Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting has been a longtime supporter of the nation’s veterans.
Earlier this year, U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC 8th District), a champion of North Carolina’s military members and veterans’ issues, recognized Maaco for its program of helping military members become business owners with a letter of commendation. Colonel Bob Benjamin, U.S. Army (ret.), president of Maaco, accepted on behalf of the entire Maaco organization.
Benjamin, a 30-year veteran, has a special appreciation for veterans and a passion for helping them transition to civilian life. Maaco has more than 40 veterans as franchise owners or managers, and many more veterans employed as technicians.
“We are proud to offer a program that helps veterans transition into civilian life,” said Benjamin. “Here they can apply the skills they have learned in the military – like leadership, planning, task-oriented performance and team management – toward ownership of their own business.”
Speaking with some of the veterans who have become successful Maaco owners, they confirm that military service is a great benefit for veterans wanting to become independent Maaco franchisees.
Yinka Ogunsanya, retired U.S. Army Major, opened his Maaco center in San Antonio, Texas in 2017 after a 15-year career in the military. Ogunsanya led a platoon in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now leads a team of nine technicians.
“The things that you learn in the military – leadership, determination, process – all help you to be successful in this business as well,” said Ogunsanya. “Your experience and skills not only help you become a successful owner, but they also help those who want to become technicians. We reach out to veterans through our local advertising and on social media as they make great employees for us.”
Bill Capel, a successful Maaco owner from Rock Hill, S.C., served his country in Vietnam as a U.S. Army helicopter door gunner. As a military veteran, Capel has advice for other veterans and transitioning service members who want to become business owners.
“In the service, we learn the skills and discipline that translate to success in business,” said Capel. “Discipline, planning, leadership – those are the factors that translate from military service to business success. As a Maaco franchise owner, you are leading every day – leading your team, the workflow and the process, all with the goal of satisfying customers.”
Tim Ciri, owner of the Maaco repair center in Vancouver, Wash., served in the U.S. Navy as a machinist mate on a nuclear submarine in the western Pacific. As someone who has always had a love for cars and a mechanical aptitude, Ciri qualified for machinist mate in less time than most. After his military service, Maaco was a great transition opportunity for Ciri.
Ciri purchased his Maaco franchise from the former owner four years ago. In the years since becoming an owner, he won the Maaco Rookie of the Year award. This year, he won the prestigious Syl Young award.
“Veterans have built-in standards and work ethic that help make them successful in endeavors such as business ownership,” said Ciri. “They are also used to following procedures. Maaco provides owners a playbook to follow, and if you can follow it, you can be successful.”
Joe Johnson is a successful multi-franchise owner for Driven Brands, with franchise locations for Meineke Car Care Centers, 1-800 Radiator and his Maaco location. After he retired from active duty as a Colonel in the U.S. Army after 23 years of service, he visited a friend who owned a Maaco franchise and liked what he saw in the Maaco business model.
“I liked what Maaco had to offer,” said Johnson. “I liked the training and support that they provide new owners, but mostly what I liked was the profitability potential. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially veterans. Your leadership skills and adherence to standards are elements that will help you to be successful.”
Maaco encourages veteran entrepreneur ownership by offering a new franchisee who qualifies as a veteran a 75 percent reduction on the initial franchise fee and a substantial reduction on the royalty fees during the first two years of a new Maaco Center’s operations.
Maaco offers all new franchisees the benefit of a proven playbook backed by 47 years of experience in the automotive repair and painting industry, a training program second to none and ongoing operational support.
Maaco plans to participate in job fairs and special events at many of the country’s military bases to get the word out and meet with military members who are completing their active duty and looking forward to their next career.
To learn more about franchising opportunities with Maaco, visit www.franchisewithmaaco.com.