As part of its partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, VetFran exhibited at the March 15 Capital One sponsored Job Fair for Veterans and military spouses at the Washington D.C. Convention Center. IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira and soon to be veteran franchise owner Wade Franklin were interviewed by WMZQ, a Washington area country station with a large veteran audience that broadcast live from the fair. IFA’s Kevin Blanchard and Josh Merin spoke to veterans about ownership and employment in franchising. Blanchard, a recent veteran said “It is an honor to be in a position of offering resources and explaining current franchising opportunities to other veterans.”
Wade Franklin served seven years in the Navy including deployments to Japan, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Leaving the military, Franklin dreamed of owning his own business saying “One good thing about the Navy is they really taught me how to make good decisions and how to manage things, and I felt ‘Hey, I want to take a chance on myself.” Wade saw that The UPS Store was waiving the franchise fee for veterans as part of VetFran’s Operation Enduring Opportunity, giving him the chance to open his own business. “I don’t have business experience, but in franchising they give you the support.” Franklin will open his Arlington, VA UPS Store in April and hopes to begin hiring his fellow veterans.
Kevin Schmiegel, Executive Director of Hiring Our Heroes singled out IFA in his remarks which kicked off the event. Schmiegel thanked Caldeira for IFA’s commitment to veterans and VetFran’s leadership in the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. Mr. Schmiegel told the audience that franchising has been a major part of the progress the campaign has made.