WEST PALM BEACH — On his way to a career as a commercial pilot, Ricky Wade’s life took a sharp turn. Today, Wade and his wife Lissette own 11 McDonald’s restaurants and the couple recently became the latest recipients of the fast-food chain’s Golden Arch Award.
The honor is given to fewer than 1 percent of McDonald’s franchisees at the company’s 33,000 restaurants around the world.
The Wades own “B”ing the Best Inc., employing more than 500 people at their restaurants in northern Palm Beach County. They recently opened a Hobe Sound location in Martin County.
The Golden Arch Award recognizes focus and dedication to customer service, community involvement, achievements in all aspects of McDonald’s business goals and contributions to positive brand image and trust.
The couple received the award at McDonald’s annual Worldwide Convention in Orlando.
“(The Wades) truly embody what the system is all about … Their passion, their energy and their commitment for the business and this great brand is what makes them leaders,” Karen King, McDonald’s East Division president, said in a statement announcing the award.
Added Bianca Olivas, vice president for McDonald’s Florida Region, “The Wades give generously of their time, talent and wisdom and deliver an exceptional customer experience.”
After leaving aviation behind, Ricky Wade took a corporate position with McDonald’s in 1981 and became a franchisee in 2001. Lissette Wade was certified as an owner-operator in 2002.
Ricky Wade is known as a business leader and as a mentor for youth. He has served on 15 community boards, from the Urban League and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to United Way and The Arc of Palm Beach County. He is a frequent speaker at youth-oriented events and he visited the White House in 2007 as a McDonald’s representative during Black History Month.
The Wades, who live in West Palm Beach, have three children.
Photo: COURTESY OF MCDONALD’S
AWARD WINNERS: Lissette and Ricky Wade own 11 McDonald’s franchises in Palm Beach County.