Texas Border Business
SAN ANTONIO – Lee Sanders, a prominent thought leader renowned for his success in strategic mergers and acquisitions, is joining the board of directors for VitaNova Brands©, a multi-concept operator of independent restaurant brands. As a board member, Sanders brings his brand development and operational expertise within the restaurant industry to VitaNova Brand‘s unique and scalable model, guiding win-win outcomes.
“I anticipate adding VitaNova Brands to the portfolio of companies I have assisted in achieving growth and development goals through brand development, mergers & acquisitions and additional board oversight,” said Sanders. “With the innovative thinking of the VitaNova Brands’ team and my considerable understanding of concepts within the restaurant industry, I foresee a very successful dynamic accompanied by a series of mutually beneficial and substantial deals—for all parties involved.”
Since 2015, Sanders has been providing consulting and advisory services to private equity firms, hedge funds, family offices, and lenders through Scuderia Advisors. Here, he focuses on the acquisition of existing restaurant brands and assets, including strategic deal sourcing, public company proxy battles, due diligence, negotiations, carve-out transactions, turnarounds, and managing transitions.
“It’s no doubt that Lee’s extensive developmental and operational involvement within the restaurant industry has led to his impressive track record of successful mergers and acquisitions,” said Jason Kemp, co-founder and president of VitaNova Brands. “His experience directly aligns with our goals here at VitaNova Brands, and we couldn’t be more excited to have another like-minded individual enjoy our board of directors.”
Sanders has been an ardent connector of companies for reach mutually beneficial outcomes, which has been backed by his years of experience in strategic development roles. He achieved notable results in international growth, domestic development, operations, guest satisfaction, and digital strategy in his previous roles of EVP and global chief development officer and president of franchising for TGI Fridays©. A precursor to this, Sanders accomplished significant milestones as chief executive officer for Johnny Rockets© when he reconstructed a 25-year-old system, established new trade channels, and opened numerous units worldwide. He also served as the SVP of development and franchising for Buffalo Wild Wings®, where he scored significant development deals and opened units at a record-breaking rate for the company.
Sanders also carried out roles of strategy development, food manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and supply chain for Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins©, General Mills©, Frito-Lay©, and The Kraft Heinz Company©.
An involved member of the Texas community, Sanders assists convicted felons who served more than five years in Texas-state prisons achieve parole and secure meaningful employment as an executive advisor to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program.
Sanders holds an MBA and BBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He is also a certified food management (CFM) professional through the Nation Restaurant Association and a certified franchise executive (CFE) through the International Franchise Association.