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Richard Montañez California
Richard Montanez

For Richard Montaņez, it all began with daring to dream. Working as a janitor for PepsiCo's Rancho Cucamonga plant, Richard wondered what might happen if he added some spice to Cheetos. The newly conceived Flamin' Hot Cheetos first reached the president of PepsiCo and then the store shelves. The immense market success catapulted Richard's career and changed his life.

In the years since, Richard's creation of the Flamin' hot line of products has influenced new ethnic products and the first Frito-Lay Hispanic marketing team, as well as Hispanic products and promotions for KFC and Taco Bell.

Known for his visionary leadership and product development, Richard now leads Multicultural Sales & Community Promotions across PepsiCo's North American divisions, leveraging best practices internally and externally to cultivate community partnerships. Today, Flamin' Hot Cheetos is Frito-Lay's top-selling snack.

Richard sits on numerous non-profit boards, and was appointed to serve on the California State Workforce Investment Board. He was recruited to the state board for his business experience in creating jobs and building training systems.

Throughout his career, Richard has accomplished several notable achievements and garnered awards. Both state and federal government officials have honored Richard with numerous commendations for his work around education and leading economic growth. He was recognized by Hispanic Lifestyle magazine as one of the most influential Hispanics in corporate America, has been featured in Newsweek and Fortune 500 magazine.

He has been invited by the White House numerous times including the welcoming of Pope Benedict XVI White House visit. In 2004 Richard presented at a special United Nations event.

Richard and Judy Montanez have been married for more than 30 years and live in Rancho Cucamonga. He is a father of three sons and has four grandchildren.

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A Boy, a Burrito, and a Cookie
A Boy, a Burrito, and a Cookie: From Janitor to Executive

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