Lopez-Dorada Foods named Francisco “Pancho” Gonzalez as its chief executive officer. The announcement was made by Ed Sanchez who will serve as the company’s Chairman of the Board.

“I am thrilled that Pancho is bringing his decades of industry knowledge and international experience to the Lopez-Dorada family,” says Sanchez. “Pancho’s appointment represents our strong commitment to continued growth and momentum as the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned protein processing company. Having previously worked with Pancho, I know his leadership and vision will elevate our business as he leads the company with new energy and perspective. The future is bright for Lopez-Dorada. On behalf of the Lopez-Dorada family and the board, I enthusiastically welcome Pancho as CEO.”

Prior to joining the Lopez-Dorada team, Gonzalez served as the Vice President of the Americas for Inspire Brands, where he was responsible for all brands, including Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, and Sonic in 16 countries. In addition to his experience with Inspire, Gonzalez spent eight years as a multi-unit franchisee for McDonald’s in Mexico. While there, he served as the president for the Mexican Co-op and eventually as managing director for McDonald’s Mexico for McDonald’s Corporation and for Arcos Dorados. During his time with McDonald’s, he transitioned into several executive positions for the corporation, including general manager of the Michigan and Houston Regions as well as the vice president of operations and franchising for McDonald’s Chicago Region.

Gonzalez is a graduate of Seneca College, in Toronto, Canada. He has leadership certifications in Finance and Executive Management through the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), and Strategic Planning at the University of Chicago along with Brand Mastery from Kellogg School of Management. Gonzalez is also the chairman of the board and executive committee member at the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC).

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a storied, family-owned company with such a rich Hispanic legacy,” says Gonzalez. “Lopez-Dorada is the gold standard in the protein processing industry, and I have admired their commitment to their products, customers and the communities they serve for years. I look forward to working with leadership to deliver on the excellence that Ed and the Lopez family have established, while leading Lopez-Dorada into the future.”

As CEO, Gonzalez will lead day-to-day operations of Lopez-Dorada, while positioning the company for expansion into new products and markets and growing business with existing customers.