Yes, I did it!
I achieved a life long goal of retiring at age 50 and I've embarked on a new chapter in my story. Where did it all begin...
My first and only job interview took place in 1983, when I applied for and received my first job at McDonald's in Brampton, Ontario. I was 15.
In the late 80s, while attending college, I made the decision to accept a Manager Trainee position and I rose through the restaurant ranks holding various restaurant positions, ultimately developing into a Restaurant Manager and leading my own restaurant.
One of the best career decisions I made was when I said "Yes" and moved to Russia in 1991 for two years, as a part of the Canadian team that developed the McDonald’s restaurant business in Moscow. The Russian market had just opened and what an exciting time it was.
After returning home for a short period, I said "Yes", once again and returned to Russia in 1996 to support restaurant operations and expansion into 40 cities over a longer period of time. Little did I know then, I would remain for 10 years in Europe, with the opportunity to work in several other countries, learning about their culture, history and languages.
In 2009, I achieved a milestone, becoming the first female Vice-President promoted at McDonald's Canada, having started as a part-time Crew person. From the "Crew Room to the Board Room", as they say. I led the Ontario Region, which was the North American leading market over a five year period. Working closely with the 90 Franchisees and 450 Restaurants in the province and together with our team, we developed and executed a turn around strategy, which led to significant business growth.
Up until April 2017, when I retired from McDonald's, I held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer. It was a rewarding role to lead the People function and to work with our entire system to ensure the McDonald’s People Promise, to value each and every employee, was in place for over 90,000 employees, within franchised restaurants, company operated restaurants and corporate offices across Canada.
After such a long and rewarding career, it was time for a life change.
I created Six Words because I truly believe "You can't do it without People". I am passionate about helping others develop the skills necessary to be strong People leaders and to support organizations as they build their business and people plans.
I am Toronto based, but happy to hear your stories from all over the world.