Local McDonald’s Employee Celebrates 30-year Anniversary

Fair Oaks, CA  |  Story and photo by Shaunna Boyd
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Peggy Lombardi (center) is a dedicated McDonald’s employee. McDonald’s franchise owner Joe Ahumada (left) and PRIDE Industries job coach Gloria McNally (right) celebrated Lombardi’s 30-year anniversary on April 3.

FAIR OAKS, CA (MPG) - On April 3, the McDonald’s restaurant at 5301 Hazel Ave. in Fair Oaks was decorated with flowers and balloons to celebrate a momentous occasion. Peggy Lombardi has been employed at the restaurant for 30 years, and franchise owner Joe Ahumada hosted a party to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

Lombardi is a valuable team member at McDonald’s, where she is responsible for clearing tables in the dining area, stocking the beverage station, and keeping the lobby clean. “She’s our first employee to make it to 30 years, and we’re very proud of her,” said Ahumada.

Lombardi first began her professional career through the PRIDE Industries work services program. PRIDE Industries is a local non-profit that hires and trains people with disabilities and special needs to help them develop skills for successful employment.

Their services help people overcome obstacles to employment so they can contribute to the community and live more independent lives. When Lombardi was hired at McDonald’s in 1989, she was one of the first clients from PRIDE Industries’ work services programs to begin working independently.

Gloria McNally is Lombardi’s job coach with PRIDE Industries, and McNally explained that working for McDonald’s has given Lombardi financial independence and provided her with a wonderful opportunity to make friends and take pride in her work.

The job has taught her dependability and improved the quality of her life. After starting her job at McDonald’s she was able to move out of a care home and into her very own apartment.
“I’ve been working with Peggy for about 25 years, and it’s very rewarding,” said McNally. “She has a wonderful employer, she has a great job, she has made personal friendships with so many customers here, and McDonald’s and Peggy are each an asset to each other.”

“She kind of thinks she owns this place,” McNally joked, “and I know she’s already planning her 31st anniversary.”

Lombardi’s favorite thing about working at McDonald’s is all the friendships she’s made with both coworkers and customers. Lombardi said she loves going to work to see all her friends.
Many local customers were excited to celebrate Lombardi’s achievement, and she happily showed off a Disney watch given to her by a customer. “I feel very proud, very wonderful, and very happy,” said Lombardi.

After passing around slices of cake, Ahumada presented Lombardi with a card signed by all the McDonald’s crewmembers, a 30-year commemorative pin, a target gift card, and a promise to send her to Sacramento Kings games next season.

“She’s a great employee,” said Ahumada. “I’ve been through all the positions before I became an owner-operator, so I’ve worked with Peggy for many, many years. … We love having her as part of the family. I can’t ask for anything better, maybe another 30. That would be great!”