E. Philip Saunders

The business college namesake is an entrepreneur, outdoorsman and philanthropist. Here are Saunders’ thoughts on success and happiness.

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A good team has to have someone run the show. Every good team has to have a leader.

One of the key things if you are going to get into business, you need to find a business that you can put some kind of a brand around, a value-added brand.

Integrity is very important. To me the customer is always right. You know there are a lot of days when you know the customer isn’t right but you just can’t afford to have a customer upset with you.

Before you start a business you have to research the proper location and it shouldn’t be influenced by things such as where I live, a building that I own or a building that my friends own. It should be on the merits of the business without any emotional influences.

I was 40 years old, got enough money to live the rest of my life comfortably, and I said I was going to retire. Well, I lasted about six months.

I have since learned, and I still know this today, that I most generally have fun when I’m working and seeing the fruits of my work make a company, an organization, into a better one. That to me is more fun than going hunting, going fishing, playing golf, anything.

In the early days of the truck stop that I had on Jefferson Road, I had some RIT students work for me. They were always good kids who I become impressed with. Then I followed the school’s growth and I like the things they do there—engineering, business, graphics, photography.

I think it’s pretty nice (to have a college named after me). It’s one thing to have something named after you, but this is something where I can make a difference. I get to know a lot of the students.

I would have been a good engineer, a good architect. I sort of designed all of my truck stops. I drew out all of my truck stops on paper then I handed it to an architect.

I do like excelling in whatever I do.

I like being able to walk out and head out into the hills on my farm. I like going hiking, wandering through the property. I like seeing the crops grow.

I want to be remembered as a good honest person who always gave my best at what I did.