Whataburger’s chief people officer, Sandee Pritchard, has won the Elliot Group’s prestigious Motivator of the Year Award. The award honors Ms. Pritchard, who was chosen from among hundreds of nominees, for her trendsetting leadership and excellence in the area of human resources.

Ms. Pritchard, a foodservice veteran, joined Whataburger in 2003 and has held executive positions at Panera Bread, KFC, Hardee’s, Wendy’s, Long John Silver’s, and Cinnabon.

At Whataburger, Pritchard is credited with implementing a leadership program that has helped the company further develop its already strong work force. According to the company, Ms. Pritchard has brought new ideas and additional discipline to the hiring, training and recruitment process and has helped advance the Whataburger Mentoring Program, which enables employees to make significant strides in their professional and personal lives. In 2003, Pritchard was instrumental in raising record donations for the Whataburger Family Foundation, which in the last year has distributed funds to over 130 Whataburger employees in need.

“Sandee’s commitment to the growth and development of our close-knit family culture is apparent in her interaction with everyone she works with,” said Whataburger president and COO Tim Taft. “She has an open door policy and no doubt understands our people are what make Whataburger so strong.”

The annual Elliot Motivator of the Year Awards are hosted by Elliot Associates, a national executive search and strategic consulting firm that specializes in the hospitality, foodservice, and manufacturing industries. The award recognizes industry pioneers who set new standards of excellence and leadership in human resources. Award winners are chosen by a jury of restaurant industry leaders from across the country.

“I am humbled by such an honor,” said Pritchard. “To be recognized for my work by such a remarkable organization is one of my career highs.”

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