Dave Sanders: Changing lives

March 14, 2013
One of the ironies of Dave Sanders's contributions to professionals in the cabling industry is that looking at some cold hard statistics unveils the results of his passionate approach to all he does.

One of the ironies of Dave Sanders's contributions to professionals in the cabling industry is that looking at some cold hard statistics unveils the results of his passionate approach to all he does. Senior vice president of sales and marketing with Arrow Wire and Cable, Sanders is most widely recognized for his efforts as an instructor-particularly to students preparing to take BICSI's Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD) exam. The stats: Between 2007 and 2012, Sanders had 475 students in his RCDD prep classes; 380 of those students subsequently sat for the exam and 292 passed. To characterize that 77-percent pass rate as "good" would be to ignore the exam's intensity and the historical pass rate, which has hovered right around 40 percent for years. Many of those 475 students have sung the praises of Dave Sanders following their intense, multiple-day courses.

Sanders has been an educator for nearly 20 years, having served as an adjunct professor at the University of California at Davis beginning in 1994. The driving force behind his efforts to elevate the knowledge and skill levels of professionals in the industry is his faithful belief that doing so improves their lives. "Because of being blessed with extraordinary mentors and because of great personal tragedy, I chose to dedicate my life to the classroom and to helping others years ago," Sanders reflects. "The humility that comes with changing or bettering the lives of others has driven me to find those in need and give all I can. The telecommunications industry, BICSI and special mentors all have given me such a wonderful life that the only response I am capable of is to help others.

"Raising the level of professionalism in the telecommunications industry, helping others achieve their 'dream professional credentials,' and being an agent of change has been a dream come true for me."

One more statistic worth noting is that since 2007, Sanders has, through Arrow Wire and Cable, awarded 63 scholarships of $1,000 each toward BICSI educational offerings.

For years Sanders worked in conjunction with CET providing RCDD prep and other design- and installation-related courses. Through those efforts he received awards such as international RCDD instructor of the year, domestic RCDD instructor of the year and telecommunications speaker of the year.

His efforts to give have reached beyond the realm of the cabling industry. Sanders and his late wife Cathy created the Spirit Foundation, which focused on assisting single mothers with terminal illnesses as they approached what likely would be their final holiday seasons. An employee of Leviton at the time, Sanders explained, "Obviously this is a very hard time for these families and our goal is not only to bring joy to a mother's last holiday season, but also to fill her children with the spirit, strength and resources to move forward after her passing."

Tragically, Dave lost his wife Cathy to a terminal illness and is now a single father dealing with the everyday family challenges faced by the many women the Spirit Foundation helped. He soldiers on. "I would not have been successful or achieved any of my professional dreams, or quality of life, without my mentors: Brian Ensign of BICSI, Mike Cox of CET, Bill Marshall of Leviton and Zahid Karim of Arrow. I would like to thank all of these people from the bottom of my heart for standing by when I lost my wife Cathy, the tragedy with my son Brandon, and for helping me build a credible, passionate, hard-working career. These four people have all put me in a position to change the lives of others, in the classroom and elsewhere."

Dave Sanders will tell you it has been the inspiration of others that has prompted him to change life for the better for professionals in the cabling industry. Many of those whose lives he has enhanced will tell you that Dave Sanders is an inspiration.

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