McDonald’s recognizes Guy Gómez entrepreneurial spirit during Hispanic Heritage Month
Guy Gomez’s life journey has taken him from New York to Puerto Rico and then to Louisville, Kentucky. His entrepreneurship has allowed him to begin, invest in and grow his business over the past 40 years within one place, McDonald’s. Gomez’ attributes his life and work journey success to opportunities to embrace and live out his Hispanic heritage.
New York-born, in a family of native Puerto Ricans, Guy grew up with Spanish as his first language. His family’s bakery business provided an opportunity to relocate to his roots in Puerto Rico, where his entrepreneurial style would flourish; first as a bakery owner and then as an owner/operator of three McDonald’s restaurants in three different Puerto Rican cities. This also gave Guy a chance to build his family; his children, Cassandra and Benjamin were born there.
About 20 years ago, Puerto Rico’s fragile economy began to collapse, and McDonald’s was forced to close restaurants. But for Gomez, McDonald’s offered an incredible opportunity amidst the economic storm – relocation and ownership of a McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville.
“McDonalds, being a great organization committed to its people, allowed me and Puerto Rican franchise owners to move to the United States,” Gomez said. “Louisville was a very positive experience. It’s a very friendly city, it has a great Southern vibe and flavor and I just enjoy living here.”
In Louisville, Gomez connected with the Adelante Hispanic Achievers, an organization that supports and empowers Hispanic youth and families.
“Their focus is on personal, social, cultural, and educational success, with a special dedication to youth,” Gomez said. Each year McDonald’s contributes $10,000, and Guy remains on the board of the organization. “This work ties perfectly with the tradition and values of good citizen engagement, which is a McDonald’s tradition,” he added.
Engaging young people as employees is another important part of who Guy Gomez is.
“I especially like to hire students and work with them to maximize their opportunity,” Gomez said.
Guy sees McDonald’s as America’s Best First Job and his focus is to help employees see their job as more than just a paycheck but rather an opportunity to develop both financially and academically no matter what careers they might pursue. McDonald’s supports Gomez’s efforts to inspire academics by offering crew the option to earn up to $2,500 per year in tuition assistance through its Archways to Opportunity program.
“We have great interest in connecting many of our employees to this earn and learn opportunity aimed at supporting career,” Gomez said.
McDonald’s is also a leader in encouraging a diverse employee community. More than 50 percent of the participants using the Archways program are individuals who identify as people of color and almost two-thirds of participants are women.
Gomez considers the recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month as very important.
“It provides time for each of us in America to reflect on the important diversity and cultural enhancements that make up who we all are, ” Gomez said.
“I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a Puerto Rican American and very proud that McDonald’s recognizes my culture and celebrates diversity."
Artículo publicado en la edición impresa de Al Día en América octubre 15, 2020.