Dothan Business Hall of Fame Inducts Past Business Council of Alabama Chairman

Past Business Council of Alabama chairman and current BCA treasurer Charles Nailen Jr. was inducted into the Dothan Business Hall of Fame on Thursday.

Nailen is president co-owner with his wife, Kay, of BBG Specialty Foods Inc. in Dothan, a Taco Bell franchisee in southeast Alabama. Nailen is the 2003-04 BCA chairman and was a signer of The Partnership agreement in 2003 that united local chambers of commerce through the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama.

“I’m humbled,” Nailen said this week. “That’s the word that comes to mind, humbled. There are probably fewer than 30 people that have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame and I look at the people honored in the past and it’s like wow, for Charles Nailen to be included in that group, I am pretty humbled.”

Nailen said he wants to give credit where it’s due to his wife, his life partner for nearly 45 years and business partner for 32 years.

“I also very much want to give credit to our Heavenly Father for anything I’ve become in my nearly 70 years,” said Nailen, who has the honorary title of BCA chaplain emeritus. “It’s not about me and I don’t want it to be about me.”

Nailen joined nominees Velma Tribue, Reafield Vester, and Sam Wainwright.

The Dothan Business Hall of Fame began in 2011 as a collaborative effort between the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and the Dothan Area Young Professionals, the Dothan Eagle reported.

Nailen, a Samford University graduate, began his career with an accounting firm in Birmingham. In 1986, he and Kay Nailen opened the first Taco Bell in the Wiregrass, followed by a second in 1989 and more over the years.  Up until 2015 they owned and operated KFC restaurants in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

Nailen and his wife are members of Wiregrass Church in Dothan where they lead a weekly Small Group.  Nailen also serves on the board of trustees of Troy University and is chair of the Dothan Airport Authority, among other volunteer positions.