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Honoring American Veterans

By Lillyan Baker

Franchising World April 2011

With Veteran’s Day  just around the corner, what better time to honor American Veterans. A year ago, Franchising World contacted Mr. Appliance in search for a veteran who not only gave to our county, but continues to give through supporting a franchise business and their community. Matt Sarkela, owner of Mr. Appliance of Wilmington, really shows his red, white and Mr. Appliance blue and orange with his franchise in Wilmington, N.C.

From Military Veteran to Franchise Owner

From fixing fridges to diagnosing dishwashers, Matt Sarkela always finds time to support and salute veterans. Sarkela’s expert appliance repair business, Mr. Appliance of Wilmington in Leland, N.C., not only provides quality, professional service to his customers, but also serves as a medium for him to reach out to disabled veterans.

“People who have served our country gave everything to defend us,” Sarkela said. “Through my business, I can make   sure that soldiers are taken care of so their sacrifices don’t go unnoticed.”
Sarkela’s passion to extend a helping salute derives from his five years of service in the U.S. Marine Corps, where teamwork, leadership and perseverance not only taught him how to be successful in the military, but how to be successful in business, too.

Through associations like his local Junior Reserves Officer’s Training Corps and Step Up For Soldiers, non-profit organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans, Sarkela has the opportunity to give back to everyday heroes in his community.

The ability for Sarkela to provide hope to veterans and future leaders of tomorrow is all made possible thanks to the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program. Three years ago, Sarkela ran a local appliance repair business, but strived to be a part of a franchise based on proven systems and structure. Through VetFran, he discovered the world-class, frontline service provided by Mr. Appliance and knew it was the right franchise for him.

The technology, systems, training and support in place helped Sarkela see that he could now deliver faster, more reliable service to his existing customer base.
“By VetFran leading me to Mr. Appliance, I have transformed my repair   business into an expert appliance repair business,” Sarkela said. “My staff shows quality customer service from the very first call to thanking the customer after we follow up on our services.”

Sarkela credits that getting the right people in the right positions makes all the difference. From his lead technician to his customer service representative, Sarkela has surrounded himself with team members that served in the Army and Air Force, that know that a proven process often leads to desired results.

“I am blessed™because everyday I feel excited to open the business and be able to work with people I love and respect,” Sarkela said.

From serving his county to serving the community, Sarkela is thankful for VetFran for not only changing his business and his life, but for providing the opportunity where he can change   the lives of others. “I now understand what™America™and™freedom are all about,” Sarkela said. “It’s not just™freedom™to watch television or the opportunity to drive your dream car, but it is the freedom™to take™advantage™of your™talents™and become who you want to be. Thanks to VetFran, I am now the American I have always wanted to be.”

Mr. Appliance, North America’s leading appliance repair franchise system, provides full-service residential and light commercial appliance repair. The franchise has more than 150 locations throughout the United States and Canada and is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc.

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