Don Fertman



Don recently retired as the chief development officer for Subway, one of the world’s largest fast-food chains. Since joining the franchisor in 1981, Don has seen the company grow from 166 restaurants at the time he began his career to more than 41,000 locations in 105 countries. Prior to his employment at Subway, Don was affiliated with the company through his previous career as a freelance writer and musician, composing and performing jingles promoting Subway sandwiches nationwide. 

Don’s music career also included participation in a studio project, “How Pop Can You Get” by The Bats, which yielded an album and video that received national attention, including a “recommended” rating in Billboard magazine and airplay on HBO. 

Don took his last drink on June 6, 1983. He speaks openly about his journey to recovery, and as Subway CDO, was featured in two episodes of the CBS show “Undercover Boss,” where he publicly discussed his substance use disorder. He also participated in a documentary about the recovery movement, “The Anonymous People,” which has been screened around the country, and was a producer for the Concert to Face Addiction in Washington, D.C., featuring Joe Walsh, Steven Tyler, Cheryl Crow, Jason Isbell and others.

As a result of the outreach from his “Undercover Boss” appearance, Don became an advisor and later chairman of the board of directors for The Phoenix, a nationwide organization building sober active communities in 46 states with more than 300,000 members. He also founded Recovery Branches to help those struggling with addiction find avenues to recovery, and to assist the organizations that support them in their expansion efforts. Don is currently a member of The Phoenix Impact Board, a board member of Brave Enough to Fail and sits on the advisory boards of Procure Impact and Kaikaku.

“I owe my life and everything that I am today to my recovery from alcoholism and addiction, and the incredible network of friends and family who help me stay sober daily. My heart is filled with love and compassion for those who are struggling and their loved ones who are suffering and sharing their pain. My heart also fills with gratitude for each person who finds recovery and celebrates every day of sobriety for all of us.”
Don Fertman



Recovery Branches website


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