Whites are co-founders of Lifeshape, an organization committed to restoring children at risk, cultivating servant leaders and discipling the nations. They also founded Impact 360 Institute, which offers life-changing experiences that help students live out their faith with confidence. The program includes worldview studies, experiential learning, international travel and leadership training.
“I have a deep passion for developing others and creating a safe place for young people to learn and grow,” she says. This is evidenced by the fact Trudy served 13 years as the director of WinShape Camps for Girls, a summer camp experience founded by her parents in 1985. Over the years, WinShape Camps has expanded to a total of five overnight locations in north Georgia, with more than 90 day-camp locations across the country.
An attentive wife, mother, grandmother and host, Trudy lives to serve and love others. “There is nothing I enjoy more than spending time with family and friends, and building relationships — both old and new,” she says.