Words By Bridey Zell
Photo By Minori Ueda
Christine Vincent is fortunate to have lead a career marked by continuous achievement. The mother of two, who started out as a hairdresser in Kingaroy is now the successful owner operator of six Cairns McDonalds restaurants. “I am no stranger to hard work,” says Christine, “It’s all about life presenting opportunities, they are everywhere. When you see an opportunity it’s the choice you alone can make to either grab it and run with it or leave it.”
After completing hairdressing and teaching at TAFE, Christine then opened her own salon, which was to become the leading salon in Kingaroy. “This experience taught me so much,” Christine recalls. An opportunity was to present itself, something entirely different, in the form of a Wendy’s Supa Sundaes franchise. She jumped at the chance.
Within six months, a McDonalds franchise was advertised in the paper, and again, Christine seized the opportunity. This required nine months of training in Brisbane, which was three hours away. “This was a huge obstacle in my career. I lived away from my family for nine months, working six days a week and travelling back to them on the seventh day,” says Christine, “my kids are proud of what I did.”
Following the training, Christine finally opened the doors of the Kingaroy restaurant, employing 85 staff members. The restaurant went on to win the Queensland ‘Outstanding Store Award’, as well as an Australia wide ‘Employee Relations Award’.
Another opportunity saw Christine relocate to Tasmania to purchase a larger restaurant. “I had built up my confidence and experience in Kingaroy, and decided to just go for it”. The next 10 years saw Christine purchase two more stores, represent McDonalds as a torchbearer in the Olympics, and then purchase four McDonalds restaurants in Cairns. Christine credits much of her success to her team, “without them all both individually and united as a team I would not be where I am today.”
Some career highlights have included; becoming a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2002, a regional winner and State finalist for the QLD Training Awards ‘School based trainee of the year’ in 2015, and an FNQ finalist in the QLD Training Awards ‘Large Employer of the Year ’in 2016.
Christine aspires to being the best employer, partner, mother and grandmother that she can be. In order to do that, life needs to be balanced. “It’s all about finding the balance that is right for you,” she says, “along with being a business woman, I feel it’s also important that I make time to relax and ground myself, and spend quality time with my partner, family & friends. I try to stay fit as well”.
Christine graciously attributes her success to the success of her team, which consists of a number of inspirational women (and men). “It has motivated me to be the best leader that I can be and to keep my people green, growing, and empowered. My favourite saying is ‘there is no I in the word team’, and my team is the best!”
Christine’s team of amazing women include the following.
Kristy Tippet began her career at McDonalds in high school, working her way through the ranks to become General Manager. “I love working at McDonalds as it feels like family”, she says. Jennifer Brislan supervises the Edmonton, Gordonvale and Innisfail stores, and has been a part of McDonalds since she was 15 years old. Mel Pickrill is Retail Supervisor and manages the Cairns Central store and began working with McDonalds at the age of 15. “I hope to continue my career with McDonalds as the opportunities are endless,” she says. Cheryl-Lee Stumer is the People Manager and RM of the Gordonvale restaurant, and valued member of the team. Hayley McDowell, the restaurant Manager of McDonalds Cairns Esplanade, has also been with the organisation since high-school. She left the workforce to raise her four children, returning to McDonalds two years ago. “I am grateful for every opportunity that is offered to me,” says Hayley. Woree store manager, Sarah Ghensi, is another team member who has worked through the ranks within the organisation. She loves the opportunities that have arisen during her time at McDonalds.
Christine’s administrative team consists of Kellie Jensen, Amanda O’Day (both have previously been restaurant managers), and Ellen Porta (Marketing Co-Ordinator). She would also like to acknowledge Brad Carpenter and Justin Andrew, both are Restaurant Managers and truly valued male members of her team.
PO Box 6965. Cairns. QLD. 4870 | 07 4031 0292