John Saunders will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award on 2 May 2023, at the North America SABRE Awards in New York.

As just the fourth CEO in FleishmanHillard's 77-year history, John Saunders has led the firm to record heights in recent years — helping the agency secure Global Agency of the Year honours in 2021. 

Saunders took charge of the Omnicom PR Group agency in 2015, after a lengthy career with the firm in Europe. "I cannot think of any individual in our industry who is more deserving of this recognition than John," said FleishmanHillard chairman John Graham.

"John and I first met a number of years ago when he ran a small agency in Ireland which we worked with on behalf of one of our major clients," said Graham. "We later acquired his agency and over the years John proved himself to be a highly capable, charismatic leader rising through the ranks at FH, first as regional director for Europe and then in 2011 for all of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"Through his many accomplishments, he became a widely respected leader in our firm," added Graham. "I am proud that under John’s leadership FH continues to be among the most admired in our industry and to receive accolades in the areas that matter most."

Saunders started his career as a sports presenter with RTE – Ireland’s national state broadcaster – and has covered the Olympic Games and other major events both for radio and television. He continues to have a keen interest in most sports and is a long-suffering devotee of Premiership team, Everton.

Saunders was Grand Marshal for the St. Louis St. Patrick’s Parade in 2016. In the same year, he was given the top honor by Irish America and appeared on the cover of their magazine honoring 100 business leaders. He has been named to the list each year since then. He is a trustee of the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Gardens and serves on the board of Greater St. Louis, Inc. He was the 16th individual to be named to the ICCO Hall of Fame.