Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 3, 2014

Lillys receive top McDonald’s honor

Athens — Kevin Lilly, who went to work in a McDonald’s restaurant when he was 16, now 42 years later, has received one of the company’s top honors.

On Sunday night, Kevin and Jeaneane Lilly were recognized for their dedication and hard work.

During the McDonald's Worldwide Convention in Orlando, Florida, the Lilly's were presented with the Fred L. Turner Golden Arch Award for outstanding restaurant management and service.

Vice President and General Manager Alex Williams, said, “The Golden Arch Award is the most prestigious recognition that can be awarded to a McDonald's owner/operator.”

Lilly has never worked anywhere but McDonald’s and now owns 16 of them, including those in Athens and Gun Barrel City.

Lilly continued to work for McDonald’s when he began his college career at the University of Texas at Arlington. He found the flexibility with which the restaurant could deal with his class schedule a real benefit.

In 1975, he became the manager of a brand new store in Richardson.

The Fred L. Turner Golden Arch award recognizes a lifetime of contributions focused on customer service, outstanding operations and QSC&V.

Other factors in the award are significant community involvement and exceptional achievements in all aspects of the Plan to Win.

“Kevin and Jeaneane are truly brand advocates, both within and outside of their respective organizations, along with co-ops they are involved in,” Williams said. “They collectively demonstrate this commitment through strong people development and business practice. The Lilly organization has successfully championed people through the deployment and execution of Restaurant Department Management within their organization.”

Williams continued, “Both Kevin and Jeaneane give of their time generously, and serve in several owner/operator organizations at the local, divisional and national levels.

“Kevin and Jeaneane live out our Brand Ambition of being a ‘Good Neighbor,’ They have an impressive list of community involvements that reaches deep into the communities they serve. They are members of six Chamber of Commerce organizations, and they also sponsor a number of local school activities, including 'Don't Be a Bully' Program across 11 schools.”

Steve Mazeika, Supervisor of Global External Communications at McDonald's Corporation, said, “The Lilly’s are award-winning franchisees that run their organization like a family.  To them, excellence doesn’t just happen. It’s the people that work for them that create it. Evidence of this is the fact that many have been with their organization for 10-plus years, and their pride shows. They also are known for their Texas-style grand-opening celebrations, with a tradition of cutting a ribbon of five dollar bills. They donate the equivalent amount to charity.”

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