Franchisors Draw Top Talent From The Front Line

As we approach Armed Forces Day we think of the thousands of men and women who transition out of the military each year, and we find that many ask the same question: I’ve completed my service, now what?

For many, franchising offers an attractive opportunity to follow military service with a business of their own.

Helping them make that transition is a program in the U.S. called VetFran. Originally founded in 1991 as a way to thank veterans returning home from the first Gulf War, VetFran was re-launched after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by the International Franchise Association as a way to help assist U.S. veterans and their families.

Not only a great opportunity for a veteran franchisee, franchisors across the country are utilizing the second to none training our veterans have received during their time of service to bring on all-star business owners who bring with them years of experience in executing discipline, training and hard work in some of the most stressful and extreme situations. Veterans are committed to excellence while being able to operate successfully alone and as part of a team, all qualities that lead to great franchising success.

Finding sweet success with Edible Arrangements

Maurice Welton, a former Army cook, is a veteran, hard worker and friendly person who dreamed of no longer being stuck on what he called a “corporate treadmill.” A stellar example of the positive values that former military personnel bring to the workforce, Maurice has excelled in his business as he is now a successful multi-unit franchisee with Edible Arrangements living the entrepreneurial dream.

Maurice echoes many veteran voices when he says that his success as a businessman is due, in large part, to the discipline he developed while serving in the military.

Bringing veteran experience to disaster restoration

Joey Buchino served in the Army for 13 years, where he rose in the ranks to a Sergeant First Class. Since he has returned to civilian life, he has taken on the mission of becoming a Restoration 1 franchisee while utilizing VetFran and the tools it provides to get into business.

Every day he wakes up and puts to work the skills he learned during his time in the Army. He works with a team to accomplish tasks, stays organized as a small business owner and ultimately gets the job done no matter how dirty or how long it takes, and he does it right.

Pilots turned paint-and-sip franchisee

Washington Army National Guard helicopter pilots, Heidi and Ray Leonard decided in April of 2015 to embark on a new journey and jump into small business and after a date night at Pinot’s Palette, they knew just the franchise.

The couple was able to take advantage of the Pinot’s Palette VetFran program and, in doing so, was successfully able to fulfill their goals as business owners. In an interview with Northwest Military, Ray stated his reasons for starting the business were very similar to why him and his wife serve, and that being bringing positivity to his community as well as his nation.

Very involved in the military community in South Hill, WA, by hosting “Painting it Foward” paint night events, both Ray and Heidi still continue to work full time for the Washington National Guard.

So, here’s a note to franchisors looking to expand with true talent. Look towards military veterans with resumes at the ready. Embrace the vision of an entire labor pool trading combat boots for work boots and you’ll find that veterans utilize their gifts in a positive way to enrich business. They still wake up every morning with purpose, honing their skills all while creating a better economy on their home turf.