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2018 Rockstar Franchise Owners

The great Bill Rosenberg, founder of both Dunkin' Donuts and co-founder of the International Franchise Association, once said, “You can't have a successful franchisor without successful franchisees.”

Rosenberg had a deep understanding and appreciation for the significant role that hard working, high performing franchisees played. These are the people that make franchising happen each and every day.

At Franchise Business Review, we have a simple name for these successful individuals – we simply call them Rockstar Franchisees.

We analyzed our research from over 27,000 franchisee surveys, across more than 300 leading franchise brands, to identify the best of the best in franchising today. We narrowed our search to just a few hundred candidates - successful franchise owners very much worthy of the title of rockstar.

“There are some many fantastic success stories out there; it was painful to narrow our list down to just 50 Rockstar Franchisees,” said Michelle Rowan, President of Franchise Business Review. “There were hundreds of deserving business owners. In the end, we picked 50 that really stood out. Franchisees that not only excel in their businesses, but provide strong leadership within their franchise organizations and their local communities.”

We asked a few of our winners to tell us about their franchise experience, and to share any advice they have for others considering investing in a franchise. Here’s what they had to say…

Ken Jenson
Amada Senior Care of Colorado Springs, CO

“Learn the systems of your new franchise. Amada taught me everything. I had never been in medical sales so I had no idea what I was doing. They taught me who to market to, how to market, and when to market. You need to learn all of the differentiators between you and your competition. Work hard. Plan to do what it takes to be successful. Sometimes it takes working 7 days a week.”

Steve Trout
Brightway Insurance of Rockledge, FL

“Being a part of the Brightway Insurance franchise has been a great experience during my seven years with the company. With a franchise like Brightway, you get the benefit of being part of a national brand and enjoy comprehensive business support including customer service, carrier relationships, marketing, accounting and technology. As a result, I’m able to focus on my customers, and growing my business while outselling other independent agents three-to-one."

Brian and Nola Klaubert
Christian Brothers Automovite of Alparetta, Suwanee, and Dacula, GA

“We’re so proud of having been able to be there for our kids as they went through school and college… not being consumed in our business. We provided a high quality education for them, and a great lifestyle for our family. The harder times we went through in the earlier years were a great example for our children, and we’re very proud of the adults that they are becoming. Owning a small business in the growth stage can be a great incubator for children.”

Chris Mehalic
Truly Nolen of Charlotte, NC

“Few things are more satisfying than observing the professional growth of your employees. Candidly, it’s not something I had expected when embarking into entrepreneurship some years ago. I’ve derived significant fulfillment from job creation, training and promotion, and from seeing the pride in the eyes of our people (and their families) as they advance their careers and realize professional goals.”

Lindsay Verdun
TSS Photography of Peoria, IL

“What I love most about TSS Photography is that we truly have a family atmosphere. Our franchisors are amazing and always make us feel like a valuable part of the team. We have so many colleagues we now call friends. Being able to share your own knowledge on professional levels, and offer an ear and compassions on personal matters as well – the relationships we have developed in this business keep us going.”

Jonathan Shelson
MaidPro of Thornhill, Ontario

“Starting a new business isn’t easy. A franchise will provide you with systems and most importantly, support. Through coaching, marketing, and other means, your franchisor is your expert business partner. I couldn’t imagine my business surviving without the support of the MaidPro Home Office and the other MaidPro owners.”

Jane and Tom McElhaney
Our Town America of Charlotte, NC & Columbia, SC

“Investing in a franchise is a wise decision, but choosing the right franchise is the key to your success. Do your homework and investigate the type of franchise model that you would see as a vocation. Talk to other franchisees, get input, and have them share the experiences they’ve had. In the Our Town America franchise system, the franchisees pull together to contribute to each other’s success. It’s like one big family helping and looking out for each other.”

Frank Sprinkles
AtWork Personnel of Sedalia, MO

“What sets AtWork Personnel apart… Leadership, awareness, support, and an awesome group of owners and support staff to move the franchise forward into the ever-changing staffing world!”

Heather and Seth Allison
American Poolplayers Association of Reno and Carson City, NV

“Before purchasing the APA franchise, I had always envisioned starting a business where myself, my husband, and my parents could work together—a true “family owned and operated” venture. Since none of us had experience owning a business, and since all of us came from totally different professional backgrounds, the challenge was finding something that worked for all of us, something that could incorporate each of our strengths. The APA franchise was a perfect fit.”

Kimberly Lombardi
Pizza Factory of Phelan, CA

“A franchise is similar to raising a child. Be prepared to love, nurture and go through the growing pains from birth to maturity. Expect to enjoy all the excitement it will bring, and don’t let the adversity get you down. Set realistic goals and take positive steps every day to make the goals come to fruition. Watch what other successful people do and emulate it. Be excited and passionate about what your business will do for your community, take all the knowledge and expertise your Franchisor gives to you, and run with it. Investing in a franchise means you do not have to ‘go it alone.’ You will get a family-like support system surrounding you.”

Phil Bacon
FASTSIGNS of Chattanooga, TN

“To think about where we were when we started, and to look at our center now, is pretty amazing. But I am more proud that we have taken our employees with us. They have started families, bought houses, able to purchase medical insurance for themselves and their families. We like that we not only grew the business, but also a bunch of families. Proud to be in the top 5 centers in the world. There are a lot of good owners and operators that we admire. To think we can hang out with that group is pretty amazing.”

Jason and Simon Courtney
Office Pride of Pensacola, FL

“We have the privilege of getting to know so many of the franchisees and visiting their locations, and to see how hard everyone works and how much effort we all put in. To be acknowledged this year as the Franchisee who has demonstrated the best overall performance in sales and continued growth, customer and employee satisfaction, contribution to Office Pride’s corporate brand development and reflection of Office Pride’s Core Values and Mission Statement. We have strived to give back as much as we have been given, and this feels like we are doing that.”

Additional Rockstar Franchisees for 2018!

  • Brian Anderson, FirstLight Homecare of Ft. Myers, FL
    Learn more about Brian.
  • Tracy Bouwens, Scooter's Coffee of Kansas City, MO
  • Robert and Toni Button, 30 Minute Hit of Montreal, QC
  • Tim Campbell (in memoriam), Big Frog Custom T-Shirts of Cumming and John's Creek, GA
  • Curtis Burton and Kevin Hannabery, Pinch A Penny of Bradenton, FL
  • Doug DeVilbiss, Donatos Pizza of Washington Court House and WIlmington, OH
  • Tom and Beth Ditter, Surface Specialists of Las Vegas, NV
  • Allison Dunn, ActionCOACH of Boise, ID
  • Cadie Gaut, Payroll Vault of Mobile, AL
  • Richard and Claudia Gonzales, Young Rembrandts of East San Gabriel, CA
  • Bob Harms, Huntington Learning Center of Plantation and West Pembroke, FL
    Learn more about Bob.
  • Rob Hearden, Fazoli's Restaurants of Memphis, TN CA
  • Jennifer and Matt Hundley, Just Between Friends of North Bay, CA
  • Meg and Greg Kevane, Goldfish Swim School of Fort Washington and Oaks, PA & Mount Laurel, NJ
  • Charles and Jesse Keyser, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning of St. Louis, MO
  • Andy Kurth, Weed Man Lawn Care of Madison, WI
  • Dan LaBrake, HouseMaster of Tulsa, OK
    Learn more about Dan.
  • Trisha and Brandon Lohman, Wild Birds Unlimited of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, VA
  • Brandon Long, Weichert Realtors of Bentonville, Springdale, Fayetteville and Fort Smith, AR
  • Renee Mansour, Minuteman Press of Bend, OR
  • Timothy and Jill Meade, CertaPro of Reading, Lancaster, and York, PA
  • Charlie Meyer, California Closets of Indianapolis, IN
  • William Newkirk, Kitchen Solvers of Clearwater, FL
  • John Peters, Wendy's of Colorado Springs, CO
  • Geoff Pezon, Soccer Shots of Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY
  • Mark Phillips, Sanford Rose Associates of Boulder, CO
  • Kim Rood, WOW 1 Day Painting of Toronto, ON
  • Si Rose, Buffalo Wings and Rings of Cincinnati, OH
  • Brian Rose, Remedy Intelligent Staffing of Florida, Georgia, and Kansas
  • Brittany Schmid, Dale Carnegie of San Diego and Bay Area, CA
    Learn more about Brittany.
  • Mike and Kay Simmons, Miracle Method of Marietta, GA
  • Brad and Stephanie Simon, Mosquito Joe of Arkansas
  • Darrick Stirling, U.S. Lawns of Kansas City, MO and Overland Park, KS
  • Mark Sylvester, CarePatrol of Northern Arizona
    Hear our exclusive interview with Mark.
  • Brad Vander Ley, N2 Publishing of Larkspur, CO
  • Pete Wilson, Window Genie of West Chester, OH
    Learn more about Pete.
  • Winnie Woody, TGA Premier Sports of Mercer County, NJ
  • Michael Ziegenbalg, Dream Vacations of Jasper, GA