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Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards 2013

Mr. Richard Castro
BA History '70
Owner/Operator, McDonald's
El Paso, TX


Richard CastroAfter graduating from then Southwest Texas State in 1970, Richard Castro used his history degree to become a teacher in the Eagle Pass School District. He also served as city administrator from Del Rio from 1972 to 1980. Castro joined McDonald’s in 1983 and is the company’s largest Hispanic owner/operator with 27 restaurants in Texas and more than 1,000 employees. He is credited with inventing the Breakfast Burrito for the chain. He has received numerous internal and external awards for his focus on McDonald’s core guiding principles of quality, service value, and cleanliness. In 2005, he received the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) Chairman’s Community Support Award during the annual state convention held in Houston, TX.     

Besides his accomplishments as an entrepreneur, Castro has been an active community leader. In 1985, he initiated creation of the Hispanic American Commitment to Educational Resources (HACER(R)) Scholarship Program as a partnership of McDonald’s owner/operators, Ronald McDonald House Charities(R) (RMHC(R)) and McDonald’s Corporation. Now in its 27th anniversary, HACER has grown to become the largest scholarship program in the country for graduating Hispanic high school students. Since its inception, the HACER scholarship program has awarded more than $20 million dollars in grants to Hispanic students pursuing their college education. Castro is also involved with the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation, which provides scholarships to area high school students who face adversity. In addition, he served as former president of the McDonald’s Hispanic Owner/Operator Association (MHOA).     

Castro was named 2005 Hispanic Business Man of the Year by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and received the 2011 Faces of Diversity Award from the National Restaurant Association. He is 1997 Texas State University Distinguished Alum.