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Success Stories

Feature Story:

Gary Grace Shines Bright During 35 Years Of Success »

Gary Grace is no stranger to franchising...and no stranger to success. He has been named the top franchisee in the country by Inc. magazine. He worked with Supercuts to open 86 salons in the New York metro region, including 6 in one day, establishing the brand in a new market. He's been featured in industry trade magazines. And he has served as chair of Franchise Update's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.
But in the world of franchising, what he's done for Supercuts--and the people who have worked for him--shines the brightest. During his career, he's instituted or enhanced employee benefit programs, including performance incentives for all employees, a management evaluation program, increased education and training at all levels including quarterly workshops for stylists, an annual awards event, and more...

Feature Story:

BrightStar Care Husband-and-Wife Make A Perfect Team »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather first met on a Multiple Sclerosis charity cycling ride. They immediately hit it off. Marriage came next and the couple had only been married for about a year when they entered a new venture as franchisees in the home care field. Together they own five BrightStar Care locations through their Madison, Wisc.-based company, which consistently performs at the top of the brand's franchise chain.
"We knew we had great communication, but we sure didn't want to mess anything up," says Rather. "We went in with eyes wide open. The advice we got from other couples was to clearly define who is going to do what. Over the years, we have melded that a bit."
Tews, after 33 years in the banking and telecom industries, was seeking a change of pace from the corporate world...

Feature Story:

David Gronewoller On His People-Centered Formula »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

David Gronewoller is president of GC Partners, a Winston-Salem-based company that operates 12 Golden Corral locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. You might consider him an employees' employer. With more than 20 years of franchise experience, he believes "more in the man than the method" in overseeing his family-style restaurants. This people-centered formula for success has spilled over into the neighborhoods his restaurants serve.
Gronewoller's commitment to the community is far-reaching: in 2013, his restaurants served and delivered 1.1 million fresh meals to senior citizens in five counties. It's also personal: when his mother was battling pancreatic cancer under home hospice care, Meals on Wheels delivered food to the family's Colorado home...

Feature Story:

Don Smith Not Afraid To Take Risks »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Don Smith was the first - and is currently the largest - Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee in the country. He is CEO and co-founder of Boston area-based Henley Enterprises, which operates 197 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations coast-to-coast, with 20 more of the quick lube stores in the pipeline.
In 2012, he orchestrated the purchase and successful rebranding of 72 EZ Lube oil change service centers in Southern California, the largest single acquisition in industry history. The deal, which included many distressed properties and just as many naysayers (including within Valvoline) was a "big piece to bite off," says Smith.
"We went in a little bit blind, but we knew we could do it," he says. "It definitely confirmed that the model that Valvoline has put together--and we have influenced that model--can work virtually anywhere in the United States...

Feature Story:

ServiceMaster Franchisee Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

When Paul Berg graduated from high school he set out on his own to tackle the world and succeed in business - and that's just what he did.
Today, at age 64 he is still going strong, and has spent the last 21 years in franchising. He purchased his first ServiceMaster franchise in 1997. He had built up his business portfolio to include 3 ServiceMaster territories and one Furniture Medic territory in southern California and Arizona. But at a time when many people are enjoying retirement, Berg still has growth on his mind. This past December he added another Furniture Medic territory in Riverside county.

Name: Paul Berg
Title: Owner/President of Furniture Medic by SMAP San Diego, Calif.; Imperial County, Calif.; Yuma, Arizona
No...

Feature Story:

Chris Moore Is Meeting Community Needs In Multiple Ways »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Chris Moore, a multi-unit Watermill Express franchisee, is in the enviable position of knowing exactly who his customers are, what they want, and why--and where--they want it. This has allowed him not only to become a successful franchisee with 92 water purification vending kiosks across the Houston area, but also to contribute to the community in an unusual way.
"Our freestanding structures, often in the middle of a parking lot at a shopping center, allow people to get purified water gallons at a time and 24 hours a day. This works especially well in Sun Belt states, like Texas, Florida, and California," he says.
"Our primary customer is a person from another country who didn't trust the water system where they grew up and so always had to drink purified water...

Feature Story:

Jim Lager Has Become A Successful Franchisee And Mentor  »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jim Lager is not one to brag about himself, he'd rather shift the focus to his businesses. Over the years he's become adept at building strong businesses and creating environments where people excel. He admits he's "pretty good at taking lousy businesses and turning them into something." And, he's quick to add, "I'm not a 'maintain' kind of guy--I hire people to maintain. But helping people succeed is something I want to be remembered for."
Lager, a U.S. Army veteran and natural entrepreneur, knew he wanted to start his own business and work in a hands-on environment after his military stint in Germany. Back home, he earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota through the GI Bill, then signed on as Snap-On Tools franchisee in Plano, Tex...

Feature Story:

Alvaro Garcia Is On The Grow! »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Alvaro Garcia already has 21 Jersey Mike's Subs locations in Southern California under his belt. And now he is in the midst of an aggressive 70-store development plan that matches an equally fierce work ethic.
The youngest of 10 children, Garcia was a teenager when he came to the United States from Managua, Nicaragua. He watched his single mother work ceaselessly at three jobs, seven days a week, including 12-hour shifts at a hospital on the weekend.
"She taught me to be honest, work hard, and not to depend on others," says Garcia, who got his start in the restaurant business (and his first job) at age 18 as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver in Alhambra, Calif. Within a year, he was managing that store and moved up the ranks quickly, first to supervisor and then to district manager...

Feature Story:

Nachhattar Chandi Beats Colossal Odds »

By Debbie Selinsky

Nachhattar Chandi says his story is one of overcoming "colossal odds" and the resulting "triumph" of coming to America to find success.
From walking 3 miles to school on India's dirt roads to founding and running a multimillion dollar business in his new country, Chandi believes his life embodies the American Dream. He came to the U.S. in 1991 and became a manager at a small gas station in Coachella, Calif. Three years later he owned the station and converted it into his first ARCO am/pm franchise.
Since then, Chandi, with his wife Susana and four children, has continued to build the business, creating hundreds of jobs in his Southern California communities. Today, the 43-year-old operates 17 ARCO am/pm locations, 3 Del Tacos, 6 Express Tunnel Car Washes, and one Subway...

Feature Story:

21 Going On 70: Taking A Deep Dive With Jersey Mike's Subs »

By Helen Bond

Alvaro Garcia epitomizes the proverbial American dream. With 21 Jersey Mike's Subs locations in Southern California already under his belt, Garcia is in the midst of an aggressive 70-store development plan that matches an equally fierce work ethic.
The youngest of 10 children, Garcia was a teenager when he came to the United States from Managua, Nicaragua. He watched his single mother work ceaselessly at three jobs, seven days a week, including 12-hour shifts at a hospital on the weekend.
"She taught me to be honest, work hard, and not to depend on others," says Garcia, who got his start in the restaurant business (and his first job) at age 18 as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver in Alhambra, Calif. Within a year, he was managing that store and moved up the ranks quickly, first to supervisor and then to district manager...

Feature Story:

To Protect And To Serve: Sam Anabi Has A Track Record Of Helping Others »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Sam Anabi has always gained satisfaction from helping others. The former La Verne, Calif. police officer found great fulfillment in law enforcement before an injury changed his career-path. He had actually purchased his first gas station back in 1991 while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. In 2001, Anabi left the force to focus on his gasoline retailing business. Today he operates more than 200 Shell stations in California, along with 10 Del Tacos and 13 Subways.
Anabi says his experience as a police officer has greatly influenced how he operates his business. "Being a police officer for so many years allowed me to become very keen and intuitive toward different circumstances of people," he says. "I believe that it is our responsibility to reach out and help those around us in need...

Feature Story:

Winning Hearts: Keeping It Simple At Golden Corral »

By Helen Bond

When David Gronewoller was asked to be part of this "Dominators" issue, the Golden Corral franchisee expressed sincere surprise. "There are a whole lot of people more deserving of this," he replied.
President of GC Partners, a Winston-Salem-based company that owns and operates 12 Golden Corral locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, Gronewoller is an employees' employer. With more than 20 years of franchise experience, he believes "more in the man than the method" in overseeing his family-style restaurants. This people-centered formula success has spilled over into the neighborhoods his restaurants serve.
Gronewoller's commitment to the community is far-reaching: in 2013, his restaurants served and delivered 1...

Feature Story:

First... And Still The Best: Don Smith Dominates The Oil Change Business »

By Helen Bond

Don Smith is an eternal optimist. And for Smith, the first and largest Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee, this positive outlook has paid off. Smith is CEO and co-founder of Boston area-based Henley Enterprises, which operates 197 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations coast-to-coast, with 20 more of the quick lube stores in the pipeline.
In 2012, he orchestrated the purchase and successful rebranding of 72 EZ Lube oil change service centers in Southern California, the largest single acquisition in industry history. The deal, which included many distressed properties and just as many naysayers (including within Valvoline) was a "big piece to bite off," says Smith.
"We went in a little bit blind, but we knew we could do it," he says...

Feature Story:

PuroClean Franchisee Thomas Maguire »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Thomas Maguire is a PuroClean franchisee in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His business has experienced success every year since he opened up 5 years ago. His business approach is to go above and beyond the call of duty by doing more - such as teaching his own continuing education classes, offering incentives to his employees, and helping other franchise owners. He's been recognized by the brand for his performance and growth.
He says, "I enjoy the satisfaction of putting someone's home or business back together for them and getting them back to the way that it was before the disaster."
Here's more about Thomas Maguire.

No. of units you own: 1
Age: 38
Family: Wife, Rosa, two daughters
Years in franchising: 5
Years in current position: 5

Personal:

Formative influences/events: My main influences consist of my education at the Citadel in South Carolina, serving our country through the U...

Feature Story:

Caring Couple: Longtime BrightStar Care Franchisees Flourish »

By Helen Bond

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather were married for just a year when they entered a new venture as franchisees in the home care field. The pair, who met on a Multiple Sclerosis charity cycling ride, make quite a team. Together they own five BrightStar Care locations through their Madison, Wisc.-based company, which consistently performs at the top of the brand's franchise chain.
"We knew we had great communication, but we sure didn't want to mess anything up," says Rather. "We went in with eyes wide open. The advice we got from other couples was to clearly define who is going to do what. Over the years, we have melded that a bit."
Tews, after 33 years in the banking and telecom industries, was seeking a change of pace from the corporate world...

Feature Story:

Brand Champion: Veteran Supercuts Franchisee Reflects On 35 Years »

By Eddy Goldberg

Brand Champion: Veteran Supercuts Franchisee Reflects on 35 Years

By Eddy Goldberg

Gary Grace's life in franchising has been marked by several major achievements and milestones, including the following:

Feature Story:

Community Come Together »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

There are two Checkers franchisees who believe that operating a business means being involved and giving back to the community. That's what partners Bruce Keehn and Andrew Lynn have been doing for years.
In 1996, when race riots ensued after a white police officer shot a 28-year-old black man in Paterson, N.J., news footage showed Checkers bags atop police cars, where Keehn and his people had placed them. In 2012, when Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey, their staff could be found everywhere giving away free Checkers food, even though one of their own restaurants had been hit hard.
"Everything that has happened in this area in the past 20 years, we've been there," says Keehn, who spent years at Burger King corporate before becoming a Checkers franchisee...

Feature Story:

Dominators Rule!: These Multi-Unit Operators Get It Done »

By Kerry Pipes

To celebrate and recognize the achievements of multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees, we again turn our annual focus to multi-unit franchisees we like to call "Dominators." They are determined to succeed and know how to get it done. They take on markets, competition, and the economy and keep on growing. They are fiercely competitive, want to be the best at what they do, and want the same for their management team and employees.
We've identified some great, savvy operators and are excited to bring their stories to you. We asked what drives them, what makes them tick, and what ticks them off. Each shares a unique tale of how they've traveled the rocky road to success, but all are united by hard work, hard knocks, and ultimate triumph.
This year's behind-the-scenes look at a group of thriving franchise owners tells us how--and why--they've made their business choices, how they've adapted to growth, and where they see themselves headed...

Feature Story:

Giving Back, Big-Time: Former Police Officer Still Assists Those In Need »

By Debbie Selinsky

Sam Anabi's time as a police officer in La Verne, Calif., laid the foundation for his business focus of helping those in need. He bought his first gas station in 1991, while still in training at the L.A. Sheriff's Academy. Injured in the line of duty, in 2001 Anabi left the force to focus on his gasoline retailing business. Today he operates more than 200 Shell stations in California, along with 10 Del Tacos and 13 Subways.
Anabi says his experience as a police officer has greatly influenced how he operates his business. "Being a police officer for so many years allowed me to become very keen and intuitive toward different circumstances of people," he says. "I believe that it is our responsibility to reach out and help those around us in need...

Feature Story:

Making The Cut »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Bobby and Lori Forrest came well-prepared for their second careers as multi-unit franchisees for Sport Clips. The couple grew up in Texas and met at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a degree in engineering technology and she earned her master's in land economics and real estate.
As they approached 50 and decided to begin building their own business, they looked no further than the place where he gets his haircuts. "I was a customer and I liked the concept," he says. "We also liked their conservative approach of having franchisees continue to work their regular jobs until the shop was up and running. It took the pressure off the first couple of years while we were learning."
So after 27 years in sales and management with electronic components distributor, Bobby retired and joined forces with Lori, a commercial real estate appraiser, to buy two corporate Sport Clips salons and open a third...



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