E. Philip Saunders was instrumental in reshaping the truck stop industry, taking it from poorly stocked, overgrown gas stations to modern travel plazas with stores, restaurants, and lodging facilities. Saunders began in 1958 with his father's gas station, and built it into the Truckstops of America chain, and later Travel Centers of America. He is also credited with growing the Sugar Creek convenience stores during his tenure as Owner of Griffith Oil Company.
Mr. Saunders has successfully diversified his interests to auto and truck rental, recreation and tourism, packaged foods, property management, and banking. His previous business history includes owner of Econocar International, owner of Richardson Foods, chief executive officer of American Rock Salt, and Sr. Vice President of Ryder Systems. Currently, Mr. Saunders is the owner of Swain Ski Center in Swain, NY, and Bristol Harbour Resort in Canandaigua, NY. He is also owner of Youngblood Disposal Company and Essex Property Management, which maintains over 100 commercial properties and three retirement communities in Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona. Mr. Saunders serves as Chairman of PCORE Electric Company, Griffith Energy, and Genesee Regional Bank, which he founded.
Sugar Creek Farms is Mr. Saunders' primary residence. The working hay and beef cattle farm is located in Dansville, NY, near Swain, allowing him to enjoy many of his favorite activities including hunting, fishing, golf and hiking. Mr. Saunders currently serves on the board of directors for Paul Smiths College, the American Red Cross in Rochester, the National Association of Truckstop Operators Foundation, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. His past service incorporates membership on the board of directors of several organizations, including Rochester General Hospital, Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Fleet Bank, and the Boys Scouts of America-Steuben Area Council. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the community, including the Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award from the Rochester Institute of Technology College of Business, a Doctorate of Commercial Science from Paul Smiths College, the Teddi Award from Camp Good Days and Special Times, the Livingston County Citizen of the Year, and he was elected to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame in 2004.