As Strauss prepares for our debut of Mamma Mia! this week, we focus on the impact of Greek descendants in the Twin Cities. Many found their way to Northeast Louisiana and have made a dramatic mark on our community. In our search of Greek Influence in Monroe, we had the privilege of chatting with Alex George.
In 1965, Alex George launched the very first McDonalds in North Louisiana located on 18th street in Monroe. At that time, there were only 1000 McDonalds restaurants in the US. Our Monroe location was so successful, the founder of McDonalds, Ray Kroc, met face-to-face with Alex George to find out the “secret to his success.” Instilling Greek family values and know-how passed on to him from his Greek heritage, Mr George grew one McDonalds store into 12 McDonalds locations and was instrumental in the establishment of the Ronald McDonald house here in Monroe.
Alex George is the son of John Nick George (Greek name Georgiadis) who immigrated to the states from the Thesalaniki mountain area of Greece. His father initially worked in Tacoma, WA as a logger but eventually found his way to Monroe after employment in the restaurant business of Greenville and Jackson MS. It was the beautiful Ouachita river and bayous of our area that drew the elder George to Monroe to plant roots and raise a family.
Today Alex George continues to make a difference in our community through QuesTECH Learning, an educational tutorial school specializing in serving transitional learners seeking to reach their full potential. Because of Alex George’s “idea” of investing in our community, QuesTECH has enjoyed 20 years of success assisting the learners of our area to achieve their goals.