Urban Views Weekly Newsletter

Local McDonald’s Franchisees Are Black History Makers

Did you know that 100% of McDonald’s locations in the Greater Richmond area are independently owned and operated by a franchisee?  These men and women live and work in your communities and were each asked  to share their personal sentiments about Black History Month and what it means to them to be an African American McDonald’s Owner/Operator.

Kristen Harris

Kristen Harris became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2012.

Al Harris, Kristen’s father, became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 1997.

Number of McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Richmond – 7

  • “Black History Month is truly time to reflect on the many achievements of our ancestors despite the overwhelming amount of struggle they faced.  It’s a reminder to never forget and to always be inspired by the many sacrifices made in order for me to have the opportunities I’m able to take advantage of today.”
  • “I’m honored to be a black McDonald’s Owner/Operator because it gives me the opportunity to give back to the community and to provide a legacy similar to the one that was given to me.”

Corey and Courtney Holeman

Courtney Holeman became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2005.

Corey Holeman, Courtney’s husband, became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2009.

Number of McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Richmond – 4

  • “Black History Month is a time to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of African Americans in all walks of life.  We are proud of the job that McDonald’s has done to recognize the contributions that African Americans have made to our brand as consumers, suppliers, and operators.”
  • “As African Americans who also operate restaurants in predominantly black neighborhoods, we consider Black History Month as a time to showcase what our young people can do.  We want all kids to know that through determination and dedication, they too can accomplish their dreams!”

Freda Thornton and Rodney Henry

Freda Thornton became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2001.

Rodney Henry, Freda’s son, became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2012.

Number of McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Richmond – 5

  • “It’s important to reflect on the culturally significant black people who helped transform the political climate of this country from a land of slavery to one of freedom, opportunity and liberty for everyone.  But it’s not just about remembering black icons like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Jackie Robinson, it’s also about never forgetting the struggle and the achievements we have made as a community.”
  • “Owning a McDonald’s franchise is a tremendous opportunity.  Herman Petty of Chicago paved the way for minority Owner/ Operators when he opened the first black owned franchise in 1968.  Those who followed him have a responsibility to help provide job opportunities and lead community improvement projects in their respective community. Through its year-round 365 Black marketing campaign, McDonald’s supports the ongoing investments we as black owners make toward the growth, development and success of our communities.”

Pete Washington

Pete became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 1998.

Number of McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Richmond – 2

  • “The African American story is certainly one that is worthy of being told, setting aside this time frame and drawing attention to these achievements both past and present is significant.  Black History Month talks about how we came to be where we are.”
  • “Being an African American McDonald’s Owner/Operator in an area often called ‘The Hood’ reminds me of the commercial about the young man (Calvin) who got his first job at McDonald’s and the amount of pride that the neighborhood took in his getting ‘his props.’  I am Mr. McDonald’s to my neighborhood and that is a tremendous source of pride for me.”

Craig Welburn, Jr.

Craig became a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in 2001.

Number of McDonald’s restaurants in Greater Richmond – 1

  • “Black History Month is a time for me to remember and to honor the past achievements, challenges and triumphs of the African American community, and to consider my own contributions to our rich history. “
  • “It is a privilege and a blessing to follow in the legacy of Herman Petty, McDonald’s first African American Operator, and to be in the company of other successful African Americans as a member of the National Black McDonald’s Operator Association (NBMOA).  Together we positively impact the communities in which we live and work and serve.  It’s not all about hamburgers and fries, but how we can help groom future leaders in our community.”



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