Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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James C. Sartori, Bus Ad ’77


James SartoriTake a wedge of high-quality cheese, the kind made by Sartori Foods, and stand it on end. The result is a pyramid. The Sartori Foods “Pyramid of Values”, to be exact — a roadmap of guiding principles devised by James Sartori that have kept this family-owned business thriving well into its third generation.

Trust, positive attitude and integrity are the foundations. Customer-focused, naturally, is on top. But it’s the middle layer that holds a key to James’ success. The values there? Knowledge-based and ownership perspective.

“Ten years ago,” James says, “business owners were the primary drivers of innovation. Today an entrepreneur must invest in creative, innovative people to thrive.”

James recruits skilled, entrepreneurial team members and treats them like owners, freely sharing knowledge with them and rewarding them handsomely for their contributions.

He’s also willing to make strategic bets, such as reinventing Sartori Foods to focus on high-end artisanal cheeses. This new division is an important part of James’ strategic growth plan.

James also is a recognized leader in philanthropy. Each year his company supports a variety of local community projects, emphasizing those he thinks are consistent with Christian values.

He’s thankful to Marquette for providing “a solid, faith-based, ethical foundation upon which to build a business.”

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