Dave Sanderson is an inspirational survivor, speaker and author. His thoughts on leadership have made him an internationally sought-out speaker. When US Airways Flight 1549, or “The Miracle on the Hudson,” ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, Dave Sanderson knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be.
The last passenger off the back of the plane on that fateful day, he was largely responsible for the well-being and safety of others, risking his own life in frigid water to help other passengers off the plane.
Despite the hazards to himself, Sanderson thought only of helping others and emerged from the wreckage with a mission: to encourage others to do the right thing.
Since the Miracle on the Hudson, considered to be the most successful ditching in aviation history, Dave Sanderson has built a career as a motivational speaker, mentor and author. Currently, Sanderson averages over 100 speeches a year for major corporations across the United States as well as overseas.
In his presentations, he shares the 12 resources he and others used not only during the “Miracle on the Hudson but during his 30 years in sales and sales management, his 10 years being on and leading Tony Robbins security team and the precepts that enabled him to become a top producer in some of the largest sales organizations in the world and ultimately enabled him to survive the plane crash.
In addition, Sanderson has appeared at countless fundraisers that have raised over $8.75 million for the American Red Cross. He continues to donate his speaker services to the organization as an expression of gratitude for the care he received from one of the first persons he saw after he was rescued and transferred to land in New Jersey – a Red Cross volunteer with a blanket.
In his recent book, “Moments Matter,” Sanderson discusses lessons learned from the Miracle on the Hudson and how one defining moment in your life can create your lifetime of purpose. A firsthand account of his experience aboard US Airways Flight 1549 appears in the book “Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life” by Dorothy Firman and Kevin Quirk. He has also participated in numerous documentaries including, Discovery Channel, TruTV, NHK in Tokyo and one produced and directed by Rick Lopez, which will premiere in 2017. His story was highlighted in the documentary film “Be Who You Are- A Cross Country Documentary” produced by Jon C Ristanio and had a cameo appearance in the Clint Eastwood directed movie, “Sully.”
Sanderson was born in Peoria, Illinois, and grew up in Hillsboro, Ohio and Winchester, Virginia. He attended James Madison University and graduated with a BBA in International Business. He began his professional career in restaurant management, and went on to work as a National Sales Manager for ADP, Sales Manager for PeopleSoft, Sales Manager for KPMG Consulting, Senior Vice President of Sales for Genesis 10; Application Sales Manager for Oracle, and Security Director for Robbins Research International, Inc., An Anthony Robbins Company. He lives with Terri, his wife of 30 years and his four children – Chelsey, Colleen, Courtney and Chance – in Charlotte, North Carolina.
We recently had Dave Sanderson visit and speak with our team of 30+ office leaders (covering the tri-state area) on the topic of Mission Focused Leadership. I would recommend Dave and this program to anyone in a position of senior leadership, as it is helpful in achieving a unified mindset among divergent groups. Of particular interest to me was the explanations around “Sully’s Decision Making Process” as well as “the Six Primary Reasons People Do What they Do.” In these concepts, diverse teams can discover commonality of experience and commonality of purpose. I believe that it is these qualities that most sets Dave’s program apart from others that I have experienced. Thank you Dave, for bringing this excellent program to Long and Foster!
What began as normal day in Dave’s life turned into an inspirational story. His story is uplifting to the human spirit. Dave is a charismatic and heartfelt communicator, Dave had our attention and tugged at our emotions with the real-life photos and his words. He was a hero that day and it changed his life forever – he was able to realize how much he wanted to pursue helping others. I loved when he shared this, because sometimes we work and aren’t passionate about what we do – now he gets to work and be passionate about he does as a representative for the Red Cross – an organization that he personally felt helped all the crash victims that day and days to come. It was a memorable and exciting experience for all of us!
Dave Sanderson gave a leadership presentation at our recent regional managers meeting. His story and how he survived a harrowing experience gave our managers a great lesson on how to think clearly in a difficult and chaotic situation. The process Dave taught helped us to be able to sort out the unproductive thought process and showed us how to keep your mind focused on the mission ahead. The steps he gave us were easy to remember and something we can readily use in our everyday dealings with our clients, agents, employees, families, and friends. We thank Dave for bringing his leadership message and guide to our group and we wish him all the best in bringing that message to other groups as well.