During a 20-year military career, Lt. Colonel Mike Mullins, USAF (Ret.) served his country with the utmost honor. So it was only fitting that the Pillar To Post Home Inspectors® franchisee was recognized by Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, in her address to the International Franchise Association convention in San Antonio in February.
The 47-year-old Mullins (pictured above) retired from the Air Force in 2011 and in September 2015 became a franchisee of the largest home inspection company in North America serving San Antonio and surrounding areas.
This disciplined military man did his homework. According to his research done through the IFA, one in seven franchisees is a former veteran. He also learned that 5000 U.S. veterans have become franchisees in the past three years. Impressive numbers for a thorough man like Mullins.
He retired from the military as a decorated veteran, earning a Bronze Star for heroic service in a combat zone in Iraq.At the end of his military service, Lt. Colonel Mullins was in Washington briefing senior military leaders at the Pentagon. When he finally transitioned out to watch his kids grow up, he searched for a way to apply his military discipline and leadership training. Becoming a Pillar To Post Home Inspector helped him apply many of the disciplines from his years in the military. Mullins said, “the following are the major skills I learned in the military that I apply today to my business. And I think this is why veterans do so well as franchisees; respect, initiative, patience, organization, teamwork and risk tolerance.”
Another star former military franchisee is Steve Rotay of Paul Davis. He signed his agreement in 2000 for one area and has since grown to 70 employees and operates a number of territories stretching through New Jersey and Philadelphia. The well known restoration giant has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and disasters for 50 years.
According to Rotay, the marines taught him discipline and strength pure and simple. But it was his next step in life working in sales for a Swiss company that really helped him learn how to set up his hugely successful Paul Davis franchise.
“In a global company,” said Rotay, “there is little room for excuses and the pace is fast. This company operated in 26 countries and was managed from Switzerland. Results and statistics were gathered and shared with everyone. We were constantly accountable for our actions and performance and had to project to a tee our planned objectives and performance for the following quarter and year. Transferring that work experience to my Paul Davis life was invaluable. I had the skill of developing a plan with short term measuring points. I was able to set weekly goals and not be distracted by “noise” that would prevent me from achieving my objective. That along with the discipline and mental toughness learned in the Marine Corps, brought my Paul Davis franchise to where it is today.”
Both Rotay and Mullins were set on “doing the right thing” and working and giving back to their respective communities. In fact, Rotay ended his career with the Swiss company due to the fact that they wanted him to take his family and move to California to become the president of their U.S. office. Even with that huge opportunity offered, Rotay and his family had permanent roots in their New Jersey/Philadelphia with extended family and many friends. His exit from his global job brought him to purchase his Paul Davis franchise and he and his employees continue to give back to his community.
Amie Reynolds and her brother Anthony Nicola have owned their CertaPro Painters® since 2011. CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America, servicing both residential and commercial properties. Before opening their franchise the two former active duty Army officers did their research because they weren’t willing to work with just any company.
“We limited our search to veteran-friendly companies,” said Reynolds. “We were very excited about the concept CertaPro Painters offered!”
Along with everything else that goes into running a business, the siblings have made sure to incorporate their loyalty to their fellow veterans. “We are very involved with Homes for Our Troops,” said Reynolds. “We donate the interior painting services to all their homes that are built in the San Antonio area.”
“In five years we will have several sales associates working with us and ten painting crews,” said Reynolds. “We will be very involved in the community doing such things as sponsoring teams, working with cities to beautify their communities, and volunteering our time with local charities.”
Although every new business has its ups and downs, Reynolds said servicing the NE San Antonio area has paid off as the Texas economy has grown. “The housing market in Texas is booming and it is fun to be involved in helping people create their dream home,” said Reynolds.