Walt’s lifelong connection with Taco John’s began in 1971, when he was hired as a 15-year-old worker at the 41st Street store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From his start shredding cheese and cutting lettuce, Walt has held every position on the Taco John’s – from crew member to shift supervisor to assistant manager to general manager. After a two-year stretch in the U.S. Army, Walt became a franchisee at the age of 21. Today, more than 50 years later, Walt serves as president of partnership group that owns 11 stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Within the franchisee organization, Walt began his 21-year run on the Ad Committee in 1978, which included a term as chairman. He’s been elected to the ATJF Board of Directors five times and served three terms as president. In between terms he was also the chair of the franchisee committee tasked with re-writing the franchise agreement.
Walt’s wife Gwen, their three daughters and eight grandchildren are the center of his world. His core values are built on his faith, and his Taco motto of “recruit, train and develop” is based on the Campus Crusade motto of “Win, Build, Send.“ He feels very blessed to have worked with some remarkable people, and he is most proud of all the individuals he has brought into the system who have become business managers, franchisees, and dear friends.