When asked why they chose a career at McDonald's, managers don't usually mention hamburgers, fries, or chocolate shakes. They talk about the dynamic atmosphere, the range of responsibility and opportunity, doing things right, and the rewards. We're looking for leaders who have the talent and desire to be part of a multi-million-dollar operation. Leaders who can make sure we stay number one!
Why advance your career at Courtesy Corporation? Learn why these successful managers and supervisors did.
Tom Jacobs, Area Supervisor
When Tom Jacobs was a 17-year-old high school student, the only work experience he had was mowing lawns and babysitting. That was, until he got his first job at the Hastings Way McDonald's in Eau Claire. Fast-forward over 15 years with a Criminal Justice Degree and Tom has turned that part-time after-school job into a full-time rewarding career as an Area Supervisor for Courtesy Corporation. In 2008, Tom received that Ray Kroc Restaurant Manager Award.
"Tom grew up at McDonald's, and it shows in his dedication to the business. Tom always gives 100 percent, and he is a positive, hardworking leader who is a clear representation of what it takes to be one of the top one percent of the restaurant managers in the country," says Courtesy Corporation owner/operator Richard Lommen.
While Tom is honored to be a past Ray Kroc award winner, he credits the success of the "wonderful people" he works with every day.
"My name is on the front of that award, but it's what the crew does every day that allows us to be successful. They deserved to be at the award ceremony as much as I did, because without them, there is no way I would be there. They're all outstanding people," Jacobs shares.
Tom traveled to Chicago for the Ray Kroc Award Ceremony in March 2008 and during the trip he had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions with the rest of the Central Division Ray Kroc Award winners and learn techniques they can use to continue to be successful. It wasn't all work and no play. "They really gave us the royal treatment," Jacobs comments. "We had time to shop on Michigan Avenue, tour the McDonald's Worldwide Headquarters in Oak Brook, and enjoy a casino night. They even closed the House of Blues for a night, so we could attend a private concert. They treated us really well!"
In 2009, Jacobs was promoted to Area Supervisor for Courtesy Corporation. No matter his role at Courtesy Corporation, it's clear why Jacobs is among the top one percent of restaurant managers in the country. He truly cares about his staff and leads by example.
"I really feel that my job here is to work with the crew and show them that their effort pays off. Courtesy Corporation gave me an opportunity when I was 17, but it was up to me to do something with the opportunity," he says. "I try to be the best role model I can be to show them that they can be successful in life, too."
Sue Shawley, General Manager
Sue Shawley receives Ray Kroc Restaurant Manager Award: Nation-wide honor recognizes top one percent of managers.
Spend just a few minutes talking to Sue Shawley, and it's easy to see why she was selected as a 2006 Ray Kroc Restaurant Manager Award recipient. From creating a team atmosphere, to testing new grills and fry stations for the McDonald's corporation, to teaching younger workers the values of working hard, the Holmen restaurant manager has a passion for making her Holmen restaurant the best it can possibly be.
When Sue joined the McDonald's team in Holmen as a 16-year-old restaurant crew employee in 1996, she had no idea she'd one day end up where she is today. "I was like any 16-year-old. Working at McDonald's was part of my social life," she remembers.
Sue's work ethic caught the attention of her managers, and she was quickly promoted to a PlayPlace manager, and then a swing manager. She transferred to the Onalaska McDonald's where she was a second assistant and worked her way up to first assistant. Three-and-a-half years later, after completing her Associate's Degree in Human Resources, she was given the opportunity to become the Holmen restaurant manager.
"I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would end up where I am today," she says. "That's something I really try to work on with the younger kids. I spend a lot of time in the Holmen and Melrose-Mindoro schools representing Courtesy Corporation, showing them the skills McDonald's teaches, and where this company can actually take them. I let them know that if they're up for the challenge, it's a rewarding, fulfilling career."
Knowing Sue's philosophies and seeing the success of her store, it wasn't a hard decision for Courtesy Corporation to nominate Sue for the Ray Kroc Award. "Sue is a mentor, a teacher, and a champion for our business. She is truly deserving of the Ray Kroc Award," says Courtesy Corporation owner/operator Richard Lommen.
For Sue, learning she had been named among the top one percent of restaurant managers in the country came as a huge surprise. "I was absolutely floored and honored that I was recognized for excelling at operations," she says. "Even more so, I was honored that I was recognized on the same level as the Courtesy Corporation managers who received the award before me." Courtesy Corporation has been the leader in the country by employing the most Ray Kroc award recipients.
Tonya Thomas-Mihalovic, operations manager
Tonya Thomas-Mihalovic began her career with Courtesy Corporation when she was a college freshman. "I was planning to be a lawyer," said Tonya. "I interned in a law office when I was in college. It was tedious and very paper-oriented. McDonald's is a dynamic, people-oriented business—no two days are ever the same."
Now, with more than 30 years of experience, Tonya is an Operations Manager overseeing multiple restaurants. She holds a degree in political science and is a former Ray Kroc award winner. She said she's still learning new things and new ways to handle situations, and that's what keeps her job challenging and exciting.
Why does she enjoy working with Courtesy Corporation-McDonald's? Tonya said that she enjoys mentoring and recognizing people for doing a good job. Tonya said, "My job gives me independence, control, and responsibility, but it also provides a great support system with tools to help me be successful." She added, "Courtesy Corporation's pay-for-performance philosophy means that opportunities for advancement and pay increases aren't limited by corporate structure: People are financially rewarded for taking on increased responsibility."
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Courtesy Connections July-December 2022