WACO, TEXAS -- This Veterans Day is special for Mr. Rooter Corporation and its parent company, The Dwyer Group, as they celebrate a milestone moment for the VetFran Program.
The founding company of this program awarded its 200th VetFran agreement to Clayton Oldham and his parents Lonnie and Nancy. They own the Mr. Rooter Plumbing of San Angelo franchise in Texas.
“We are extremely grateful for the VetFran program,” Clayton Oldham said. “It allowed us this incredible opportunity to open our own Mr. Rooter franchise.”
The VetFran program gives incentives and discounts towards the purchase of a franchise to honorably discharged U.S. veterans. The late Don Dwyer Sr., founder of The Dwyer Group, started this program after the Gulf War. The Dwyer Group reintroduced the program after 9/11.
“This is a dream come true, 200 times and counting, for all of us at The Dwyer Group and for everyone who supports the VetFran program,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group. “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, Lonnie Oldham served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1968, while stationed in Germany. Using the VetFran program to purchase a Mr. Rooter franchise saved his family $6,500.
He heard about the plumbing company from his son. Clayton Oldham was a plumber for the Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise in Midland, Texas, for two years before he opened a shop of his own.
With more than 20 years of plumbing experience, he couldn’t pass up the chance to go into business with his father, who recently retired from a career as a welder. The younger Oldham also sees this as a tribute to his late grandfather, who was a World War II veteran.
“My grandpa was a dedicated countryman, and he would be happy to see his legacy living on in our business,” he said. “I really enjoyed my time as a technician at Mr. Rooter Plumbing so when my Dad asked me to partner with him, it was an easy decision.”
It was a decision Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation, agrees with. A former Marine, she now serves as vice chairwoman of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran Committee.
“Helping veterans transition into entrepreneurship is a great way for us to tell them ‘thank you’ for serving our nation,” Thompson said. “Veterans make great franchisees. They know how to follow systems, and they are disciplined. We are delighted the Oldham family joined our Mr. Rooter Plumbing team.”