Mya Smith-Edmonds Follows In The Footsteps Of Her Father As A McDonald’s Franchisee

Mya Smith-Edmonds continues in the footsteps of her father as a franchisee of McDonald’s.

During an interview with WISH-TV8 in Indianapolis, IN, Mya revealed her journey with the Golden Arches started in November 1991 as a baby. Her father, Harry Smith, had become an owner/operator of a McDonald’s franchise in Texas at the time.

“From that point on, I was absolutely loving it,” Mya told the outlet. “Ketchup is in my veins.”

For Harry, the chance to run his own franchise seemed attainable to him early in his career, despite the scarcity of African American owners and operators in the system at the time. He describes feeling “empowered” to pursue his dream of ownership after working with a Black McDonald’s franchisee in 1971 when he was 36 years old.

By 1991, his aspirations would come to pass.

“Turned it into the operator side of business and been loving it ever since,” Harry recalled, per WISH-TV8.

Mya was 8 years old when her father took on the new post, and she would begin working at his store while in middle school during the summer. Her interest in pursuing a career path similarly to her father only grew. However, her dad was persistent that she complete higher learning before solidifying her decision.

“I said, ‘OK dad, I definitely wanna become a McDonald’s owner.’ He said, ‘Wait a minute, you have to go to college, get into your profession in college and then after you work in that profession and you still wanna be in McDonald’s, then let me know,’” Mya told WISH-TV8.

According to Sheen magazine, she would obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Houston in Texas, graduating magna cum laude. She then landed a job as a certified public accountant at top accounting firm Deloitte and later spent time as a program director for KCOH Radio Station in Houston.

Not losing sight of her goal to become a McDonald’s franchisee, Mya would then join a required 24-month program provided by the restaurant chain, which she completed in one year. Sheen mentions she earned honors at every stage of her climb in becoming a general manager. She would also receive a Ray Kroc Award, which is only presented to the top 1% performers in the McDonald’s system.

By 2008, Mya had become a franchisee of her first McDonald’s location, her website mentions. Within five years, she was able to secure seven restaurants in Central Indiana.

Mya is also “the first female African-American Next Generation McDonald’s owner/operator in Central Indiana,” according to Houston Style Magazine.

“McDonald’s is the cream of the crop the best of the best? We’re No. 1. So, therefor being an African American and to be a McDonald’s owner operator, it’s huge,” she expressed in a video shared on Instagram. “I’m a next generation as far as my parent was in the business, but my story is a lot different than the average next generation. I didn’t come in and get into my parent’s organization. So the road going on your own is completely different because you build your entire office, you build your entire team. I was the very first African American to be a next gen in Indiana. That’s just a testament to itself about how far we have come.”


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