There are very lucrative industries that aren't considered glamorous. The fast food industry falls in that category for most people, but not for Mack Wilbourn, Jr. He owns an Atlanta, GA based company named Mack II. It has operated for more than 50 years and has allowed Mack to develop extraordinary business partnerships.
He is the franchise operator for more than five fast food brands that operate out of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He also has a partnership with the Coca-Cola company for airport vending machines.
But he started the development of his business portfolio much earlier in his life as a McDonald's fast food operator. He was trained by McDonald's founder, Ray Kroc; became the eighth Black person in the country to be a McDonald's franchise owner and was assigned his first store in Atlanta, GA.
Life changed for Mack after that. He met and mingled with movers and shakers. He became such a well known political contributor that four United States presidents came to his home for fundraisers.
There were challenges, too. One of them forced Mack out of his first franchise ownership position. He now says it's the best thing that ever happened to him. He explains why in this podcast and also offers a perspective about why more Black restaurant owners don't expand.
Mack Wilbourn's story is an example of what happens when someone finds their calling early in life and uses all of the resources available to chase and catch dreams.