Hamburger?Published 9:25am Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Nine years after being hired for a job at McDonald’s, 23-year-old Tony Segura is still welcoming hungry people with a smile.altogether
“I fell in love with the culture of what McDonald’s stands for, and the support and training they give their employees,” Segura said. “It’s not a typical stereotype that some people think. The company really cares about what they do and the communities they help.”
He recently was sent to a worldwide convention in Orlando for a week to network with McDonald’s owners, operators, cooperate staff, suppliers and vendors.
“It was quite extensive,” Segura said. “There were five McDonald’s kitchens set up in a convention center.”
Segura said he worked in one of the kitchens serving products from around the world, such as different flavors of shakes, blended drinks, sandwiches and sides that may not necessarily be offered in the Midwest.
Prior to the worldwide convention, Segura had completed regional training courses in the Twin Cities with the final class held at Hamburger University in Chicago.
“To see a whole university, a very big campus, dedicated to people who have the same passion and the same goal as you and many who started as crew people just like you was neat to see,” Segura said.
Segura said he saved a full semester of college by transferring 12 credits from the regional classes with McDonald’s back to Riverland Community College, where in the spring of 2011 he graduated with an associate’s degree in supervisory management.
Segura said he has learned valuable skills over the nine years. Onalaska, Wis.-based Courtesy Corp. owns the McDonald’s at the north end of Bridge Avenue where Segura works as the first assistant manager. It owns and operates 43 McDonald’s restaurants throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.
“I’ve always enjoyed what I do, and I’ve learned through McDonald’s that you are the leader, and whatever kind of shadow you’re going to cast per se is what reflects on your crew and how they’re going to work,” Segura said. “McDonald’s didn’t get to where it’s at today from nothing short of hard work and dedication.”
His said his supervisor, who runs four restaurants, has been a prime example of that.
Even longer than his time at McDonald’s, Segura has been interested in singing and acting, so in his free time in the last five years he has been involved at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.
He is the co-president on the Albert Lea Community Theatre board of directors.
Segura has been involved in theater since he was 11 years old but said it wasn’t as often as it is now.
When he was 12, he met and worked with Dick Van Patten and Nancy Valen, two actors who have been on TV and in movies. Van Patten is best known as the father in the TV show “Eight Is Enough.” Valen was on “Baywatch.”
He was given the opportunity through a grant. Segura said for the two years he participated he did everything from helping build sets and running lights and sound to fetching water for the actors for three different shows over the course of six weeks.
Segura said he’s very limited on time, but between the theater and McDonald’s everything works out.
“When I first started at McDonald’s, I didn’t think I would be where I would be today. I needed a job, and I knew people that worked there,” Segura said. “I thought it’d be really neat and both my parents used to work there.”
Address: Albert Lea
Family: mom, Lisa; dad, Ben; stepdad, Rich; sisters Gabbi, Sarah, Rachel; brothers Alex, Jacob and Adam
Livelihood: first assistant manager at McDonald’s Courtesy Corp., 2808 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea
Interesting fact: Tony is the oldest of seven children.