Detail image of Abby Tamme for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Sponsored By: McDonald’s | Photos provided by McDonald’s of Louisville, KY

Abby Tamme
Harrodsburg, Lawrenceburg, Danville
Owner/Operator since 2020

“If you are a woman, you can do anything if you put your mind to it,” says McDonald’s Owner/Operator Abby Tamme. “Women are repping big companies like McDonald’s, especially, and it’s important for younger generations to see women in these big corporations and important roles. Every day when I go in, I see so many people come to work for different purposes. I want to show these people that anything is attainable for them no matter their purpose if they work hard enough.”

Abby loves what she does. “I enjoy being around the crew and customers,” she says. “I want people to know that I also represent more than just the restaurant; I represent The Ronald McDonald House and various other community charities through this career. It’s more than just operations and running a store. It’s community and partnership.” At just 29 years of age, Abby is usually among the youngest in any room of Owner/Operators. “I have a lot to learn, but I can also bring a fresh perspective,” she says.

Detail image of Brittney Barnett for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Brittney Barnett
Owner/Operator since 2012

A second-generation McDonald’s Owner/Operator, wife, and mother, Brittney Barnett brings a tremendous energy to everything she does. “I always knew that I would likely need to work for myself because I have many crazy ideas,” she says. “My father was the one that first allowed me to run with my visions. He saw that I was passionate about customer service and helping my co-workers achieve greatness. I didn’t want to be handed a successful business; I wanted to help grow it!” 

Brittney’s attitude makes her unstoppable. “When I believe in something, I am 100% passionate about ensuring it happens. McDonald’s is a People Business. I have surrounded myself with people who want the same things that I do and help me achieve my goals, and we work together to make it happen. We want to help others be more successful. Women are not afraid of working hard at home and at work. We really shine in this type of business. It’s fast paced and organized- that has ‘women’ written all over it!”

Detail image of Cathy Bell for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Cathy Bell
Owner/Operator since 1990

“I am a 66-year-old boss lady,” says Cathy Bell, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. ” I can be confident in making that statement because I have never gotten stuck in my ways. Instead, I make a point of staying relevant and open to new ways of thinking. Regardless of the career path a woman takes, she needs to stay prepared to represent her interest.”

Cathy has been with the company for over thirty years. She combines that bountiful experience with a young mindset and the ability to change with the times. She’s a “down to earth” woman, Cathy comes from a very working-class background. Her mother was a maid, and her father was a warehouse worker. Her parents took pride in being the best in whatever they were doing, an attitude that she inherited. “We start out with a vision and a goal for our lives. But we need to remain present. It’s about the now and how you handle and work with that. If you’re willing to give time and effort, you can do anything.”

Detail image of Denise Long for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Denise Long
Owner/Operator since 2016

“I believe to be a great leader, you must always take 100% responsibility for your actions, be committed to self-improvement, embrace change, keep your commitments, experience your fears and take action anyway, and always be a class act to follow,” says Denise Long, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “Everyone has their journey in life. It’s what you decide to do with your time that makes you successful and happy. McDonald’s has opened many doors for me as a female business leader. Today’s environment can be challenging, but embracing those challenges will make you stronger and bring successful growth and happiness. Life is too short, so find something you are good at and love doing and enjoy your journey in life. 

Service, dedication, hard work, honesty, and integrity are the words that describe Denise at her core. “I strive to continue my path to achieve things I have never achieved before, to go places I have never gone before, but most importantly, to always give back and mentor someone along the way. I have twin daughters. It is so important for me to lead by example. I strive to show my daughters how to have the courage to seize an opportunity when doors open, live by strong core values, always put in the work, but most importantly, believe in yourself even when others do not, and your opportunities will be endless.”

Detail image of Emily Kasselmann for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Emily Kasselmann
Eminence, Pendleton, LaGrange
Owner/Operator since 2017

“It’s awesome to have the ability to be a woman in this position and to be able to inspire and shed light on the opportunities out there in different industries,” says Emily Kasselmann, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “I’m very grateful and honored to be able to do what I do. I’m thankful for the people I work with. I’m personally driven by faith. I hope and pray that my people know that I walk beside them, not ahead of them.”

Emily is highly driven. She puts people first. It’s important for her to create a culture where everyone feels welcome. She left a fortune 500 company job for McDonald’s with a hope and a dream to become an Owner/Operator. “I took a chance, and it paid off,” she says. “I watched my dad work with the McDonald’s corporation, and with all of the amazing things he did in his career, I decided I wanted to do the same.”

Detail image of Ira Salls for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Ira Salls
Louisville, Okolana
Owner/Operator since 1991

“If you have a passion for something, don’t hold back,” says Ira Salls, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “Go for it!” Initially starting as a Staff Accountant in the company’s Corporate Office, she found they were very forward-thinking, and she wanted to grow and thrive there. She worked her way up to department head, then became the first Black female franchisee in Kentucky and Indiana.

With much grit and a strong work ethic, Ira won’t accept anything less than success. A critical thinker, she insists on considering the ramifications of her decisions and understanding the importance of her role. “I love God, and I love people,” she says. “Those things come first! I’m so glad to be associated with McDonald’s because the brand provides for the community that it’s in. It brings jobs at all levels, tools, and opportunities for growth. It’s all so rewarding.”

Detail image of Nicole Topper for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Nicole Topper
Owner/Operator since 2010

There’s an ability to support others and watch them thrive in this industry, and that’s what I love to see,” says Nicole Topper, McDonald’s Owner/Operator. Although she may be soft-spoken, she is a strong leader. “I like to give encouragement, teach people how to grow, then support that growth. That’s how I lead.” 

Nicole has been a part of the McDonald’s National People Team since 2010. That’s an internal group in the McDonald’s corporation dedicated to the innovative execution of initiatives to strengthen the company’s most important asset: their people. She believes in providing empathy to her employees when it comes to where work and life intersect, always having her people at the top of her mind when making decisions. “It’s less about being competitive and more about working together,” she says. “Let’s support and encourage each other!”

Detail image of Pam Hancock for McDonald's Sponsored story.

Pam Hancock
Albany, Columbia, Edmonton
Owner/Operator since 1991

For Owner/Operator Pam Hancock, McDonald’s is a family tradition. “My father opened his first store in 1991 and another in Columbia the next year,” she says. “I started out just working as part of the crew, and I currently own three of our six family locations- Columbia, Edmonton, and Albany. I have been married for 35 years and have a daughter working for me at my Albany location.”

Now, 31 years later, Pam is happy to be a part of the American institution that is McDonald’s. “I love what I do, from serving customers to serving on the different committees and boards. I have been on the Adair County Tourism Board for over 20 years and serve on our ministry team at my church. I am also on the Bluegrass Operators Association board for our local co-op and a small-town operator in community involvement. We schedule several McTeacher nights throughout the year with local schools, and I also help sponsor several different athletic teams at Lindsey Wilson College. I appreciate what the schools bring to our community and McDonald’s and want to give back as much as possible.”

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