John H. Schnatter

 Length of Service:  January 13, 2017

Term Expires:  January 13, 2022

John H. Schnatter is Papa John’s Founder and Chairman.

In 1983, John Schnatter delivered his last college campus pizza, received his business degree from Ball State University and headed home to Jeffersonville, Indiana. There, at age 22, he knocked down a broom closet in his father’s tavern, installed an oven and began delivering pizza out of the back of the bar.

In 1996, John and his company earned the praise of residents in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky by making a substantial financial commitment to a new 42,000-seat football stadium on the University of Louisville campus. The structure, which opened in September 1998, is called Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

John’s numerous business achievements and philanthropic efforts culminated in his induction into the Louisville Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2007. The class of 2007 also included Earl Graves Sr., Founder, Chairman, and Publisher, Black Enterprise magazine; Hugh McColl Jr., Retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America; and Ted Turner, Chairman, Turner Enterprises, Inc. In 2011, John was inducted into Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga Business School's Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Other awards and honors received by Papa John’s and its founder include:

  • For 15 out of the last 17 years, Papa John's has earned the highest customer satisfaction rating among pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) conducted by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
  • 2014 – 2016 Papa John’s Corporate Campus, recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in Kentucky” in the large company category by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Named 2015 Louisvillian of the Year by the American Advertising Federation Louisville Chapter
  • May 2015, received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Ball State University
  • Winner of the 2013 Business of the Year Award, presented by Business First, in the very large company of the year category. The prestigious Business of the Year Award pays tribute to companies who have recorded outstanding accomplishments in the last year.
  • Honored by Nation’s Restaurant News with its 2013 MenuMasters Award in the category of Best Limited-Time Offer for its Buffalo Chicken Pizza.
  • Brand most identified by avid National Football League fans as an NFL sponsor, according to the results of the seventh annual NFL sponsor awareness survey released in March 2013 by Turnkey Intelligence for SportsBusiness Journal/Daily.
  • In 1996 and in 2012, Papa John’s was named Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain Award winner.
  • Named the 2012 highest-ranked brand, “Brand of the Year,” in the Pizza Chain Category in the Annual Harris Poll EquiTrend Study.
  • Top rated national pizza delivery and take-out chain in Restaurants & Institutions’ Consumers Choice in Chains Survey (1998-2000, 2002, 2004-2006, 2008)
  • Ranked #1 in the 2008 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index
  • 2008 recipient of the Silver Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains
  • Named 2007 Pizza Chain of the Year by Pizza Today
  • Named 2006 Pizza Chain of the Year by
  • Silver winner of the 2006 Brandweek Customer Loyalty Award in the pizza category
  • Named Delivery Operator of the Year among pizza chains in the United Kingdom by the Pizza and Pasta Association (2005-2006)
  • Voted "Best Pizza" in more than 100 U.S. markets over the last several years, including in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Dallas, Indianapolis, Orlando, Knoxville and Phoenix
  • Company Founder and Chairman John Schnatter named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans in 2000 by the National Jaycees Organization
  • Company Founder and Chairman John Schnatter named 1998 National Ernst & Young Retail/Consumer Entrepreneur of the Year

John believes that if you are curious, innovative and work hard in America, you can get ahead - especially when you have the right ingredients.

Office of the President

Grawemeyer Hall

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292


tel (502) 852-5417

fax (502) 852-7226