Empower Magazine congratulates Victoria Guster-Hines on being named among the Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston.
Houston resident Victoria Guster-Hines wears a number of hats – she is a mother, daughter, business executive and vice president of operations and franchising for the McDonald’s Houston Region, and most recently has been named among the 2016 “Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston Texas” by d.Mars.com.
The youngest of three children, Guster-Hines was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. She comes from a very close knit family. Her parents were very hard and smart workers who chose success for themselves and expected it from their children.
“Eugene Jr., Debra, and me were stair steps (one year apart in age) which made us extremely close,” recalls Victoria.
She grew up with a number of strong black men in her life who set the foundation for she and her siblings, beginning with her grandfather, William Walker, her father, Eugene Guster, her brother, Eugene Guster Jr., and numerous uncles and cousins. She has a wall in her home titled “Black Men Make a Difference” with pictures of the men who represent her family.
Her dad was a successful department head manager for General Motors, and her mom was an educator for 35 years. “Family is everything to me and God showed me favor when he placed me in the Walker – Manzie – Bothuel – Guster – Brown family,” Victoria shares with immense pride.
A graduate of Arthur Hill High School in Michigan, she holds three undergraduate degrees from Central Michigan University in the areas of business administration and public affairs, psychology and sociology. She also achieved a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Her Role Model
Looking back over her life, Guster-Hines credits the late James Daughtry as one of her significant role models. Daughtry was the first African American vice president and general manager for McDonald’s in the Indianapolis region. She expressed an immense love for Daughtry because he was a child of God, and so faithful that at times it appeared as if a light shined upon him. He saw something special in Guster-Hines and her brother, Eugene Guster Jr., and took them under her wings early in their careers. In 2006, Daughtry stood beside her at the grave site of her beloved brother and held her hand knowing that she couldn’t handle losing him. She believes that her esteemed mentor was a blessing to the human race and a true and lasting role model who taught her to always “do the right things, in the right way, for the right reasons.”
Her Greatest Success in Life Thus Far
Guster-Hines considers herself truly blessed having realized a number of significant successes in life such as having her son Douglas William Hines in 1991. “He is everything that I could ever be,” she notes. In 2006, Victoria was featured in the March edition of Ebony as one of the African American Women onTop of the Golden Arches. In 2007, she was honored as an Arthur Hill High School alumnus; and, in August of this year, Victoria is being recognized as one of the “Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston Texas.”
Her Biggest Challenge in Life to Date
Guster-Hines sees herself as one who assumes innocence in everyone whom she encounters with expectations of them treating everyone else with dignity and respect regardless of race. “We live in an ugly world at times, and it’s unthinkable that some believe they are the superior race simply because of the color of their skin. God created all of us equally.”
Her Love for the McDonald’s Brand
“I love McDonald’s because the culture is built on highly motivated diverse people who care. They recognize and appreciate others for who they are and what they contribute. I’m so grateful to have encountered individuals who cared about and invested in me personally and professionally. People such as Pat Harris, Kevin Newell, Rick Colon, Charlie Robeson, Janet Hayes, Ernest and Mary Redmond, Don Thompson, and Steve Plotkin, paved the way for me and made sure that I had everything needed to be successful. They changed the trajectory of my life,” said Guster-Hines.
Her Lifelong Goal
When asked if she had a lifelong goal, Victoria was short and to the point. Her lifelong goal is to “positively impact others by making their dreams come true.” And, to add to that, she has but one thing on her “bucket list” – Rest!
What She Enjoys
The McDonald’s executive is definitely not “all work and no play.” She enjoys reading, cruising anywhere and everywhere, traveling, spending time with friends doing nothing but eating and being happy. To relax and have fun, she loves dancing and watching TV.
Some Things Most People Don’t Know About Her
Guster-Hines played the violin for six years and now can’t play. She was an exchange student in Paris, France in 1980 after learning to read, speak, and write French for seven years; and now doesn’t understand French at all. She was a debutante for Zeta Phi Beta in 1979, and is member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority – noting, “we look good in all colors.” And, she is an avid swimmer.
The Michigan native also wants everyone to know that she lives by four very important agreements in her life:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always, always, always, do your best.
Guster-Hines Shares a Personal Tribute to her Family
My most accomplished recognition is being the proud mother to Douglas William Hines, and aunt to Eugena Guster-Clark, Crystal Guster and Victoria Guster-Brown.
I am a proud member of a successful family who always had expectations of the younger generations. Family means everything to me. Our foundation of “charity begins in the home,” was set by my grandfather, William Walker, for generations to come. My daddy, Eugene Guster, is my hero and protector. He was a successful career employee of General Motors while my mom was an educator for 35 years. By the time my brother, sister, and I were eight years old, we knew we would be attending college. It was just a matter of where we would matriculate. People often ask me why I kept my last name of Guster and added Hines, and my response remains the same, “How could I give up the name of a little shepherd boy, Eugene Guster, who Jesus turned into a King?”
I chose success at McDonald’s because the culture is built on highly motivated, diverse people who care, recognize, and appreciate others for who they are, and what they contribute. I was coached, trained, and mentored by the best: the late James Daughtry, who taught me to always do the right things, in the right way, for the right reasons. At McDonald’s, we are: committed to our people, believe in the McDonald’s system, operate our business ethically, give back to our communities, grow the business profitably and strive for continuous improvement.
I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways, I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6