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Beto Guajardo

Beto Guajardo

President, Schlotzsky's | Former Starbucks senior VP/global strategy | Class of 1989

Winters here are no treat but for Beto Guajardo, it's hard to beat springtime in C-U.

"After having endured countless frozen treks from the main campus to the west side of town, spring's arrival — with blue skies and warming temperatures — brought scores of sun-seekers out to the Quad," recalls the 1989 business adminstration grad, who in 2019 left his job as Starbucks' senior VP for global strategy in Seattle to become Atlanta-based president of Schlotzsky's restaurants. 

"And one of my favorite places on campus was dead center of the Quad where the sidewalks cross. Between my classes, activities or late evening excursions, if I had to traverse the Quad, I would make the crosswalk of the main Quad a destination point. It would give me a moment to pause and soak in the buildings, history and beauty of the Illinois campus. 

"And it was a moment, each time, to remind myself how lucky I was to be in that spot, on that campus at that time of my life."