WACO, Texas – (Sept. 20, 2010) – Neighborly, formerly Dwyer Group, a holding company for seven residential and commercial franchise service brands, has awarded its 200thVetFran agreement to Lonnie and Nancy Oldham, who will open their own Mr. Rooter franchise this fall in San Angelo, Texas.
Established after the Gulf War by the late Don Dwyer Sr., founder of The Neighborly, the VetFran Program gives U.S. military veterans a discount towards the purchase of a franchise. Neighborly reintroduced the program after 9/11 and has since helped 200 men and women own their own business across their franchise brands, which include Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, The Ground Guys, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter and Rainbow International.
“This is a dream come true, 200 times and counting, for all of us at Neighborly and for everyone who supports the VetFran program,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, chairwoman and CEO of The Neighborly. “Honoring the brave men and women who have served our country and protected the very freedom under which we own and operate businesses across America is a testament to good ideas and doing what is right in life. We are incredibly proud of the veterans in our system and the chance to help them into the world of franchise ownership.”
A former Specialist E-5 with the U.S. Army, Lonnie Oldham served his country from 1966 to 1968 while stationed in Germany. Recently retired from a career as a welder, Oldham chose to invest in a Mr. Rooter franchise after learning about the discounts and incentives offered by the VetFran program. In total he saved more than $6,500 utilizing the VetFran program to purchase his franchise.
Oldham’s son Clayton, a former Mr. Rooter technician with more than 20 years of plumbing experience, will operate the new business. Clayton previously worked as a technician for the Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise in Midland, Texas for two years before deciding to open his own independent shop in 2001. But the lure of Mr. Rooter’s national brand and the chance to be part of a family-run business drew him back.
“Being part of a national company like Mr. Rooter gives us more support than I had as an independent, plus it creates value for our business,” said Clayton. “I really enjoyed my time as a technician at Mr. Rooter so when my Dad asked me to partner with him and run his service, it was an easy decision. We are extremely grateful the VetFran program allowed us this incredible opportunity to open our own franchise.”
Neighborly, based in Waco, Texas, is a holding company of seven franchise businesses, each selling and supporting a different franchise under the following service marks: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys™, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor in the UK and Portugal), and Rainbow International®. Collectively, these independent franchise concepts offer customers world-wide a broad base of residential and commercial services. Neighborly is a portfolio company of The Riverside Company, a private equity firm with offices in New York, Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco. For more information on The Neighborly, or its franchise concepts, visit the company’s web site at www.dwyergroup.com.