Home Local News Mayo Boddie Sr. inducted into prestigious Hall of Fame

Mayo Boddie Sr. inducted into prestigious Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, N.C. — The former chief executive of the largest owner-operator of Hardee’s restaurants in the nation, Ben Mayo Boddie Sr., was inducted posthumously into the Charles A. Cannon Free Enterprise Hall of Fame in a ceremony at historic Rose Hill Estate in Nashville, N.C. on May 16.

Boddie, his brother Nick, and their uncle, Carleton Noell, co-founded Boddie-Noell Enterprises, Inc. in Rocky Mount, N.C. in 1962. Starting with four Hardee’s franchises the company now operates nearly 330 restaurants in four states in the southeast along with BNE Land Development and other ventures.

“What an honor it was for my brothers and me when we learned that our father had been chosen to be a member of the Cannon Free Enterprise Hall of Fame,” said Bill Boddie, chairman and CEO of Boddie-Noell Enterprises. “He would have never expected to be included among the other great Americans who have been inducted.”

During his six decades at BNE, Mayo Boddie served as president, CEO and chairman of the board. He worked at the company well into his late 80s. He died in March 2020 at the age of 90.


“I can’t think of a more accomplished entrepreneur than Mayo Boddie,” said Brian Rogers, president of The Jesse Helms Center which houses and maintains the Cannon Free Enterprise Hall of Fame in Wingate, N.C. “Mayo truly exemplified the spirit of entrepreneurship, along with hard work, good character, and philanthropy that has made America great.”

Under Boddie’s leadership Hardee’s developed made-from-scratch biscuits, was the first to offer drive-through service, operate 24-hour restaurants, and develop hand-breaded chicken tenders.

“If he were still with us, he would give all the credit to God, our mother, Jean Boddie, and the thousands of employees who have made Boddie-Noell the success it is today,” said Bill Boddie.

The Free Enterprise Hall of Fame was established in 2001 to recognize the accomplishments of a select group of American leaders who directly impacted our country through their free enterprise efforts. Other inductees include textile magnate Charles A. Cannon, department store founder William Henry Belk, retailer John William Pope, clothing manufacturer E.A. Morris, Ruddick Corp. co-founder Alan Dickson, and co-founder of Affordable Dentures Don Henson.