Local Girl’s Road to Success
by JoAnne Disney
June 11, 2014 • 512 views
Caroline Rodriquez-Bernal’s family came to El Monte in 1968 and she attended New Temple School, Dean L. Shively Jr. High, and Mt. View High School. She was a very active student in academic and sports clubs. Caroline was a Mission Valley League Medalist in softball and volleyball as well as Captain of her teams. She continued her studies at Rio Hondo College while working two jobs, McDonalds and Junior Recreation Leader for the City of El Monte’s Parks and Recreation. At the age of 19, McDonalds offered her the opportunity to enter their Management Program. She accepted and during this time she married and had her first child. At 21, Caroline was “one of the youngest McDonalds store managers in the Los Angeles McOpCo Corporate stores, managing a high volume location on Washington and Hill.”
It seems from there her career began jumping in leaps and bounds. Caroline’s education “continued through McDonalds Hamburger University and other programs her company provided for her.” Over a 15 year period she worked “many different Operational Management positions in Los Angeles, overseeing as many as 35 corporate owned locations, including the locations in El Monte.” It was amazing how her career always seemed to bring her back home. Caroline was even involved with the sale of the South El Monte and El Monte McDonalds between Franchise owners, “bringing her own experience and history to the new owners of the positive community they would be doing business in.”
Eventually, her career with McDonalds led her to Sacramento, “taking on a Franchise Director role where she led a team of consultants that supported all franchise stores, covering most of Northern California and Northern Nevada. Caroline had accomplished a lot at 34, being a mother of 3, a growing career and then she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Today, after a courageous fight, Caroline has been cancer-free for over 15 years.
After working in Sacramento, McDonalds offered Caroline an “executive position in Orange County working with a small team for a West Division President; once again, bringing her back close to home as a single mom. During that time, she traveled extensively and when she could, Caroline took her children with her. So far they have traveled more than 20 countries. After 7 years at the McDonalds West Division, she was offered an opportunity to become a Franchise owner in Antelope Valley. Since 2004, she has owned and operated 2 McDonalds Restaurants in Palmdale. Caroline works with her youngest son, Nico, “grooming him in the business.”
Today, Caroline is happily married to Ken McCabe, and remains active in the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, the Antelope Valley Friendship Bridge Circle, the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House as well as many other charities.