Charles Valluzzo is CEO of McDonald’s of Baton Rouge, La, and as such, is one of McDonald’s largest franchise holders, with 53 stores.
Valluzzo, a marketing major at WMU, purchased his first McDonald’s franchise in Joplin, Mo., immediately after graduating. Two years later, he moved to Baton Rouge, a larger market suitable for expansion beyond one store, and opened the first McDonald’s in that area. A second and a third store soon followed and by the end of the 1960s, he had seven stores throughout the area. With his strong work ethic and sound understanding of every facet of business, he more than tripled his number of stores by the end of the 1980s.
As the operation has grown, Valluzzo has continued to prove his business acumen by creating his own distribution center, McBR Distribution, and becoming one of only three franchise operators to supply their own goods. Growth also has resulted in the business becoming a family affair, with key divisions being led by Valluzzo's four sons and son-in-law.
In addition to winning McDonald’s marketing excellence award three times, Valluzzo has received the corporation’s highest recognition—the prestigious Golden Arch Award. He has served on the boards of every significant social and civic organization in Baton Rouge. His many awards for community service and philanthropy include the McTLC Award from McDonald Children Charities, which is given in recognition of efforts to improve the lives of children; Caring Award from the Louisiana Red Cross for humanitarian services; and Philanthropist of the Year honor from the Association of Fund Raising Professionals.