It’s time to support our veterans on this Memorial Day
When I see the Stars and Stripes, I see America standing tall and strong and proud behind her servicemen and women. And, I thank God for them and our great country they have served and fought for to preserve our way of life. As a Vietnam-era veteran and member of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran Committee, it’s time we franchisors renew our commitment to support Operation Enduring Opportunity, the IFA’s campaign to recruit and to hire 75,000 veterans and spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors as franchise business owners and team members by 2014. We launched the strategic initiative all across the country in November 2011, and our press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta was a memorable success. I’ve always said that veterans make great candidates for franchise ownership—where else are you going to find people who were willing to take a bullet in their last job? Veterans bring leadership, discipline, and hard work to our franchising way of life. One veteran who brings leadership, discipline, and hard work to his job is my friend and VetFran Committee Chair, Joe Lindenmayer, of TSS Photography. Joe was recently in the news for his efforts working with the Small Business Administration and its Veteran Pledge Initiative to collectively increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. At a joint VetFran and SBA event, Joe was quoted: “VetFran boasts a record 579 franchise companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in franchise ownership and there are no shortage of veterans interested in franchising, with the VetFran Directory receiving over 44,000 hits a month. Where the equation all too often breaks down is access to credit. The goal of the Veteran Pledge Initiative is to close the lending gap, a problem which is preventing many otherwise worthy veterans from becoming franchisees and leaders in the civilian economy.” I proudly salute Joe because he is making a difference as our VetFran Committee Chair. Once again, I urge our franchising community to stand with Joe and to support our veterans through the IFA’s Operation Enduring Opportunity.