By Lexi Rachal, Wildcats Media
PINEVILLE, La. (Wildcats Media) – God can use ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels founder Anne Beiler said during the inaugural Maggie Martin Marketplace Leadership Summit April 13 at Louisiana Christian University.
“According to the standards of this world, I was not qualified to be Auntie Anne,” said Beiler, who did not have a formal education when she started the company. “There wasn’t a headhunter in the world who would’ve come looking for me, Anne Beiler, to be the CEO of an international franchise organization…I was not qualified. I love God though. I made a pretzel, and the rest is history.”
Beiler shared that through her journey of creating Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, her business lacked a leader with formal education, capital and a business plan. However, Beiler surrounded herself with those loyal to her purpose – to be profitable, to give and be light in the world of business.
Throughout her presentation inside Guinn Auditorium, Beiler emphasized the importance of finding purpose through the presence of God.
“We are created to house the presence of God in our bodies and to walk and to talk with Him every single day,” Beiler said. “That’s our purpose.”
Raised in a traditional Mennonite community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Beiler shared that during the early years of marriage, she and her husband were on fire for God. Seven years into her marriage, Beiler and her husband, Jonas, lost their 19-month-old daughter, Angela.
Unable to deal with grief, Beiler tried to find answers from her pastor.
However, Beiler said he took advantage of her and the incident nearly destroyed her life.
“That day I made a choice to keep a secret,” she said. “I decide that I would never tell anyone what happened to me. That one secret, that one choice, changed everything for me.”
After extended times of prayer, Beiler told her husband about the incident which began a journey of healing.
Made possible through a gift from her daughter, Natalie, and son-in-law, Darryl Monroe, the event will be held each spring for business and industry leaders in central Louisiana who strive to live out their faith at work.
LCU President Rick Brewer and Pineville Mayor Rich Dupree presented Beiler with a key to the City of Pineville.
“You could not have asked for a better speaker for this inaugural event,” Brewer said. “Anne’s story and insight was inspirational and motivational. Her character and convictional leadership resonate with the focus of the Jonathan E. Martin MBA Program. Looking forward to the next Dr. Maggie Martin Marketplace Leadership Summit April 18, 2024.”