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Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting, and Meineke Car Care Centers have recently received the honor of being named as two of the top franchise opportunities for veterans. Entrepreneur Magazine, in their October/November issue, ranked Maaco 11th and Meineke 36th.
“We are very proud to support our nation’s veterans for their military service and are honored to be recognized for that support,” said Ted Rippey, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development. “Both the Maaco and Meineke brands have long been supporters of our nation’s military veterans and have many franchise owners who are veterans themselves.”
Discipline, Determination and Leadership Skills Help Lead to Success for Veteran Owners
Jeff Nichols, owner of the Maaco center in Lynchburg, VA, served in the U.S. Army National Guard as a forward observer in Bosnia.
“The military taught me discipline, drive and determination,” said Nichols. “The leadership training and experience has definitely benefited me in leading my team here at Maaco. The military also teaches you to think as a team member, not as an individual, and that is important in an operation like ours, where each person depends on the other team members to produce the results needed to meet the customer’s expectations.”
Nichol’s team of 13 employees operates like a well-oiled machine. They repair or paint about 120 cars a month on average, and last year was their best year to date. Nichols is shooting for a $2 million year in 2020.
“We had a stellar year last year, and this year we were on track to break that record before the pandemic hit,” said Nichols. “Fortunately, through the pandemic we never closed, never ran out of work and kept everyone employed. The fact that the Maaco business model is a three-legged stool—fleet work, collision repair and auto painting — helps keep us steady in tough times. At first the fleet and collision work slowed down, but the painting kept us busy. Now the fleet and collision work has returned, and we are swamped!”
Nichols offers a year-round discount for all active and retired military and first responders. Nichols recommends Maaco as a great opportunity for other veterans.
“Being a Maaco franchisee can be very rewarding, both personally and financially,” said Nichols. “You can be an independent business owner with the support of a 500-plus store network. It also allows you to have the freedom to maintain a good work and family balance.”
Maaco and Meineke Give Back to Our Nation’s Veterans
Dave Repass, Meineke’s 2018 Franchisee of the Year, and owner of the Meineke Car Care center in Lewes, DE, is well known for his support of veterans.
Like many franchise owners, he offers free oil changes to veterans and active military on Veterans Day. What is remarkable however, is how many his team performs.
“We are proud to honor those who sacrifice for their country by providing free oil changes each Veteran’s Day,” said Repass. “It’s our way of giving back to those who serve. Last Veteran’s Day we performed 352 oil changes, and we hope to top that this year.”
Proven Playbooks for Franchisees
Frank Pugh, Maaco franchisee in High Point, NC, served in the United States Air Force for 15 years. He was deployed to the Middle East during the first Gulf War and served as a Captain. When he was considering whether it was time to transition out or not, his brother, who was a car guy, calle
d him and asked him “what do you think about opening a Maaco?” And the rest, as they say, is history.
Pugh and his brother opened their Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting center in 1996 in Washington State. Years later, Pugh moved to High Point and opened a new Maaco location there.
“Being a Maaco franchisee is a great opportunity for a veteran, and it has been a good one for me,” said Pugh. “When you invest in a franchise, you are basically purchasing their experience and a successful system. Maaco has a long history of success in this industry, and a proven playbook. If you follow the playbook, you can be successful.”