Vets Small Business Independence Day

The Grounds Guys, a commercial and residential landscaping management service, and its parent company, The Dwyer Group, joined the International Franchise Association in celebrating Veterans Small Business Independence Day, a national event celebrated by more than 60 companies in 12 cities, according to information released by The Dwyer Group.

Derek and Maureen Paulk, owners of The Grounds Guys of San Marcos, Texas, spoke in front of the State Capital Building in Austin about their transition from military fighter pilots to landscape management franchise owners.  The couple met while deployed in Iraq and decided to go into landscaping and grounds care after their return to the U.S.

At the ceremonial event, The Dwyer Group announced new tools available from the IFA to put veterans back to work, including a VetFran Toolkit and a Veterans Mentor Network. VetFran is an IFA program offering financial incentives to veterans in franchising.

Wounded warrior and motivational speaker Shilo Harris ( ) and Veterans of Foreign Wars representative Dan West each shared several words about the leadership skills and work ethic that veterans have to offer to small business.

In Dallas, The Grounds Guys president and Army veteran Ron Madera and new franchise owner Rebecca McMahon partnered with FASTSIGNS to address the issue of veteran unemployment and how franchising can help veterans become franchise owners. McMahon and her husband, both Marine Corps veterans, are participating in a unique program called Boost a Hero ( ), which uses a crowdfunding platform to help veterans raise capital to open a franchise. The McMahons hope to raise $20,000 through the program to help purchase a truck and trailer for their landscaping business.

The Grounds Guys has been named a 2012 Military Friendly Franchise and offers a discount of 25 percent off the franchise fee for military veterans.

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