contentsOak Brookads

Corporate Headquarters

Mc Donald's

“McDonald’s is ever-changing because American tastes are ever-changing. We have to be responsive to the needs of our customers.”
Joe Endress, Vice President of Facilities and Systems, McDonald’s Corporation

McDonald’s Corporation established its international headquarters in Oak Brook in 1971. McDonald’s believed that, although the company had restaurants all over the world, the corporation’s employees would benefit from being in one location. McDonald’s leaders felt it was important for its employees to see and be a part of the global company they were working for.

Endress said it also was important to the company then, as it is today, to respect the community in which it does business. Therefore, when McDonald’s began construction of its headquarters on the 88 acres of Oak Brook land it purchased, it worked to preserve as much of that land as possible.

To do this, McDonald’s created a video that had to be presented to every contractor before they began working on the property. The video described the care that was to be taken to preserve sections of the campus. McDonald’s even imposed a $10,000 fine for any tree that was killed during the construction of its corporate headquarters.

The Oak Brook-based complex, today, includes McDonald’s corporate headquarters, its international training center for franchisees—Hamburger University—and the Hyatt Lodge. While Hamburger University functions today much as it has for the last 35 years, the Hyatt Lodge has changed from its original purpose.

Prior to 1997, the Hyatt Lodge was used only to house its franchisees during trainings at Hamburger University. In 1997, the Hyatt moved from private status to public hotel.

Endress credits the Village of Oak Brook for the Hyatt’s successful transition from private to public. “Thanks to the Village of Oak Brook, McDonald’s was able to accomplish the move, “said Endress. “The Village’s assistance allowed McDonald’s to begin marketing the hotel and allowed others to enjoy the facility.”

McDonald’s takes seriously its commitment to give back to the community. “McDonald’s always thinks carefully about what the impact may be of any of its actions,” said Endress. “We’re aware, as the largest restaurant chain in the world, of our influence on the rest of the world.” For example, Endress noted, McDonald’s recently established the first drive-thru in any restaurant in China. “This move will have an impact on China’s commercial culture,” said Endress. “We believe it will have a positive economic impact.”

The local presence and activities of McDonald’s restaurants also influence the communities in which they operate. In these communities, too, said Endress, “McDonald’s is committed to being a good community partner.”

Endress noted, “Ray Kroc always said, ‘Always give back to the communities you get your business from—take care of them,’ and McDonald’s still follows that philosophy today.”

Kroc would be very proud today of McDonald’s generous support of thousands of charities and community initiatives around the world. McDonald’s makes financial and volunteer contributions to a range of issues, including the environment, disaster relief, healthcare and adoption.

In addition, said Endress, “McDonald’s is working to be more responsive to the needs of its employees, as well. We want to be the employer of choice,” said Endress. To reach this goal, the company has begun a gradual transformation of its workplace culture from a traditional corporate environment to one that is more collaborative and creative for employees. “This will include more flexible work hours, including the choice of working at home,“ said Endress.

Endress added, “Just as McDonald’s is always focused on the changing tastes of Americans, McDonald’s also cares about the changing needs of our workforce.”


Blistex Inc
Blistex Inc. was created in 1947 by a Chicago businessman and a Seattle pharmacist, Charlie Arch and Lou Bracken. Their entrepreneurial partnership was based on their belief in the superiority of a single formula—Blistex Lip Ointment. From that first flagship product, Blistex gradually built a lip care line that gained the company worldwide status as lip care experts. And from that narrow field of expertise, Blistex has since moved on to create a broad line of unique, high quality products that satisfy a wide array of consumer over-the-counter healthcare needs.

Blistex Inc. has been headquartered in Oak Brook for about two-thirds of its existence. In 1968, the company moved from its Wacker Drive offices in Chicago first to 700 Enterprise Drive in Oak Brook, then to its current location at 1800 Swift Drive in 1975, adding to the facility in 1997 with the purchase of adjacent property on Windsor Drive. This campus remains the central hub for producing, shipping and marketing Blistex products for over 75 countries across the globe.

Blistex has grown continuously throughout its Oak Brook tenure, relying on a strong new product record and a steady series of smart acquisitions. Beyond its ever-expanding spectrum of popular lip care products, the current portfolio of Blistex brands include a famous acne pad leader (Stri-Dex), the top selling canker sore item (Kanka Liquid), the #1 hand cream in Canada (Glysomed), and the recently acquired 2nd largest (and fastest-growing) mouthwash in the UK (Dentyl pH).

Obviously, most current Blistex employees have not been around to see all of the changes that have marked the evolution of Oak Brook over the decades since the company first came to call this village home. But as 16-year Blistex veteran and current President Mike Donnantuono observed, Oak Brook continues to provide many of the same key benefits that have always set it apart. “The central location means we can draw different types of talent from a broad number of locations ranging from downtown Chicago to many suburbs. Easy access to both major area airports and a number of excellent nearby hotels means our ad agencies, regional sales managers, international distributors, consumer researchers, packaging vendors and a host of our other partners can visit and do business conveniently—and that means productively. And the many, many restaurant and shopping opportunities are great for our employees.”

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications
oakbrook center
nai hiffman
york tavern
buck services
village of oak brook