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For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison 202-628-8000

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18―Palo Alto, Inc. Pres. Linda G. Alvarado, a Yum! Brands’ franchisee, was today named by the International Franchise Association to receive the Ronald E. Harrison Award during the association’s 49th annual convention being conducted at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

The Ronald E. Harrison Award recognizes organizations or individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising.  Ronald E. Harrison, CFE, retired PepsiCo senior vice president, IFA past chairman and former chairman of the IFA Diversity Institute board of directors, was the first recipient of this award, which was named in his honor.

Alvarado’s many successes as a business owner and community advocate have encouraged and inspired other women and minorities to achieve their professional aspirations. After starting a career in the male-dominated construction industry in the 1970s, Alvarado became president and CEO of Alvarado Construction. In addition to her 35-year career in multi-million dollar commercial development, she and husband Robert started the restaurant company Palo Alto, Inc. in the mid-1980s after being approved as franchisees to open a single Taco Bell unit. The company now encompasses more than 140 Yum! Brands restaurants in multiple states. Alvarado’s involvement as a co-owner of the Colorado Rockies made history as she was the first Hispanic and female to own a major league baseball franchise.

Her involvement in franchising also extends to her role as the first woman president of the Taco Bell Franchise Management Advisory Council and serving on the Tricon Franchise Advisory Council. Community involvement has also been a priority for Alvarado who has served on many community and non-profit boards including the Taco Bell Foundation raising funds for the Boys and Girls Clubs. She is a founder of the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has been a supporter of many other organizations including the Minority Association of Contractors, Tennyson Center for Abused Children and the Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation.

Alvarado has been honored with numerous awards including being named one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics in America" by Hispanic Business magazine; a 2003 inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame; a recipient of the Horatio Alger award; a recipient of the Sara Lee Corporation Frontrunner award for exemplary achievement and leadership; the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year; the Revlon Business Woman of the Year; honored as a recipient of the National Minority Supplier Development Council Leadership award; and “The Brillante Award” by the National Society of HispanicMBAs.


About the International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 11,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at

Editor’s Note:  To request a JPG of Linda G. Alvarado, contact the IFA Media Relations Department at 202-628-8000.