Sept. 29, 2023 By Ethan Marshall
Maria Isabel Ramirez, the general manager of the McDonald’s at 31-67 Steinway St. in Astoria, was named one of the winners of the 2024 Ray Kroc Award. This accolade is given to the top 1% of McDonald’s managers around the world.
A celebration was held at the restaurant Aug. 23 to mark her achievement. In April, she’ll be presented with her award, along with the other winners.
Ramirez was one of just 395 managers to receive the 2024 Ray Kroc Award. She will receive a cash prize, a trophy and a trip to the McDonald’s Worldwide Convention in Barcelona, Spain.
“The Ray Kroc Award is the best recognition [McDonald’s] has,” Ramirez said. “I’m very happy because I know I’ve worked hard for a long time. But it’s not just for me. It’s for all the people working in the restaurant. They were very happy for me.”
In addition to giving thanks to her employees who helped make this possible, Ramirez was also thankful to Thomas Parker, the owner and operator of her McDonald’s, for nominating her for the Ray Kroc Award to begin with.
“Each and every day, Maria looks for new opportunities to help our employees learn and grow while ensuring we are providing our customers in Astoria with superior quality and customer service,” Parker said. “Maria’s commitment to our culture of care shines through in everything she does and we are incredibly proud to celebrate her achievements.”
Around 23 years ago, Ramirez began her career at McDonald’s as a crew member. Her sister, who had already been an employee, encouraged her to apply. During the early part of her work tenure, Ramirez utilized the signature education and career advising program offered by McDonald’s: Archways to Opportunity, to improve her English speaking, reading and writing skills.
She rose through the ranks over the years. and has been the general manager of the Astoria location for about eight years.
Throughout her time working for McDonald’s, Ramirez has gone above and beyond, learning from those around her and excelling within the business. As a general manager, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to recognizing her employees and celebrating their achievements. Additionally, she has made sure that the restaurant is supporting the community by working with local schools, churches and businesses.
“I am so honored to have received a Ray Kroc Award,” Ramirez said. “I truly love working with our incredible team to serve our community and I hope to serve as a positive role model for our employees as they also grow in their careers.”
Established in 1999, the Ray Kroc Awards recognize hard-working McDonald’s restaurant managers who bring McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc’s vision of excellence to life in restaurants and for customers each day.