On Veterans Day, the IFA marked the one year anniversary of Operation Enduring Opportunity, a campaign to hire and recruit 75,000 military members and 5,000 wounded warriors by the end of 2014. International Franchise Association is well on its way to fulfilling the commitment made by the franchise industry to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to enable veterans to find employment at home.
IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira appeared on FOX Business Monday to show how the franchise industry has done its part in ensuring veterans don’t have to fight for a job when they return from the battlefield and explain why veterans make a good fit for franchising.
Since Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign began in 2011, 64,880 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising, including 4,314 new veteran franchise business owners, according to a new report from the IFA prepared by Franchise Business Review. “These results are a great step forward toward the IFA’s goal and we must keep up the momentum to enable those who have served and sacrificed to fulfill their dreams and find meaningful careers here at home,” says Caldeira.
With more than 1 million veterans returning home by 2015, the IFA plans to keep up the momentum to answer the call made by the White House. Veterans are used to systems and structures and if you look and what makes franchising successful, it requires the same skills,” Caldeira told Fox. “Now we have the research to show that franchising is good for veterans and veterans are good for franchising.
A new video, From Honor to Owner, highlighting the industry’s efforts, premiered at IFA Veterans Day events in Atlanta, Austin, St. Paul and San Antonio, where IFA members and prominent leaders joined together to honor the nation’s veterans and recognize the progress the that has been made in fighting veteran unemployment through franchise ownership and employment opportunities. (See below for highlights and photos of the events.).
In San Antonio, SBA Administrator Karen Mills joined the franchise industry to showhow the SBA has helped veterans start, grow and expand small businesses. Mary Kennedy Thompson, President, Mr. Rooter, and a Marine, and Mike Rozman, Co-President and Chief Strategy Officer, BoeFly, were alongside new Lenny’s Sub Shop owner Maj. Cody Roberson (USAR) and new WIN Home Inspection owner SSG Shilo Harris (US Army, Ret.) to celebrate veteran owned franchise businesses while emphasizing the need to continue this important effort.
In Atlanta, attendees gathered at the State Capitol on November 8th for a presentation of the Color/Honor Guard and speeches from Governor Nathan Deal, Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator, IV US Small Business Administration and Joe Lindenmayer, President TSS Photography and incoming Chairman of OFA’s VetFran committee.
In Austin, veterans were joined at the State Capitol by US Rep, John “Judge” Carter and State Representative Charles Schwertner who emphasized the importance to expand the opportunities available for veterans to ensure veterans are able to make productive transition to civilian life. Gordon Logan, Founder and CEO of Sport Clips, who has been involved in the VetFran program for 10 years and has over 12% of franchisees as veterans, spoke about the importance to recognize the service and commitment made by each veteran.
St. Paul, Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives along with veteran owners from Mr. Appliance and Aire Serve, gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda to honor our nation’s veterans and mark the one year anniversary of Operation Enduring Opportunity and the huge strides that have been made for veterans.
Veterans Day 2013 Media Hits
- Helping veterans with “Operation Enduring Opportunity” (Fox Business, November 12, 2013)
- Valpak Opens Doors for Veterans (Mesquite Citizen, November 13, 2012)
- Alabamians should lead the way in support of returning veterans (Alabama Press-Register, November 13, 2012)
- The Place Where Veterans Found 64,000 Jobs (Forbes, November 12, 2012)
- Veterans Finding New Opportunities in Franchising Post-Service (Fox Business.com, November 12, 2012)
- Veterans jumping into franchising (Phoenix Business Journal, November 12, 2012)
- Veterans Day Recognizes Those Who Served America, but Will America Help Them Transition to Civilian Life? (Huffington Post, November 12, 2012)
- Abate Discusses Veteran-Owned Fund (Hays Advantage, Bloomberg Radio, November 13, 2012)
- Every day is Veterans Day at Big O (Modern Tire Dealer, November 12, 2012)
- Report: Franchising Industry Has Hired Over 60,000 Veterans Since 2011 (Yahoo Finance, November 8, 2012)
- From Battlefield to the Business World — Veterans Make It on Their Own (The Street, November 12, 2012)
- Operation Enduring Opportunity Reaches Georgetown (The Georgetown Dish, November 11, 2012)
- Thinking of starting a business? (Omaha World-Herald, November 10, 2012)
- International Staffing Firm Partners with VetFran to Incentivize Franchise Ownership for Military Veterans (ExpressPros.com, November 8, 2012)
- A Salute to the Franchise World on Veteran’s Day (Texas Franchise Lawyer, November 12, 2012)
- Veterans Get Help Becoming Business Owners (Fox 29 San Antonio, November 12, 2012)
- Veterans Get Help Starting Businesses (KUT Austin, November 12, 2012)
- A Veteran’s Success Story (ABC 5 Minneapolis, November 12, 2012)
- SBA, IFA Court Veterans, (NuWire Investor, November 13, 2012)
- Campaign helping connect returning veterans with franchises (NJBiz, November 13, 2012)
- Veterans Get Help Becoming Business Owners (FOX 29, November 13, 2012)
- Helping vets become small business owners; Interview with Steve Caldeira (Federal New Radio, November 16, 2012)