McDonald's award

From left: Sky Anderson, McDonald’s west zone president; Joe Erlinger, U.S. president; Richard Castro, El Paso owner/operator; Ofelia Melendez, Long Beach field officer; Dan Camp, Long Beach digital operations officer; and Charlie Strong, chief field officer

Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, was in El Paso Tuesday morning to present El Paso businessman and philanthropist Richard Castro with the company’s top award.

Castro, who is the owner/operator of 26 McDonald’s restaurants in the El Paso area and was El Paso Inc.’s El Pasoan of the Year for 2015, was presented with the Fred L. Turner Golden Arch Award, according to a news release. The award is given to the top 1% of McDonald’s owner/operators worldwide each year and recognizes their dedication to customer service, business achievement and community involvement.

Castro grew up in a poor area of Del Rio, Texas, and worked his way through college flipping hamburgers as a short order cook at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Castro partnered with other McDonald’s operators to form HACER in 1985. Today, it is one of the country’s largest college scholarship programs for graduating Hispanic high school students.

He is also a founding member of the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development, or CREEED, which has contributed millions to improve education in the borderland.


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