As an entrepreneur, Bob Charles has owned and operated McDonald’s franchises in Boulder County, Arvada and Westminster, with annual sales at each averaging from $1 million to $5 million. He co-designed the “Happy Meals” concepts for McDonald’s and, through implementation of his ideas, increased drive-thru capacity from 100 to 400 cars per hour.

As a philanthropist, Charles has helped develop the company’s recycling program in Colorado and co-founded the Ronald McDonald House in Denver. He established a McPride program for at-risk high school students and, for management employees at his franchises, covers textbook costs and fees for college or GED programs.

Charles received the Esprit Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievements Award in 1993. His other achievements include founding the Boulder Memorial Hospital Foundation, establishing a scholarship program at CU and chairing the Foundation for Boulder Valley Schools.