(Oaks, Pennsylvania) - When one typically hears of military-to-civilian career stories, the focus is predominately on the challenges they face when obtaining employment. According to the United States Department of Labor, of the 722,000 unemployed veterans in 2013, 60 percent of them were over the age of 45. Rather than starting from the bottom, many veterans are finding small business ownership as a more efficient route to meet their employment and financial needs. CertaPro Painters, based in Oaks, Pennsylvania, is North America's largest residential and commercial painting company and they have taken the stress out of the process of opening one's own business for former military personnel.

"We are proud to support our veterans however we possibly can," says Peter Barkman, VP of franchise development, "their honest and disciplined work ethic falls directly in line with the goals and overall mission of our company."

CertaPro is one of the many companies that provide all honorably discharged veterans with a 10 percent discount off its franchise fee through VetFran, a program which provides training, financial assistance, and support for service members returning home from duty. For New Orleans residents John and Kathy Durbin, and Tom Thoma in Fairfax, Virginia, the transition from the military to business ownership has been challenging, yet rewarding.

John Durbin served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 25 years. His wife, Kathy, worked with a Department of Defense contractor for 13. Feeling as though they had both reached the pinnacle of their military careers the couple decided to move onto their next venture and in August of 2014, opened a CertaPro franchise in New Orleans.

Over the course of 11 years, Tom Thoma built an impressive resume serving in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. However, everything changed in 2007 was Thoma was diagnosed with melanoma. Now, he has a clean bill of health, but the battle with cancer gave Thoma a different perspective on life. "There were just too many other things I wanted to pursue," Thoma said. "Even though I really enjoyed the opportunities I was given in the Navy, I realized it was time to settle down."

Both the Durbin's and Thoma have found that CertaPro Painters offers a unique model that fits the wants, needs, and desires of military personnel seeking new careers and opportunities. Through proven business methodologies, industry best practices, low overhead and inventory costs, and a support network of likeminded franchise owners committed to helping one another succeed through sharing their experiences and advice, both the Durbin's and  Tom Thoma feel as though they will be able to thrive in their new endeavors.

Another example is Kevin Messer and his wife Laurie of Madison, Alabama.

After over 20 years as a Lt. Colonel in the Army and program and project manager on an aviation platform, Kevin Messer leveraged his experience in team building and customer service to open CertaPro Painters of Madison, Alabama with wife Laurie in May of this year.  The couple, the parents of eight children, decided it was time to settle down with an alternative retirement plan and start a business of their own.

"My experiences in the military have taught me how to use my strengths well, delegate tasks, and perform to the best of my ability," said Messer. "After much research, I realized that CertaPro had a business model that would support and coach me on being a first-time business owner, so I decided this would be a great next step for me and my family."

"Our family has moved around all over the country due to my position in the military, and I decided that as my children got older I wanted to create a more stable home environment for them," said Messer. "I'm excited to open a business where I can continue to serve my community and feel fulfilled about the work that I am doing."

Currently, CertaPro has over 20 franchises owned and operated by veterans, allowing the Durbin's and Thoma access to a network of business owners who share their backgrounds. CertaPro is also a national partner with Homes For Our Troops - a non-profit organization that builds specifically adapted homes for veterans who have been severely injured in combat operations. 


About CertaPro Painters

Founded in 1991, CertaPro is the largest residential and commercial painting company in North America with over 350 locations. By consistently providing customers with an extraordinary experience, CertaPro has become the most referred painting company in the US and Canada. CertaPro franchisees establish large-scale, regional painting companies backed by CertaPro's proven business system making it a great fit for seasoned business professionals looking for a franchise opportunity. In addition, CertaPro is proud to participate in the VetFran program by offering Veteran Franchise Opportunities to military veterans (US Only). CertaPro also offers financing at a preferred rate for qualified veterans. For more information, visit www.certapro.com. Or for franchising information, visit http://certapro-franchise.com/






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