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Bert Thornton

Business Partner, iFolio

  • Waffle House Vice Chairman EmeritusTrustee, Georgia Tech Foundation
  • Former President of Georgia Tech Alumni Association
  • Current Board of Advisers, former Trustee, The Museum School of Avondale Estates
  • Author of “Find an Old Gorilla: Pathways Through the Jungle of Business and Life”


Success Leader/ Motivational Speaker 


About Bert

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Bert Thornton is a Georgia Institute of Technology Graduate where he played collegiate football and joined Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. After graduation he spent 2 years in the United States Army.

Bert joined Waffle House in 1971, and in four years was named a Vice President. In 2004, he was named President and Chief Operations Officer.

Currently, he travels to different conferences speaking about his book, "Find an Old Gorilla: Pathways Through the Jungle of Business and Life."  

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Published Author

Bert's first published book, Find an Old Gorilla, guides people to success in and out of the workplace

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Culinary Master

Waffle House Sells more than 11 Million Servings of Bert's Chili each year

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Keynote Speaker

Enrecon Keynote Speaker, 2017

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Bert's Legacy At Waffle House

Bert Thornton began his career on the grill and quickly moved up the food chain to president and COO of Waffle House. He helped grow the breakfast chain from humble beginnings into a financial and cultural powerhouse.

Today, the chain boasts more than 2,000 locations and sells more than 11 million servings of Bert’s Chili each year.

Thornton’s smiling face, holding a steaming bowl of his namesake concoction, adorns the diners’ walls from coast to coast. There’s even a song named after him!  

Basic Laws of Success

Bert now is a professional highlighting the basic laws of success.


He encourages people to follow his tactics of a great attitude, self-reflection, and productive time management.

Workplace Ideals


“Most importantly, you have a responsibility to develop your employees to their full

future potential. If you do that, you are on track to create and run a very successful

business, and what kind of business it is won’t matter.”


- Bert Thornton

Family Man

Bert is a family man. He is a husband to his wife Kathy and a father to his daughters Aspen, Chaice, and Mayson, all Georgia Tech graduates. He enjoys spending time with his wife, daughters and grandchildren, and friends.

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Georgia Tech Alumni

He is an active member of Georgia Tech's alumni base where he has served as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Trustees, President of the Alumni Association, and currently a member of Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees and Finance committee.

Bert received the Joseph Mayo Petit Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given by the Georgia Tech Alumni Association.  

United States Army

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Bert spent two years as an Artillery Officer in the United States Army. He served one tour with the 5th Battalion, 2nd Artillery in South Vietnam.

GA Tech Football

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Bert attended the Georgia Institute of Technology on a full football scholarship.

iFOLIO Students Accessing Opportunities

Bert introduced iFOLIO to The Museum School of Avondale Estates (TMS).  All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at TMS are equipped with iFolio until they graduate high school.

Students using iFOLIO have received $100,000 merit scholarship awards.

Students using iFOLIOS were admitted to: Yale University, Johns Hopkins, California Institute of Technology, Cornell, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northeastern, Case Western, University of Wisconsin, Purdue, University of Georgia, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Texas Christian University, Auburn University, University of South Carolina Honors, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Mercer, among others.  

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