Born: Lubbock, Texas
Education: Texas A&M, BBA and MBA
First job: Cleaning pet cages. [It taught me] that there’s always something better out there. But it wasn’t really that bad, because I like animals.
Best advice you’ve ever been given: Surround yourself with people you know are capable of getting the job done. It’s the theory of putting the right people on the bus and then figuring out where is best to seat them.
Whom do you admire most?
Personally, my mother. Professionally, Winston Churchill. He was a leader and a motivator who single-handedly kept Western allies willing to support England and prevented his own people from capitulating and losing heart. This was done with hardly any presence of a British Army, Navy or Air Force.
What’s your definition of success?
Setting challenging goals for one’s self and then meeting obstacles head-on to achieve reasonable progress toward those goals.
Work history: Sanders started working at Johnny Rockets in March 2007. Before that, he served six years as the senior vice president of development and franchising for Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings. Previously, he served as the national director of franchising for Dunkin’ Brands of Boston, where he headed the national expansion of Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togo’s Eatery. Sanders also held positions at General Mills Inc. during a more than 10-year tenure, and he worked in strategic planning and financial analysis at Frito-Lay’s Dallas headquarters.