October 21, 2014: Preston Atkinson and Tom Dobson
Mr. Preston Atkinson
President & Chief Executive Officer, Whataburger
Preston Atkinson began his career working in lumber retail and as a general contractor before beginning his own company, Atkinson & Associates Builders. His relationship with Whataburger began in 1986, when he started designing and building Whataburger restaurants, a role he continued through 1998.
In November of 1998, he officially joined the Whataburger Family – holding the roles of Senior Vice President of Development, Chief Development Officer, and Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer before assuming the position of President & Chief Operating Officer in February 2007. In January 2012, he became Whataburger’s President and Chief Executive Officer. In Mr. Atkinson’s tenure, Whataburger has expanded its market, grown sales, and moved its headquarters to San Antonio. Whataburger now has more than 769 locations in 10 states, with sales of more than $1.3 billion annually.
Mr. Tom Dobson
Chairman of the Board, Whataburger
Tom Dobson has held various positions with Whataburger since 1961 when he started working in the restaurants. In 1967 he started working in the home office in numerous positions to learn the business while going to school at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos. He returned in 1972 to work full time. In 1993 he was named President & CEO and now holds the title of Chairman of the Board.
The family owned business was founded in 1950. Whataburger operates 769 restaurants in 10 states, employing over 23,000 team members with annual sales over $1.3 billion. In addition Dobson is Managing Partner of Dobson Properties, a real estate investment firm, and President and CEO of Quality Broadcasting, Inc., which owns and operates KFTX, “Real Country” radio in Corpus Christi, Texas.
A hallmark of the Whataburger culture is giving back, and Dobson is committed to preserving the company’s mission of service. He established the Whataburger Family Foundation in 2001, which pools together donations from the company, employees, franchisees and suppliers; the funds are then used for scholarships and to assist employees and their families in need.
A leader in the community, Dobson is active in many non-profit organizations that focus on developing youth as the leaders of tomorrow. He is a trustee of the Driscoll Foundation, trustee and a member of the Kenedy Memorial Foundation and trustee of the Texas State Aquarium, all in Corpus Christi. Dobson serves on the Board of Directors of Respite Care, St. Phillip’s College Presidents Advisory Board in San Antonio and as a chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, San Antonio Branch. Dobson was recently a recipient of the Corpus Christi Business Hall of Fame Award by the Junior Achievement of the Coastal Bend and he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in November 2013.