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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
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Rodrigo Sanchez

Owner

El Tequileno Family Mexican Restaurant

Location: Lakewood, CO

Founded: 2003

Industry: Food service

With two small kids, Rodrigo Sanchez and his wife invested all their money to open up their first restaurant. Sanchez spent 16 hours a day at the restaurant for the first few years it was open, putting everything he had into making the operation a success.

“One way or another, we had to make it work because we believe in ourselves and our goals,” Sanchez said. “I sacrificed my years for my kids, and now I am fortunate enough to spend time with them whenever we want, and I can give them everything I never had growing up.”

Sanchez is owner of El Tequileno Family Mexican Restaurant in Lakewood, and there are expansion plans on the horizon. He plans to open a steakhouse and another Mexican restaurant in 2023. His restaurant currently employs 135 people, and many of them have been with the company for a decade or more.

Sanchez recently started a program to give back to the community, providing food to firefighters, police officers, teachers and those experiencing homelessness. He was motivated by an incident in March 2022, when he pulled into a gas station and saw four people sitting outside on a cold night. He offered them food, and one of the men started crying and told Sanchez he had not eaten anything in at least a day. “I got back in my truck and I cried,” Sanchez said.

“Sometimes we don’t realize how much people struggle. Since this day, I have made many donations, and I am proud and happy to continue this and expand this program.”

This is the second time Sanchez has been named a titan. He said one of the most important lessons he’s learned in the last year is to listen more and talk less.

“I learned that listening more helped me connect to more people, it helped me create more trust in my employees,” he said. “It also makes it easier to network because you learn about a person and what they are passionate about.”

Sanchez has implemented a mentoring program to help rising employees plan for their success and, at the same time, help his business with employee retention.

“The form we measure the high performing employees is through the amount of tasks they can complete without the presence of authority,” Sanchez said. “This shows us who is motivated, who is responsible to finish tasks and who doesn’t need their superiors telling them what to do next.”

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The Titan 100 has been such an honor, it was a if I was finally seen after my 18 years of hard work. The greatest value of the Titan 100 has been the network, it has opened new opportunities to me.

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