Our Masker Family history
In the summer of 1967 Ray Masker Jr. returned to the US after graduating high school in the Philippines. His father was in the military and his family was stationed there. His goal was to get a job, attend college, and start a family. He joined the Marines, enrolled in classes at a local college, married his high school sweetheart, and was hired at McDonald’s as a crew person. He completed his service in the military, earned an associate’s degree in accounting, and began working his way up the corporate ladder at McDonald’s. He did not intend for McDonald’s to become his career but when a great opportunity presents itself you can’t pass it up. As Operations Manager for the San Diego market, Ray had the opportunity to work directly with McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc. Ray Masker Jr. worked his way through restaurant management, then on to regional supervision, and then was transferred to Home Office in Illinois. It was there that he was assigned to an operations task force to the New Orleans region. A year after arriving at the home office he made the permanent move to the New Orleans area in 1981 with wife Kathy, daughter Theresa, and son Ray III. In 1987, after 20 years being a corporate employee, he purchased his first McDonald’s restaurant on St Charles Ave. in New Orleans. He grew his organization to 7 restaurants in the New Orleans area. In 1999, the restaurants in Slidell, LA became available. He sold his restaurants in NOLA and purchased the 5 restaurants in Slidell, the town he called home since 1981.
The next generation
Ray Masker III began working in his father’s restaurants in the late 80’s doing odd jobs like overnight cleaning and working special events in NOLA like Mardi Gras and Bayou Classic. He loved his time in the restaurants but decided a to go in a different career direction. He graduated with a degree in Secondary Education and met his wife Tammi in college. Tammi was a 4th grade teacher and Ray III taught 7th grade science, AP Environmental Science, and coached the boys’ varsity soccer team at a local high school in 1998.
How it all came together
In 2002 Ray III and Tammi began thinking about having kids and their future plans. They felt that leaving the teaching field and joining the family business was the best route to take. Ray III began working fulltime as an Assistant Manager and Tammi worked part time in the office. Ray III worked his way up through restaurant management and became a General Manager in 2003. Things were going well when Katrina hit in 2005. Katrina was a game changer – for the organization and the area. Ray III was promoted to Area Supervisor in 2005 to help long term Area Supervisor, Ron Hudgens with the rebuilding workload. Five of the six restaurants were operational post Katrina. Rebuilding operations began quickly and the 6th restaurant came back on line in 2006. 2007 saw the addition of the Pearl River restaurant and 6 months later the acquisition, relocation, and rebuild of the flooded Pontchartrain location was completed in 2008.
Ray III completed his Corporate Next Generation Owner Operator program in 2009 and purchased his first restaurant from his father in 2010. His second restaurant was purchased from his father in 2012. In 2015 the organization was presented a great opportunity to grow with the purchase for 4 restaurants in the Biloxi, MS area. Today the organization has 11 restaurants. Ray III now owns the majority as Ray Jr slowly begins handing the reins over after an impressive 53 years in McDonalds…and counting!