Sean Niklas Joins Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Board of Trustees

Posted on February 20, 2020

Foundation committed to finding permanent homes for the more than 155,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems

Columbus, Ohio — The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, a national non-profit public charity, today welcomed Sean Niklas as a member of its board of trustees, serving a three-year term. Niklas is President & CEO of Saren Restaurants, Inc., a Wendy’s® franchise organization in Chicago, Illinois. Adopted as a newborn, Niklas has committed his life to giving back through his restaurants and as a longtime supporter of the Foundation.

“This cause is truly personal to me,” Niklas said. “I’m honored to serve the Foundation and will give everything I have to ensure that more children in foster care have a loving family like the one I was blessed with as a child.”

This year, Niklas rallied Wendy’s franchisees in the Chicago region to raise more than $1 million for the Foundation through in-restaurant campaigns, including pin-ups, Frosty® Key Tags and Boo! Books™.

“Sean is an outstanding leader who cares deeply about giving back to his employees, customers and community,” said Mary Schell, Chief Public Affairs Officer for The Wendy’s Company and chair of the Foundation’s board of trustees. “I’m excited to have his experience and talent on the board.”

Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids®, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides funding to adoption agencies to hire recruiters who implement an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model. A rigorous, five-year evaluation revealed that the model is up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.

To date, more than 475 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters have found forever homes for more than 9,500 children in foster care across North America.

“Sean embodies Dave Thomas’ passion and commitment to ensuring that every child has a permanent home and loving family,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “I’m grateful for his long-time support of the Foundation and look forward to working with him to advance our mission across North America.”

Sean earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He and his family live in Chicago, Illinois.


About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 155,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas, who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit

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