Power women throughout the history, who served on all-male boards due to their hard work to bring their knowledge, excellence, instincts and influence, are the ladies who are not intimated by the male-orientated workplace, moreover they succeed in male environment. Behind McDonald`s, there was the Woman, the indispensable right hand of Ray Crocs.
June Martino (August 10, 1917 – January 29, 2005) was an American businesswoman from Chicago who became Ray Kroc’s bookkeeper in 1948 and rose to Corporate Secretary, Treasurer, Director and part-owner of McDonald’s Corporation. She initially helped Kroc with his growing milkshake machine business, Prince Castle, which grew into McDonald’s Corporation. She was an exceptional woman who advanced in business carrier before the feminist movements.
What were her skills that her role expanded dramatically to corporate secretary and treasurer, then member of the board of directors? She was a hard worker, she was doing double duty after Kroc opened his first McDonald`s restaurant. She was running Prince Castle`s sales operation and McDonald`s Systems office as well. Martino`s skills were in holding McDonald`s together as a glue during the early years, as an informal mediator at the center to handle personal crisis, create family unity, and keep conflicting personalities from destroying one other. Her directness in dealing with problems, her problem solving skills and her strength were all her keys of success.
Kroc wrote of Martino in his book Grinding It Out: “She had a presence that conveyed integrity and a restless native ability to deal with problems; this was enveloped in a warm, compassionate personality – a rare combination of traits. The fact that she had no bookkeeping experience bothered me not at all. I knew she would master the technical routines quickly.”
In Behind Arches, the author John Love wrote: `Martino was a den mother to McDonald`s young managers. And while she got formal recognition for that role, it made her perhaps the only universally executive in McDonald`s`.
She had an enormous impact on recruitment, she succeeded in attracting critical franchisees and was responsible for recruiting key employees. She employed a mail boy in 1960`s, Michael R. Quinlan, then carefully monitored his performance, who became McDonald`s chairman.
June Martino was one of the most powerful people at McDonald’s headquarters. She recruited franchisees, mediated major interoffice rivalries, un-fired people whom Kroc had fired; and Kroc, for all his woman-bashing, acknowledged her contribution by giving her an equity interest in McDonald’s. He gave her a 10 percent interest in McDonald’s. It wasn’t worth much when she got it (in the ’50s), but when the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1965 (common shares were offered at $ 22.50 per share and by the end of the first day`s trading price reached $ 30), Martino the secretary was suddenly worth $ 5 million (today`s value about $ 45 million), and Kroc put her on the board of directors too.
When McDonald’s went public, Martino became the first woman to be a guest in the all-male NYSE directors’ dining room since Queen Elizabeth II.
Despite the growing importance of her position, she remained unusually down to earth. Martino retired from McDonald’s in 1968 but continued to serve as an Honorary Director of the Board of Directors until her death.
Martino knew how to invest her fortune and she founded Martino Industries Inc. d/b/a AFL Industries in 1995 by using part of her McDonald`s shares and his son has run the company since that time. RGF Environmental Group acquired AFL, whose clients include Coca Cola, Burger King, to expand food processing safety lines in 2013.
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– Grinding it Out: The making of McDonald`s by Ray A. Kroc, 1977
– McDonald`s: Behind the Golden Arches by John F. Love, 1995