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Wai-Ling Eng: an Inspiration

May 27, 2009
AsianWeek

Hard work, determination, and giving back. These are the qualities that define Wai-Ling Eng, a woman who has proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.  She is an inspiration to all those who know her, and to the thousands, even millions, of lives that she has affected with her charitable works.

Wai-Ling EngWai-Ling Eng has accomplished more in her lifetime than most people can imagine.  She has taught herself English, run and own a restaurant franchises, created a Bay Area-wide scholarship program giving away millions of dollars to students, spearheaded a national Breast Cancer Awareness program, and became the first Asian-American to be elected and sit on the Global Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, all while raising four children.

Ms. Eng also serves as an Officer on the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bay Area – as a Grants Committee member as well as Chair of the RMHC Bay Area Scholarship program.  This scholarship program, which she created and championed in 2002, has given out $1.1 million dollars in scholarship money to college bound students of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ms. Eng has been married to Steve Eng for 28 years and together, they have four children, two boys and two girls. They bought their first McDonald’s restaurant in 1990, where they taught themselves the ropes and continued buying and running more restaurants. Ms. Eng has also received numerous awards for her work as a McDonald’s owner/operator, as well as for her community service.

Some of these include:

  • Outstanding Business of the Year Award from the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • Outstanding Individual Community Service Award from the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA)
  • Numerous awards for running outstanding McDonald’s restaurants
  • Commendations from dignitaries for contributions to the community

 

Wai-Ling and her parents emigrated from China when she was a young girl. Growing up, she would have to translate for her parents, fill out their paperwork, and help them get by in life. It instilled in her a determination to succeed and hard work ethics. She says the best thing McDonald’s does is give people opportunities in life.  Ms. Eng hires many new immigrants, single moms, and people in need to work in her restaurants to develop them into leaders and successful contributing members of society.  This, she says, makes her the most proud.

This month celebrates those in the Asian-Pacific community who inspire others and truly give back to those around them.  Wai-Ling Eng is an amazing example of a woman who cherishes her heritage, and strives to be a role model for others in her community and the world.