From Protecting the American Dream to Living It: Veterans in Franchising

Today on Veterans Day, we celebrate the men and women who selflessly protect the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. With so many VetFran member brands on our client roster, this remains one of our favorite observations to honor with media coverage each year

Here’s a look at some of our favorite franchising stories we had the pleasure of sharing in honor of Veterans Day 2019…

From franchisors…

Given the organization’s close ties to the origins of VetFran, client Neighborly is especially passionate about the veterans that make up its international team, both on the franchisee side as well as on the franchisor’s corporate leadership team. 

This year, Neighborly COO and VetFran board member Mary Thompson got to share with CNBC’s “On the Money” her unique perspective as someone who is living proof of how military experience sets individuals up for success in the world of franchising. Following her eight years spent as a logistics officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, Thompson eventually began what would become a 25-year career in franchising. 

From a multi-unit franchisee herself to a C-Suite executive leading the world’s largest franchisor of home service brands, who better to speak to the parallels between the military and franchising? You can watch Mary’s interview HERE

To franchisees…

And then there’s the men and women who are thriving today as franchise owners, the likes of which 9Round founder/CEO Shannon Hudson honored in his recent Greenville News op-ed. A great example of this is Roni Meyerhoff, a franchisee from Shannon’s 9Round network. 

Following 20+ years as a U.S. Marine, Roni was not only a great fit for business ownership due to his discipline and leadership abilities, but the intense physical training he endured in the military made him perfect for franchising in the fitness sector specifically. So when Roni discovered 9Round and was eager for his next opportunity to serve others, it was a match made in heaven. 

Roni joining the 9Round network was a win-win-win: The franchise gained an outstanding new owner, Roni found success doing something he was truly passionate about, and his members found a local outlet for bettering themselves both physically and mentally with 9Round’s 30-minute kickboxing workouts, which CBS46 in Atlanta got to see this firsthand when they visited Roni’s studio last week

The opportunities are out there

With more and more veterans finding success in the franchising space, it makes sense that the business model continues to attract veteran prospects. Take Mark Sheffield for example. After serving 22 years in the U.S. Navy, Mark was ready to enter the civilian world and settle down with his family. He was really interested in sending his children to School of Rock, but with the closest location nearly 45 minutes away, it was too far for his family to drive on a regular basis. Thinking someone should open a location in his community, he thought, “why not me?”

Now he’s gearing up for his School of Rock Otay Ranch grand opening in December, and he recently shared his veteran-turned-franchisee story in the latest issue of Franchising USA magazine. 

These veterans and thousands of others are making a positive impact in their communities through franchising, and we love sharing the inspiring stories of these brave men and women across our client roster.