In 1996 Virgiles successfully opened her first McDonald’s, while raising her daughter, Dominique, who was 9 years old at the time.
“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony,” words that are a true reflection of the everyday life of McDonald’s owner-operator Deborah Virgiles. Though the world is now full of women entrepreneurs striving to achieve business success and mothers working hard to provide their kids with the necessities of life, there are many who seek to find the happy medium between the two, a task that Virgiles prides herself in having mastered over the past 17 years. “I have never had a bad experience being a mother and owner-operator because I made time to balance my personal and business life.”
In 1996 Virgiles successfully opened her first McDonald’s, while raising her daughter, Dominique, who was 9 years old at the time. “I started working with McDonald’s in 1972 under the leadership of Dr. William Pickard, right out of high school, so by that time I had plenty of experience being a working mother even before becoming a business owner.” A woman determined to succeed in both of these multifaceted aspects of her life, Virgiles made it a point to make sure that both businesswoman and mom were equally part of her everyday lifestyle. “It is not work when it is part of your everyday living and you’re doing something you love to do.”
Now what you can call a veteran in both the world of business and motherhood, Virgiles has the pleasure of sharing her lessons of triumph and perseverance with her daughter, Dominique, who currently oversees operations for both of her stores. And more importantly than being able to work side by side with her daughter, Virgiles says that “watching my daughter blossom and grow into the wonderful, responsible young lady she is today by far has been my greatest achievement in being a mom.”
When she’s not in her restaurants greeting customers and pitching in to help crew or in mom mode, Virgiles loves spending time shopping, decorating her home, gardening, traveling and last but certainly not least, volunteering and giving back to the community. Virgiles is the president of Ronald McDonald House of Detroit and actively works with organizations like the Women’s Informal Network, NAACP, National Association of Professional Women and the Deaconess Club of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, among many others. It’s evident that Virgiles has a strong presence within her local community and when asked what attracted her to McDonald’s the answer was simple: “The McDonald’s brand and its community involvement is unlike any other. McDonald’s has always branched out to the African American community by nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities for children and families, 365 days a year.”
Committed, dedicated, giving and honest are all adjectives that could be used to describe the businesswoman and mom that Virgiles has crafted herself to be, but the description she sees more fitting is “a mom and businesswoman with a good work ethic, a commitment to professional excellence and a dedication to the community, her crew and her family.”