Charity the name of the game for McD's owner - International Women's Day

·3 min read

Brandy Gozda-Sekhon, owner of the local McDonald’s on River Ranch Rd., was nominated for International Women’s Day due to her charitable contributions and continued involvement in the community.

“It is an honour to be nominated, it’s not something I expected at all!” said Gozda-Sekhon.

Gozda-Sekhon was recognized not only for her work and efforts within the past year, but for the many years she has operated the McDonald’s franchise in the Nicola Valley. Some of the ways Gozda-Sekhon has given back include:

-Sponsoring a room at Ronald McDonald House where families can stay free of charge while their children are receiving treatment at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. A portion of cookie and Happy Meal sales continue to be donated to Ronald McDonald House

-Supporting the local food bank with physical items as well as financial aid and volunteered time during the COVID-19 pandemic

-Showing support to Canadian Farmers with the ‘Fries for Good’ campaign from May to Nov., which resulted in more than $1700 donated locally to the Red Cross.

-Raising over $20,000 for the Nicola Valley Hospital in 2019

-Providing a scholarship to a post-secondary employee on the Merritt McDonald’s team every year based on their community involvement, hard work and dedication.

“Throughout my career I’ve been able to help in many ways in our community and much further by participating in women’s leadership conferences,” Gozda-Sekhon said.

“A major part of my charitable work stems from educating the public. I have a platform that many do not, creating awareness and understanding of the importance of different organizations doesn’t always mean large donations. Time, education and even the smallest contribution can make a major difference in someone’s life. Currently I sit on the provincial People team for McDonald’s. I lead the education pillar on the team.”

As a mother who considers her children her greatest accomplishment, Gozda-Sekhon is also passionate about helping youth.

“I am also an avid supporter of all things youth related,” said Gozda-Sekhon

“When it comes to school leadership, grad fundraisers, sports tournaments, etc. I’m right there! I take pride in being a leading youth employer in our community. And in being so involved with the teenage demographic you get to see their personalities develop. I watch philanthropy grow within these young minds and It makes me proud of each and every one of them.”

Gozda-Sekhon, who is one of only 36 female McDonald’s owner/operators in all of Canada and one of only two in BC, wants other women to know that all dreams are achievable.

“Believe in yourself,” Gozda-Sekhon urges.

“You are strong, fierce, powerful, beautiful and wonderful every day in everything you do. Whatever your goal is you can achieve it. Hard work, dedication and perseverance will get you there.”

Quoting Louise McKinney, Gozda-Sekhon said, “The purpose of a woman’s life is just the same as the purpose of a man’s life: that she must make the best possible contribution to the generation in which she is living.”

Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald