Mr. Staton is our Executive Chairman. He was our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2007 through October 2015. Mr. Staton holds an MBA from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Switzerland and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University in Atlanta. As McDonald’s joint venture partner, Mr. Staton opened the first McDonald’s restaurant in Argentina in 1986 and later served as President of McDonald’s South Latin American Division. He founded Arcos Dorados in 2007 when he led a consortium of investors in the purchase of McDonald’s operations in Latin America. Mr. Staton is co-founder of Endeavor Argentina, an organization for promoting entrepreneurship. He is a member of the Latin America Advisory Board of Harvard Business School and is also a Board Member of the IMD Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition, he serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and is also on the Chairman’s International Advisory Council of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
Mrs. Franqui has been a member of our board of directors since 2007 and is a member of the Compensation and Nomination Committee. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1986. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. Mrs. Franqui began her career in 1986 with J.P. Morgan and joined Goldman Sachs in 1989. In 1994, she returned to J.P. Morgan where she became a Managing Director and the Head of the Latin America Research Department. Mrs. Franqui joined Panamco in 2001 as Vice President of Corporate Finance and became the Chief Financial Officer in 2002. She is one of the founding partners of Forrestal Capital and is a board member of many of its portfolio companies as well as of LatAm, LLC. She is the Chairman of the Board of AARP on a volunteer basis.
Mr. Hernández-Artigas is an independent member of our board of directors. He joined our board in 2007 and is Chairman of the Compensation and Nomination Committee. He graduated from the Escuela de Derecho at Universidad Panamericana, in 1987 and University of Texas at Austin, School of Law in 1988. He received an MBA from IPADE in Mexico City in 1996. Mr. Hernández-Artigas worked as a lawyer for several years in Mexico and as a foreign attorney in Dallas, Texas and New York. He served as the General Counsel, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Panamco for ten years. He is an advisor at Big Sur Partners in Miami, Florida and is currently a board member of MAC Hospitales in Mexico and board member of CrowdVision, a leading automated pedestrian analysis and insights company with global presence.
Ms. Palmaka has been an independent member of our board of directors since November 12, 2019. Ms. Palmaka has been the President of SAP Latin America since August 2020, following 7 years as President of SAP Brazil. Ms. Palmaka also sits on C&A board of directors and on Eurofarma advisory board. Ms. Palmaka holds an accounting degree from Fundação Álvares Penteado (Brazil) and received her MBA from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Brazil). She also holds a master’s degree in International Business & Marketing from the University of Texas.
Mr. Francisco Staton has been a member of our board of directors since April 2018. Mr. Francisco Staton is Divisional President for the Caribbean. Prior to his appointment as such in 2019, he was Arcos Dorados’ Managing Director for Colombia, Aruba, Curaçao and Trinidad & Tobago. He joined the Arcos Dorados executive team in 2013 as Senior Manager of Business Development for our NOLAD Division. Prior to serving as Senior Manager of Business Development for our NOLAD Division, he held different operating roles within the organization and also worked as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group office in Buenos Aires. He completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University in 2003, and subsequently earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 2010. He has served on the board of Princeton in Latin America since 2015. Mr. Francisco Staton is the son of our Executive Chairman, Woods Staton.
Mr. Vélez has been an independent member of our board of directors since June 2011 and is a member of our Audit Committee. Mr. Vélez received a Master of Science degree in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a degree in Administrative Engineering from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Mr. Vélez previously served as the CEO of Suramericana de Seguros, the leading insurance company in Colombia, and as the CEO of Inversura, a holding company that integrates the leading insurance and social security companies in Colombia. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Cementos Argos S.A. between 2003 and 2012. From 2012 until March 2016, he was the President of Grupo Argos, a holding group with investments in cement, energy and infrastructure concessions (roads and airports). He is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of Grupo Crystal and Grupo Daabon in Colombia. He also is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Universidad EAFIT. In addition, he is member of the Latin American Chapter of the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.
Mr. Fernandez is an independent member of our board of directors. He joined our board in October 1, 2013, he is a member of our Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation and Nomination Committee. Mr. Fernández was the Divisional President of operations for SLAD until 2013. Mr. Fernández is a Mechanical Engineer from Instituto Tecnológico Buenos Aires and began his career at McDonald’s in 1986. He held the positions of Development Director, Development Vice President and Managing Director of McDonald’s Argentina before becoming the Divisional President of operations of SLAD. In August 2019, Mr. Fernández was appointed as a member of the board of directors of Cencosud Shopping S.A. in Chile.
Mr. Rabach, has been our Chief Executive Officer since July 2019. Prior to his appointment, he was the Chief Operating Officer from August 2015 to July 2019, Divisional President for NOLAD from 2013 to August 2015, Vice President of Operations Development since 2012 and Divisional President in Brazil since 2008. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Universidad Argentina de la Empresa in 2002. He began his career at McDonald’s Argentina in 1990 and has over 20 years of line operations experience, starting as a crew employee and steadily advancing into larger operational roles. From 1999 until his appointment as McDonald’s Chief Operating Officer in Venezuela in 2005, Mr. Rabach was responsible for the operations, real estate, construction, human resources, local store marketing, and training and franchising of a region within Argentina, holding the positions of Operations Manager and Operations Director. He was the Chief Operating Officer in Venezuela from 2005 until 2008.
Mr. Chu has been an independent member of our board of directors since April 2011 and is a member of our Audit Committee. He graduated with honors from Dartmouth College in 1968 and received an MBA with highest distinction from the Harvard Business School in 1976. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Chu served as an executive and limited partner in the New York office of the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. From 1993 to 2000, Mr. Chu was with ACCION International, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to microfinance, where he served as President and CEO and participated in the founding and governance of various banks in Latin America. Mr. Chu currently holds an appointment as Senior Lecturer at the Harvard Business School, where he is the Faculty Chair for Latin America, and is Managing Director and cofounder of the IGNIA Fund, a venture capital firm dedicated to investing in disruptive business models serving the emerging middle class and low-income populations in Mexico and Latin America. He was a founding partner of, and continues to serve as Senior Advisor to, Pegasus Group, a private equity firm in Buenos Aires. He also serves on the board of Takeoff Technologies, Inc, a private company in Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Alonso has been a member of our board of directors since 2010. Mr. Alonso was our Chief Executive Officer from 2015 to 2019 and was, prior to his appointment as such, our Chief Operating Officer from 2007 to 2015. Prior to that, he was McDonald’s Divisional President in Brazil. He graduated with a degree in Accounting from Universidad de Buenos Aires in 1986. Mr. Alonso has completed the Corporate Director Certification Program at Harvard Business School. He began his career at McDonald’s as Accounting Manager and subsequently moved to the operations area, eventually being promoted to Vice President of Operations in six years. From 1999 until 2003, Mr. Alonso was involved in the development of the Aroma Café brand in Argentina. In addition, in July 2017, Mr. Alonso was appointed as a member of the board of directors of Loma Negra Compañía Industrial Argentina S.A., a leading cement producer in Argentina.