|Buddy McClain | Chairman & CEO|
Ronald “Buddy” McClain is the Chief Executive Officer of McClain, Vaughn, and Partners Sonic Franchise Group, which owns 58 restaurants in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
McClain was born on March 27th, 1955, in Houston, a small town in Northeast Mississippi, with two sisters and a single mom. In 1973, McClain graduated from Houston High and attended college at Mississippi State University.
Monday Morning on August 27th, 1977, at the age of 22, McClain started as a Manager/Trainee at the Sonic Drive-In in Columbus, MS. April 22nd, 1978 McClain became the Owner/ Operator of the Sonic Drive –In in Selma, AL. About a year later McClain left this franchise group to be the Owner/Operator of the Sonic in Popularville, MS.
In May of 1984, McClain signed an area development agreement to develop 15 Sonic Drive-In restaurants in Jackson, MS. At this time McClain brought in Bruce Vaughn, a fellow sonic franchisee and a friend since the first grade. Together McClain and Vaughn would buy a piece of land and build a sonic one sonic at a time, and in 10 years they had 12 sonic drive Ins, all within one hour’s drive of Jackson. McClain’s philosophy was to get your foundation solid and build close to home, so you could look after your restaurants.
In 1996, McClain bought 4 stores from Sonic Corp. in the Hattiesburg, MS area. In 1998, McClain bought 11 stores in Mobile, AL, and in 1999, 21 stores in the Greensboro, NC market. So, by the end of 1999, McClain Sonic’s had grown to 54 Sonics in 3 states. In 2003 McClain bought the rights to build 22 sonic in the Tampa, FL market. In 2005, McClain bought the rights to West Palm Beach, FL market. In 2006, McClain opened his 100th Sonic for his company. McClain was only the 4th person in sonic history of over 3500 units, to ever open over 100 Sonics.
Buddy McClain has won numerous awards starting with the turnaround operator of the year award in 2000, chain leader/2003 multi-unit operator of the year, the Mason development award in 2005, and the 2005 Distinguished Entrepreneur award given by the University of Southern Mississippi.
McClain has been a member of the prestigious Sonic Executive Advisory Council since 2002, and a member of the Sonic Advisory Council since 1994.
As an active member of the business community, Buddy is a member of the Metro-Jackson Chamber of Commerce since 1999, he is on the Business Advisory Board of the University of Mississippi, and is on the Board of Directors for the Central Mississippi American Red Cross.
Buddy is an active member of the First Baptist Church of Fannin. He is married to Joni McClain and has two children, Stefanie McClain Fairly and Mallory McClain. He is an avid hunter and enjoys riding his Harley Davidson.