Christ Presbyterian Academy
Jimmy John Liautaud Speaks to Business + Entrepreneurship Students

On March 6, Jimmy John Liautaud, the founder and former chairman of Jimmy John's sandwich chain, spoke to Business + Entrepreneurship students in the upper school. Liautaud discussed his various entrepreneurial pursuits, failures, successes, and valuable lessons he's learned along the way. 

His 1,300+ unit chain business began in 1983 with humble beginnings. Liautaud shared that in his teen years, he never felt like he quite fit in, but he didn't let that discourage him from finding his niche. He motivated students to utilize their unique gifts and talents and emphasized the importance of being passionate about their life's work. Along with this advice, he noted many times he's pivoted and how it's not failure, just a redirection to something often far better. 

Liautaud continued to explain how he grew his business, highlighting one of the main reasons for his success— paying close attention to small details. He stressed that being detail-oriented not only maximized the financial success of his franchise but was also highly pivotal in his personal growth. 

Business + Entrepreneurship chair Kevin Maggard said, "His [Liautaud] inspiring story of overcoming challenges and struggles to create one of the top franchises in the United States today was so insightful for our students."

At the end of his talk, Liautaud was gifted with a painting of a rendition of the sandwich menu by a current Jimmy John's employee and CPA Senior Jack Morrow. Morrow shared that he was "inspired by the environment and the intentional community at Jimmy John's" and sought to embody the quality, care, and attention to detail found at every restaurant. Using stylistic imagery of Neo-expressionism in the 1980s as his artistic inspiration, Morrow captured current sandwich names, the Jimmy John's logo, and more on an unprimed canvas. 

When reflecting on his time at the Academy, Liautaud shared, "Today recharged my soul's battery." It was an inspirational, engaging, and exciting experience for students. For more information about the Business + Entrepreneurship Center in the Upper School, visit