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- May 1, 2007
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Youngest American Woman Billionaire Found With In-N-Out - Bloomberg
Torres, who has never appeared on an international wealth ranking and declined to comment for this article, came to control In-N-Out after several family deaths. When her grandfather Harry died in 1976, his second son, Rich, took over as company president and expanded the chain to 93 restaurants from 18.
Torres’s father, Harry Guy Snyder, became chief executive following Rich’s 1993 death in a plane crash at age 41. The chain expanded to 140 locations under Guy, who inherited his father’s passion for drag racing.
When he died of a prescription drug overdose at age 49 in 1999, Snyder’s estate included 27 cars and other vehicles, including a 1965 Ford Cobra and a pair of 1960’s-era Dodge Dart muscle cars, according to his will.
Torres’s grandmother Esther -- Harry’s widow -- maintained control of the company until her death in 2006 at age 86. When she died, Torres was the sole family heir. She now controls the company through a trust that gave her half ownership when she turned 30 last year, and will give her full control when she turns 35. The company has no other owners . . .
Torres popped up in real-estate blogs in September, after buying a $17.4 million, 16,600-square-foot mansion in the wealthy enclave of Bradbury, California, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. A Realtor.com listing for the house described it as having seven bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, a pool, a tennis court and other amenities. . . . Torres maintains a low profile. Her most visible presence has been on the drag strip. She competes in the National Hot Rod Association’s Super Gas and Top Sportsman Division 7 categories, alternating between a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and a 1984 Chevrolet Camaro, according to NHRA results. Her third husband, Val Torres Jr., is also a race- car driver.
She also inherited her Uncle Rich’s interest in religion, funding a non-profit organization called Healing Hearts & Nations that proselytizes in Africa, according to a 2010 Form 990 foundation filing that lists Torres as the chief financial officer. Former In-N-Out executive Boyd alleged in his 2006 cross-complaint against the company that Torres attempted to fire him because he was not a “man of God,” and because he didn’t attend prayer meetings at her home. . . .
Whether the mother of twins will maintain ownership in the chain after she gains full control in five years is uncertain, said John Gordon, founder of San Diego-based restaurant consultant Pacific Management Consulting Group.
“It’s an open question whether she may have different feelings later,” said Gordon. “Like most kids, or second or third generations of a very wealthy family, I don’t know that she has restaurant blood in her veins, or if she’s a trust fund baby.”