Interview: Subway Sandwich Exec Talks Addiction, Recovery

Mar 17, 2016

Credit Don Fertman

Don Fertman is the chief development officer for the Subway sandwich chain. He came to the University of Nevada, Reno Monday, March 13 to provide his insights on running a business, but he also shared his personal story of overcoming drug addiction. While on campus, Fertman stopped by KUNR and spoke with reporter Rocio Hernandez.

Don Fertman started working for Subway in 1981 when there were only 166 stores. Today, there are more than 44,000 Subways and Fertman worked his way up the command chain. He is now the chief development officer for the company. 

But he actually came to UNR to share his personal story of addiction and recovery. 

"I was a daily drinker, a regular cocaine user and I was really on the verge of ending it all," Fertman said.     

Fertman said Subway founder, and his mentor, Fred DeLuca, who passed away last year,  supported him throughout his recovery and had his position waiting for him when Fertman returned from rehab.

"Fred took me back and took the chance that I would actually stay sober, which I have now for 33 years," Fertman said.