IFA Member Launches New Burger Lineup to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project

International Franchise Association member Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is launching “Burgers Across America,” a system-wide  campaign designed to raise funds for Beef ‘O’ Brady’s national charitable partner The Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded members of the Unite States Armed Forces.

Patrons who purchase one of the six delectable burgers through May 25th will have the option of adding a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project at the bottom of their receipt. A minimum donation of $50,000 will then be presented to the nonprofit at Beef ‘O’Brady’s annual retreat on June 24, 2013.

In June 2012, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s named the Wounded Warrior Project as its primary beneficiary after presenting the nonprofit with a $25,000 donation. On a local level, each Beef ‘O’ Brady’s franchise partner makes a significant effort to embrace his/her local community through volunteer efforts sponsorships and involvement.

“Burgers Across America will serve as an excellent platform for the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s brand to stand behind a noble cause,” said Chris Elliott, CEO of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. “Our owners are inspired by the sacrifices made by the members of the US military, and we’re honored to strengthen our partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project.


For Third Year, VetFran Chairman’s Corps member CKE Kicks Off Stars for Heroes Fundraiser

From QSR Magazine

CKE Restaurants Holdings, parent company to Carl’s Jr.and Hardee’s restaurant chains kicks off its third-annual Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign this week at participating restaurant locations.

The program harnesses the national reach of both brands and the generosity of its customers, franchisees, and company employees to rally behind the nation’s military veterans and families.

Funds raised during this year’s campaign will assist those groups through national charity partnerships with American Red Cross, Dream Foundation, and USA Cares, as well as through regional charities with existing ties to individual Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurant communities.

The Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign will run for three weeks.

To participate, restaurant guests donate $1 in support of military charities. For each $1 donation, guests receive a commemorative “I am supporting military veterans and families” patriotic star-shaped cutout to personalize and place on display in the restaurant.

They also receive restaurant coupons valued at more than $10 to use toward future purchases. Customers can also donate to the campaign online via the Stars for Heroes Facebook page.

“Supporting our nation’s military is a cause important to our customers, employees, and franchisees; it’s also a personal passion of mine,” says Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants. “We’ve done some amazing things these past two years, in regard to both monetary fundraising and supporting the missions of our military charity partners on the ground.

“It’s all thanks to the incredible support and generosity of our franchise community—The Independent Hardee’s Franchise Association (IHFA) and Star Franchise Association (SFA)—along with our company employees and loyal customers,” he adds. “I’m confident 2013 will be another successful year and am excited to see patriotic stars once again cover our restaurant walls. Stars for Heroes is our small way to show our appreciation and give back to those heroes who have given so much for us.”

Since its creation in 2011, the Stars for Heroes has raised close to $2 million to support more than 40 military charities across the country.

Previous national beneficiaries include Homes for Our Troops, The Mission Continues, and USA Cares.

“CKE Restaurants, Inc. has been a faithful partner to our Red Cross chapters for years, and we’re excited to expand the relationship with a national focus on military services,” says Sherri Brown, senior vice president of Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

“The Service to the Armed Forces program provides assistance to service members, veterans, and their families during times of need, ranging from emergency communication services to reintegration support and financial assistance,” she continues. “The Stars for Heroes partnership helps us highlight these important offerings, and the funds raised will have a powerful impact for our military members in their times of need.”

Thomas Rollerson, founder and president of Dream Foundation, says, “CKE Restaurants, Inc. and its franchisees are a longtime Partner In Dreams, helping us fulfill the final wishes of veterans and their families suffering life-threatening illness.

“The financial support pledged for 2013 will help us fund the entire veteran segment of our dream service demographic,” he adds. “Additionally, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s representatives continuously open their local restaurants and serve as ‘dream hosts,’ supplementing our dreamers’ wishes and enhancing the experience for all involved. It’s touching to see the Stars for Heroes program truly impact the lives of those we serve.”

Peter Giusti, president of USA Cares, adds, “We are so excited to partner with CKE Restaurants and the Stars for Heroes program again for a third year. As an organization that relies solely on donations for funding, the Stars for Heroes campaign not only provides us with the means to continue our services to active duty soldiers, veterans, Guard and Reserve members, and their families, but also to raise public awareness of the need for the assistance programs that USA Cares provides across the country.”

The Stars for Heroes campaign is made successful through generous contributions by CKE employees, franchisees, customers, and guests, as well as private donations from organizations like Archway, a CKE partner that has donated in-restaurant print materials throughout the course of the Stars for Heroes fundraising campaign.

VetFran Discussed on Federal News Radio

Phillip Selleh, program manager for the VetFran partner VA Business Accelerator, recently joined Federal News Radio host Derrick Dortch to discuss how the Accelerator is helping veterans start their own businesses.  In the segment VetFran is discussed extensively.

The VA Business Accelerator program was started by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Selleh  explains how it works, and the services it provides for veterans who want to become entrepreneurs.

Specifically Selleh discusses what veterans need to know when getting their own businesses off the ground, and how sequestration and the budget battle on Capitol Hill are affecting existing veteran owned businesses that are currently doing contract work for the government.

Listen here.

VetFran content begins at 29:40

IFA invited to participate in Alaska “Vet-preneur Forum on Small Business”

Jay Perron, IFA’s Vice President, Government Relations and Public Policy will be among the speakers at the May 6th “Vet-preneur Forum on Small Business” sponsored by Senator Mark Begich in Anchorage Alaska .

The event is designed to educate veterans interested in starting their own business or franchise.   Guests who specialize in veteran business from all over the United States will share their knowledge and experience.  Franchising will also be represented by Doug Foster, Director of Operations for Alaska Qdoba franchises.

Other speakers include Rhett Jeppson, the Associate Administrator for Veterans Small Business Development at the US Small Business Administration, Keith Kelly, the Assistant Secretary of Veterans Employment Training Service (VETS) in the U.S. Dept. of Labor and Senator Begich.

Alaska veterans interested in learning about small business, contracting and financing opportunities available to veterans, military members and their spouses should click here to learn more and register.


Ice House America Launches Franchise Giveaway for Veterans

Ice House America, the automated ice vending technology franchise, has announced the “IceBorn Franchise Giveaway for Veterans” contest – where one deserving veteran will win an IceBorn House franchise valued at $118,000, plus 12 months of free royalty and marketing fees. The IceBorn House is a freestanding, 24/7, automated retail ice destination offering water and ice that is filtered, clean and made on demand.

 Veterans can enter the “IceBorn Franchise Giveaway for Veterans” by creating a two minute video, uploading it to YouTube, and submitting a short application.  For more information on the contest, visit www.iceborngiveaway.com. For contest rules, click here.

 “In recognition of the sacrifices made by our Veterans, Ice House America created the “IceBorn Franchise Giveaway for Veterans” contest to offer those who have served and are now entering into civilian life the opportunity to own their own business,” says Pete Cotter, Ice House America CEO. “Ice House America is doing everything it can to help our veterans with this life changing transition, including offering veterans a discount through the International Franchise Association’s  VetFran program.”

“We applaud Ice House America for their deep commitment to IFA’s efforts to help veterans.  We encourage all franchise businesses, including franchisors and franchisees, to answer the call to offer business ownership and career opportunities to veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors,” says Josh Merin, International Franchise Association Senior Manager, Research & Strategic Initiatives.  “Not only is this critical for the economic and social stability of veterans and their families, but it is an important component of the U.S.economic recovery.”


The Washington Post features VetFran: Veteran entrepreneurs can take advantage of federal help

By Derrick T. Dortch for the Washington Post

There’s been much talk about veterans returning from two wars having a hard time finding work. What hasn’t been discussed much is veterans creating their own jobs through entrepreneurship.

Champions of the effort applaud the idea of veterans being able to hire their brothers and sisters in arms.

Phillip Selleh is one such champion. He is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, serves in the National Guard and is the program manager of a Department of Veterans Affairs effort called the “VA Accelerator.”
More than 1.6 million service personnel have transitioned from military and Department of Defense employment to the civilian workforce in recent years, Selleh says. This does not include the 60,000 military members who are expected to return from Afghanistan by the end of next year.“This is where veterans starting businesses is so critical,” said Selleh, who has entrepreneurial experience. “Veterans are used to taking risks, used to running large-scale operations, used to managing people, resources and money, and used to doing everything possible to make sure the mission is accomplished. They have all of the qualities of a entrepreneur, and veterans have to start taking care of other veterans.”If you are a veteran considering starting a business, there are several programs that may be of help:●VA Accelerator (www.vaa­ccelerator.com): This VA program provides an online learning environment of eight curricula and five programs that focus on entrepreneurship, franchise ownership and employment. The education material covers everything from the initial self-assessment and business-plan preparation to the launch and operation of a successful businesses. Veterans can also receive mentoring and other services.

●Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (www.va.gov/osdbu/veteran/vep.
): Run by the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, it gives links to resources for financing and instructions on winning VA contracts.

●Small Business Administration’s Veteran-Owned Business Programs (www.sba.gov/content/veteran-service-disabled-veteran-owned): Among its resources are specialized financing programs, such as the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative and the Operation Boots to Business initiative. SBA has a number of Veteran Business Outreach centers and an Office of Veterans Business Development.

●VetFran (www.vetfran.com): For those who have dreamed of their own franchise — whether a McDonald’s or a UPS store — the International Franchise Association runs the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, or VetFran for short. The initiative includes more than 530 IFA franchiser member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership or a career path in franchising.

Veterans served the country in war, and they can serve again helping rebuild the economy. This may be the time to strike out on your own to pursue your dreams.

Dortch is president of the Diversa Group, which specializes in federal employment.

Veterans: Register for VetFran at McDonald’s Hamburger University

To enable veterans to understand and assess franchising and its opportunities, VetFran and McDonald’s will host “Focus on Franchising” for Veterans,” an all-day seminar designed to cover the fundamentals of franchising, legal issues, and franchise finance. Led by veterans in the franchise industry, this unique seminar will offer best-in-class education from the perspective of industry leaders and Board members of the International Franchise Association. Please note: this is not a sales event. Franchise opportunities with McDonald’s will not be discussed. Please click here to register.


Date & Location

Friday, May 10, 2013

McDonald’s Hamburger University

2715 Jorie Blvd, Room 224

Oak Brook, IL 60523


Download the Flyer

Featured speakers

John Kujawa, (Coast Guard veteran) Vice President, Global Franchising, McDonald’s

Steve Caldeira, President and CEO, International Franchise Association

Marc Heuermann, (Illinois Air National Guard veteran), RadioShack franchisee

Richard J. Morey, General Counsel, International Franchise Association, Partner, DLA Piper

Michael Seid, (US Army veteran) CEO, MSA Worldwide and co-author of Franchising for Dummies (Wiley, 2006)

Mary Kennedy Thompson (USMC veteran), President, Mr. Rooter, former franchisee

Joe Lindenmayer (USMC veteran), President & COO, TSS Photography, IFA VetFran Chairman

Rich Bradshaw (USAF, USNR veteran), Senior Vice President of SBA Lending, TD Bank



10:00 Welcoming remarks and brief introduction to franchising (John Kujawa, Steve Caldeira)

10:15 – 10:30 A Veteran’s perspective (Marc Heuermann, RadioShack)

10:30 – 11:45 Franchise Finance 101 (Richard Bradshaw, SVP, SBA Lending, TD Bank)

11:45 to 12:15 Lunch

12:15- 2:30 Franchising 101 (Michael Seid, MSA Worldwide, Richard J. Morey, Partner DLA Piper)

2:30 – 3:30 VetFran and veterans in franchising (Joe Lindenmayer, President & CEO, TSS Photography, Mary Kennedy Thompson, President, Mr. Rooter)

3:30 Q&A

4:00 Adjourn

Veteran attendees will be able to join IFA as subscribers and get free admission to the International Franchise Expo.

To learn more pleas visit: https://www.vetfran.com/mcdonaldsfocusonveterans/

Make The Connection

When Eric served in the U.S. Army, he enjoyed the military camaraderie and felt his work contributed to the greater mission; however, transitioning to the civilian world and economy was challenging, and it took a toll on his self-esteem. Finally, Eric went to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and found the employment and counseling resources he needed for a successful transition to the civilian workforce.

Franchisors and business people who train, mentor, and hire Veterans know the importance of finding resources for Veterans like Eric to help them get on the right path. Now you can further support Veterans who are experiencing challenging times by visiting and sharing MakeTheConnection.net, a website that connects Veterans and their families and friends with information, programs, and solutions for living more fulfilling lives.

This approachable, online resource links visitors to hundreds of videos from Veterans and their families sharing how they overcame challenges by seeking support – and features participants from every military branch, service era, and demographic group as well as family members and friends.  The site also provides reliable information about mental health and resilience, conditions, signs and symptoms, and life events, including information for those Veterans looking for jobs and employment, and a locator for Veterans’ resources across the country.

Visit MakeTheConnection.net to explore the site and download materials you can print and distribute. You can also visit the Make the Connection YouTube channel, “like” the Make the Connection Facebook page, and share content with your friends and colleagues. Finally, employers may also benefit from VA’s Employer Toolkit, which was created for employers, managers, supervisors, human resource professionals, and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) providers to support and retain Veterans in the workplace. Support is available for Veterans, and treatment works. VA support helped get Eric on track, and it can help a Veteran you work with, too.

VetFran Exhibits at Military Officer’s Association Career Fair

On April 2, IFA’s VetFran exhibited at the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Career Fair.  There were over 40 companies exhibiting alongside VetFran.  Chick-Fil-A and Entrepreneurs Source were among two of the businesses that are franchised.  Military career fairs are great places for franchised businesses to find qualified employees and potential franchisees.  MOAA and other Veterans Service Organizations have various career events throughout the year including career fairs, networking events, and virtual career fairs.  MOAA has been an extraordinary advocate for veteran’s employment and entrepreneurship.            

Kevin Blanchard, an ex-marine who ran the VetFran booth said, “There was an excitement in the veteran participants about the prospect of owning their own business.  There seemed to be a touch of entrepreneurship within many of the veterans.  MOAA attracts particularly motivated and highly qualified candidates.”  Many of the participants MOAA attracts are former officers, and are experienced leaders with great potential.          


Kevin Blanchard

Wounded Warrior and WIN Home Inspection Franchisee Secures Patriot Express Loan

Shilo Harris, a U.S. Army veteran, Wounded Warrior and new franchisee of WIN Home Inspection in San Antonio, Texas, recently secured a start-up loan from a Kansas bank through a connection made by BoeFly.  BoeFly is online marketplace connecting small business borrowers with lenders.

Harris was deployed in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, when he was seriously wounded after his Humvee hit a roadside bomb near Baghdad. After making an incredible recovery and medically retiring in 2010, he realized he wanted to readjust to civilian life by running his own business.

“Since returning home from Iraq five years ago, I knew I wanted to apply the skills I picked up in the military toward owning and operating a small business, and opening a WIN Home Inspection franchise provided the ideal opportunity for me,” Harris said.

Before he could get started, however, Harris faced a key obstacle: access to capital. To secure the financing he needed, Harris used BoeFly, where his loan application was matched to more than 3,600 lenders nationwide.

“Owning this business would not be possible without the adequate financing, and BoeFly was immensely helpful in connecting me with the loan I needed to get started,” he said.

After Harris posted his complete loan package onto BoeFly, he was contacted by several lenders who were interested in funding his deal, and he ultimately chose to work with Deryl Schuster, president of Midwest Community Bank in Plainville, Kansas.

“Midwest Community Bank is always on the lookout for qualified small business borrowers, and Shilo had the whole package, not only in terms of the loan package he provided but also the incredible service he has offered to our country,” said Schuster. “There is no way I would have funded his loan without BoeFly’s help, and Midwest is very grateful for this new relationship.”

In addition to the loan Harris secured through BoeFly, he obtained additional capital from the Veterans Business Fund, a nonprofit established by philanthropists Robert Tannenhauser and Alvin Sarter to support veterans who lack sufficient equity capital to qualify for a small business loan.

“Beyond providing an efficient platform for small business owners to connect with lenders, BoeFly has a solid understanding of the challenges many veterans such as Shilo face when looking to start a small business,” said Mike Rozman, co-president of BoeFly. “Unfortunately, business ownership is out of reach for too many veterans who lack the capital, but with the help of BoeFly and the Veterans Business Fund, Shilo was able to overcome that initial obstacle and open a successful WIN Home Inspection franchise. We wish him the absolute best, and we look forward to our continued work with reputable lenders such as Deryl to help more veteran business owners like Shilo get started.”

“Veterans represent one-quarter of WIN Home Inspection’s franchisee base, and we do everything we can to consistently provide realistic opportunities for veterans to become successful business owners,” said Steve Wadlington, President of WIN Home Inspection. “WIN is honored to have Shilo as a franchisee, and his story is a testimony to our commitment toward ensuring that hardworking veterans find success at WIN.  We appreciate that BoeFly effectively matched Shilo with the financing he needed.”

“It is gratifying to see leaders in the franchise industry such as BoeFly and WIN Home Inspection support Shilo on his exciting path to franchise ownership,” said Steve Caldeira, CEO and President of the International Franchise Association. “Through our VetFran program, the IFA has worked tirelessly to support veterans in transitioning to business ownership.”

“The impact of the Patriot Express program has meant thousands of veterans and their families have had the resources to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs, and at the same time create jobs and drive economic growth at a critical time for our country,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “Having met Shilo personally, I am thrilled that thanks in part to an SBA loan, he is able to fulfill his business dreams.  I applaud BoeFly, Midwest Community Bank and the Veterans Business Fund for helping Shilo meet his capital needs.”


Bennigan’s CEO’s New Business Book Will Support VetFran

Bennigan’s Franchising Company’s President and CEO Paul Mangiamele, announced today the spring release of “Bennigan’s Return to Relevance…Bleeding Green 25/8.”

Proceeds from the book will benefit VetFran’s “Operation Enduring Opportunity”  campaign to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors through 2014.  Bennigan’s particpates in VetFran by waiving its franchise fee for all qualified and honorably discharged veterans.

The business book, which will debut at the Restaurant Leadership Conference (RLC) on April 21-24 in Scottsdale, Ariz., delves into the iconic Irish restaurant’s renaissance and defines the scale and scope of bringing a Chapter 7 brand back from the brink.  Veterans will have a large presence at Restaurant Leadership Conference as VetFran will present a panel during the general session preceeding a speech by General Barry McCaffrey (US Army, Ret.).

“Telling this story is an opportunity to pay tribute to the tenacious family of franchisees, supplier partners and corporate support team whose dedication and determination restored Bennigan’s to relevance.”  said Mangiamele.  “We also hope to help the next generation of restaurateurs and managers of brands avoid the insidious disease known as ‘brand drift’ and learn from our triumphs and mistakes.”

 Mangiamele joined the company in May 2011 and began leading a turnaround that has introduced a new generation of Bennigan’s, rekindled an emotional connection with a nostalgic public and effected a dramatic impact on restaurant growth, sales and profits.

“When disciplined teams work 25/8 and are so passionate that they ‘Bleed Green’ all for the love of Bennigan’s, or any brand, it’s virtually impossible to set any bounds to the possibilities of what they can achieve,” said Mangiamele.

Hiring Our Heroes

VetFran Partner Hiring Our Heroes and Spike TV Launch Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions

Competition Will Engage Public to Identify the Most Veteran-Friendly Small Business in America; Winner to Receive Custom Spot on Spike TV

VetFran partner, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program and Spike TV’s Hire A Vet campaign today launched the Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions, a competition to identify the most veteran-friendly small business in America. The winning business will receive a custom spot produced by and aired on Spike TV.  VetFran encourages franchise owners to apply.

“The key to finding meaningful employment for our nation’s veterans and transitioning servicemembers is by engaging the 27 million small businesses that fuel our economy,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Schmiegel (ret.), executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. “The tournament is the perfect way to showcase those small businesses that are already demonstrating a commitment to hire and support America’s heroes. We hope this competition will inspire others to start considering this incredible talent pool.”

The Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions will accept applications from small business owners on the tournament’s official website, VetChampsTourney.com, from March 28, 2013, through April 26, 2013. A panel of judges will then select eight regional finalists. From there, a combination of public voting and panel of judges will narrow it down to four semifinalists and the same format will be used to select a winner. Judging for the tournament will be based on criteria such as innovative recruiting and retention strategies for veterans, veteran community engagement and leadership as well as an ongoing commitment to hire veterans.

“We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on such a worthy program that will spotlight the businesses that are giving America’s heroes the employment opportunities they so richly deserve,” said Kevin Kay, Spike TV President.

In addition to receiving a custom 30-second spot produced by and aired on Spike TV, the winner will receive two tickets, airfare, and hotel accommodations to attend the Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards. The winning business will be announced and recognized at the Awards, which is scheduled to air on June 12, 2013.


Wild Birds Unlimited Awards First VetFran Franchises

Founder and CEO of Wild Birds Unlimited Jim Carpenter has just announced the award of the brand’s first two VetFran franchises.  Jim said “While I had casually heard of VetFran, I was not aware of all the wonderful tools they provide to veterans thinking of joining a franchise and to the franchise systems who were interested in supporting those same veterans. Based on that, Wild Birds Unlimited signed up to be a member of the VetFran community and added the required language about VetFran to our Franchise Disclosure Document. We began letting all of our prospective franchisees know about our association with VetFran and offering 15% off our Initial Franchise Fee to all veterans who joined the Wild Birds Unlimited franchise system.”

Greg McGinnis and his sister, Myra, will be opening their Gastonia, NC Wild Birds Unlimited store in mid-2013. Greg served on active duty in the US Army from 1985-1989 and was stationed in Baumholder, Germany, Ft. Knox and Ft. Bragg. He also served in the Reserves from 1989-1993.  “The VetFran program, through Wild Birds Unlimited, recognized my service while offering a very generous incentive by substantially reducing the franchise fee. This affirmed that Wild Birds Unlimited is an organization that values veterans and one that I am proud to be a part of” said Greg.

Carl and Karen Albritton will be opening their Wild Birds Unlimited store in Clearwater, FL.  Carl, the son of a US Coast Guard ship’s captain, joined the Air Force just after high school, leading the progression for each of his brothers and sisters to follow. Ultimately, Captain Albritton’s entire brood of five young entered military service as they fledged, some for life-long careers.  Carl expressed “Knowing that WBU supported veterans through the VetFran program reassured our family that we were making the right choice in choosing this franchise.”

Proforma Welcomes First Veteran Franchise Owner

Proforma recently announced Raymond Laubert of Hatfield, PA is the first military veteran awarded a franchise through its new VetFran affiliated veterans business grant program. Laubert is a retired Gulf War Veteran with more than 21 years of service and is now the Owner of Camping Embroidery Powered by Proforma.

Proforma’s veteran program waives the standard $19,500 franchising fee for new Proforma Owners outside the industry.  “I am very excited to be joining the Proforma Network,” said Ray Laubert. “As a military veteran this program has made it easier and more affordable to follow my entrepreneurial spirit and become a business owner. As a part of Proforma, I have all the tools and resources I need to provide creative marketing solutions to my clients.”

Air Force couple brings College Hunks franchise to Edmond

By Kristine Meggenberg for The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — When Laura Turner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis she had no idea she would be relieved from the U.S. Air Force and turn to a College Hunk for a new career.

Laura Turner and her husband, Rick Turner, have both dedicated their entire careers to the Air Force. Laura Turner served for 22 years and Rick Turner served for 24 years. In June 2007 Laura Turner was diagnosed with MS and in October, four months later, was medically retired from the Air Force.

After being in Afghanistan for seven months, Rick Turner returned to their home in Alaska only to pack up their belongings and move to Edmond.

“A friend told me about Edmond and how great of a community it is to live in,” said Laura Turner.

Rick Turner worked at Tinker Air Force Base until June when he retired because he felt like it was time to move on.

“Laura being diagnosed with MS changed everything for us and we had to come up with a new plan for our future,” said Rick Turner.

After retirement, Rick Turner was turned away from any new job opportunities stating that he was over qualified.

“I woke up one morning and said ‘Laura, what are we doing? Let’s start our own business,’” said Rick Turner.

Rick and Laura Turner have opened a moving and junk removal franchise, College Hunks Hauling Junk at 13509 Railway Drive. If you’re preparing for an upcoming move, decluttering your home or cleaning out your office, College Hunks will haul away your stack of junk or even remove a single heavy item.

“The customer just points in the direction and we’ll take care of it,” said Rick Turner.

College Hunks is catering to the Oklahoma City metro and can move residents anywhere in the state of Oklahoma. For those who are moving out of state, College Hunks can coordinate a transfer of a person’s things to a College Hunks franchise in the area to where they are moving.

“Our goal is to grow our business so that we are your one-stop shop and become imbedded in the community,” said Rick Turner.

College Hunks takes a percentage of all of its sales each month and donates to a charity. Each employee is asked what charity is significant to them and they alternate who they donate to each month.

College Hunks recycles and donates 60 percent of the materials they haul away. They hope to build a relationship with social agencies in Edmond to understand what their needs are so they can donate more effectively.

“We are busy and excited about being in Edmond,” said Rick Turner. “This is a great home for Laura and I.”

VetFran Partner MOAA Hosting April 2nd Washington DC Career Fair

The Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA) is offering IFA members 50% off the basic booth fee at the April 2 MOAA Career Fair in Washington, DC.  MOAA expects over 600 veterans to attend and MOAA’s fairs are unique in that about 65% of attendees are retired or retiring officers.  Please email jmerin@franchise.org to learn how you can access the discount.  MOAA welcomes IFA members to exhibit both to hire veterans and for franchise development.

• Candidates are highly qualified and proven leaders who have technical and operational experience
• Between 600 and 1,000 job seekers (all ranks, active duty, retired, former service, National Guard/ Reserve, government employees, and their spouses!).
•Visit www.moaa.org/careerfair to view information about the fair, fees, videos, media links, and previous fair’s statistics!
Register (or for more information):
• www.MOAA.org/CAREERFAIR or email careerfair@moaa.org

Tuesday, April 2, 201310:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Hall D, Washington, District of Columbia 20001 USA

VetFran joins Hiring our Heroes at Jobs Fair

As part of its partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, VetFran exhibited at the March 15 Capital One sponsored Job Fair for Veterans and military spouses at the Washington D.C. Convention Center.  IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira and soon to be veteran franchise owner Wade Franklin were interviewed by WMZQ, a Washington area country station with a large veteran audience that broadcast live from the fair.  IFA’s Kevin Blanchard and Josh Merin spoke to veterans about ownership and employment in franchising.  Blanchard, a recent veteran said “It is an honor to be in a position of offering resources and explaining current franchising opportunities to other veterans.”

Wade Franklin served seven years in the Navy including deployments to Japan, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Leaving the military, Franklin dreamed of owning his own business saying “One good thing about the Navy is they really taught me how to make good decisions and how to manage things, and I felt ‘Hey, I want to take a chance on myself.” Wade saw that The UPS Store was waiving the franchise fee for veterans as part of VetFran’s Operation Enduring Opportunity, giving him the chance to open his own business. “I don’t have business experience, but in franchising they give you the support.” Franklin will open his Arlington, VA UPS Store in April and hopes to begin hiring his fellow veterans.

Kevin Schmiegel, Executive Director of Hiring Our Heroes singled out IFA in his remarks which kicked off the event.  Schmiegel thanked Caldeira for IFA’s commitment to veterans and VetFran’s leadership in the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.   Mr. Schmiegel told the audience that franchising has been a major part of the progress the campaign has made.

A Family Affair: WIN Home Inspection Owners Teresa and Wade Palmer welcome son, Michael, to the team after five years active duty

 Wade and Teresa Palmer, co-owners of WIN Home Inspection Bend, are welcoming son, Michael Palmer to their inspection team, effective immediately. Corporal Michael Ryan Palmer has recently joined his parents in the family business, after five years of active duty with the Marines. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December 2012, Michael began working toward his Oregon license and state certification, taking both online classes, as well as training at WIN Home Inspection’s corporate offices.

The Palmers have built a solid rapport with local realtors, associations, builders and designers and are thrilled to be welcoming their son into the business. “This opportunity is key for me as I adjust back into civilian life, while working in a hands-on field,” says Michael Palmer. “I’m grateful to be transitioning into a career that I know is a lucrative one, with the support of my family and WIN Home Inspection as a whole. Working for a company that not only encourages veteran involvement, but actively recruits them through their esteemed ‘WIN for America’ program, is one in which I’m proud to be a part of.” “We are honored Michael chose to join the already well-established Palmer team,” says Steve Wadlington, President of WIN Home Inspection. “We are certain he will be a valuable asset to the company on a local and national level.”

New VetFran Committee Chair and Vice Chair - VetFran

VetFran Committee Welcomes New Chairman and Vice-Chairman

IFA has a new VetFran Committee Chairman and Vice-Chairman.  Mary Kennedy Thompson is stepping down as Chairwoman of the VetFran Committee.  Succeeding her is Joe Lindenmayer of TSS Photography and his Vice-Chairman Jon Rucker from Snap-On Tools.  Mr. Lindenmayer’s chairmanship is a well deserved honor and he has contributed greatly to the recent strides VetFran has made.  IFA is excited to have both Mr. Lindenmayer and Mr. Rucker’s leadership and support.

Mr. Lindenmayer is President/COO & Co-Owner of TSS Photography & Young Masters Franchise Systems. He served as a Tank Commander in the US Marine Corps.  In addition to his executive responsibilities with TSS Photography and VetFran, Mr. Lindenmayer serves on the Board of Directors at Southeast Franchise Forum and the Kuyahoora Valley Foundation.

Mr. Rucker is the Military Program Manager for Snap-on Tools.  He works to strategize, develop, and maintain Snap-On’s Military Program throughout the military and veteran communities.  He served for over 20 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as Regional Director of Recruiting, Atlanta, GA.  As Vice-Chairman of IFA’s VetFran Committee, Mr. Rucker works to create awareness (within both the franchising and military communities) that our veterans’ skill sets are perfect for franchising.  He has represented VetFran in numerous arenas including at the White House.

Mr. Rucker expressed “As the VetFran Vice-Chairman, I humbly relish the opportunity to continue the great work Mary has spear-headed,”.

The transition of leadership will be one of continuing VetFran’s extraordinary mission and further contributing to the program’s already amazing accomplishments.  When Mrs. Thompson became Chairwoman of VetFran, it was a steady effort of committee meetings with little attendances and fewer resources.  Today, VetFran has reached a record 540 participating companies, 3,000 media hits, and nearly 65,000 veterans, military spouses, and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising.

“VetFran has reached remarkable heights under Mary’s leadership and this is a testament to Mary and her boss and mentor, Dina Dwyer-Owens.  Mary has shown great integrity and leadership throughout her career, as a Marine Captain, franchisee and franchise executive IFA is grateful that she has graced VetFran with her considerable talents and enthusiasm over the last two years.  IFA is glad to know that Mary will remain an integral part of the VetFran and IFA families,” said Steve Caldeira, CFE, President and CEO of IFA.

“Working with Mary over these past few years has been a genuine honor and privilege. She inspires through her actions and deeds, not just words. Those same leadership characteristics emanate with Joe Lindenmayer. I am proud and excited to follow his lead, as we continue to make the VetFran program a little bit better, all the time,” said Mr. Rucker.

“There’s a great excitement surrounding veterans and franchising. We enthusiastically echo: FRANCHISING IS GREAT FOR VETERANS, AND VETERANS ARE GREAT FOR FRANCHISING,”  said Mr. Rucker.

Mr. Lindenmayer and Mr. Rucker have both been dedicated and enthusiastic supporters of VetFran.  We welcome them both as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the VetFran Committee.

By: Kevin Blanchard



IFA Members Recognized among the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers

Congratulations to IFA members Bank of America, Capital One, Charles Schwab & Co , Intuit, PepsiCo, Sears, State Farm and US Bank for being recognized among the top 100 military friendly employers.  The list which is publish annually by GI Jobs, represents the top 2 percent of more than 5,000 eligible companies whose annual revenues exceeded $500 million.

The full list and details can be found here: http://employers.militaryfriendly.com/