Monday, December 5, 2011

"Undercover Boss"

The news is officially out. CBS and The Dwyer Group announced today that our company will be featured in Season 3 of the Network’s hit reality series “Undercover Boss.” Mark your calendars for the episode on Sunday, Jan. 22, 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT. Read our press release here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Founders Day

Tomorrow, The Dwyer Group will be celebrating its annual Founder’s Day. We’re remembering the many ways that our late Founder, Don Dwyer Sr., touched our lives this Founder’s Day, as we celebrate his vision now known as The Dwyer Group.

This year, it’s even more special as we mark the 30th anniversary of our company. After three decades of growth and success, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the man who started it all and honor him for his dedication. We’ve come a long way from our humble beginnings in 1981, expanding from Don’s ambitious dreams to where we stand proudly today.

As we reminded our franchise family at The Dwyer Group annual reunion in October, we have experienced amazing growth and significant milestones that are directly attributed to our passionate team members and our Code of Values. Our Code of Values leads us every day to uphold the themes of Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus, and Having Fun in the Process at The Dwyer Group. We devote time to getting away from the office to keep a strong bond with our families. We continually strive to enrich our lives with keeping Don’s dream going every day.

We remember Don’s vision every year on Founder’s Day and will never forget his contributions. Our rich history is dotted with lessons learned, the most important one coming from Don. Because we keep in mind where we started, it gives us clear direction to where we’re going. If it weren’t for Don’s passion and devotion, we wouldn’t be where we are now, 30 years later. Thank you for being a dreamer, Dad.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Veterans Day 2011

This Veterans Day, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to thank all of our veterans of the past, present and the future, and say a prayer for their safety, as they work endlessly for ours. As we find little ways to show our appreciation, we should all remember the sacrifices our courageous women and men in uniform have made for the freedom and peace of this great nation.

So often we forget what this nation stands for and how we came to have the freedom we enjoy today. It’s because of the heroic acts of our members of the military that we are here now. I invite you to take every chance to express your gratitude for their service—each act of appreciation serves as a heartwarming reminder to our service men and women that we care. We should not only remember and thank them on Veterans Day, but every day for their bravery and sacrifices.

The Dwyer Group also plays a part in thanking them by embracing more than 235 veterans among franchise owners as a result of the VetFran program As our franchise network grows across the Dwyer brands, we are proud to be able to support and cherish our veterans each day. Today, The Dwyer Group salutes all veterans as we celebrate and honor them for their great courage and devotion to the liberty of our country.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Pearl Award Winner" - Beth Miller

A secret advantage to being the CEO of The Dwyer Group, as I often say, is that I’m also the target customer. I’m the wife, the mom, and the woman of the house who schedules service calls when I need something at home repaired. That’s a special perspective – understanding the customer. Beth Miller, of Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, knows exactly what I mean. For the nay-sayers who think that plumbing is a man’s job, Beth is the role model in the Mr. Rooter uniform who proves otherwise. I was thrilled to honor Beth as a Pearl Award Winner at 30th Anniversary and Reunion for The Dwyer Group recently. Watch this video about her story to see why:

Like a growing number of women who are entering the service trades and representing our brands, Beth has that special understanding for putting customers first. She has served in every role for Mr. Rooter of Sonoma County, from the field to the front office. Her care and expertise just shine. She inspires those around her and she follows The Dwyer Group Code of Values. And I am personally touched by the example she has set for her daughter. Beth takes pride in her career and shows that women have a place in the trades. Now, as a Pearl Award Winner, she also has a place in our hearts. It was wonderful to recognize her in front of our whole system. And The Dwyer Group is sending her on a cruise vacation to celebrate. Congratulations, Beth, for many, many, many jobs well done.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"Pearl Award Winner" - Joey Link

I love to say that I am blessed to be part of a great company that attracts so many wonderful people. We are successful across our franchise brands not only for the businesses we’ve established, but also for the countless men and women who deliver their services to customers around the world. That was reinforced in the most profound way with an individual at The Dwyer Group Reunion last week in Indianapolis. Words do not do justice to the Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus and Having Fun in the Process that Joey Link displays every day. This is a man who has faced God’s toughest challenges, and he has persevered in a way that serves as an incredible example to all who surround him. When The Dwyer Group was preparing for the company’s 30th anniversary and reunion, we put out the call across our brands in search of our Pearl Award winners. A special recognition program sponsored by our vendor ReachLocal, the Pearl Award was created to look for the best office representative and the best service representative in our franchise family. Among the many inspirational responses, a nomination for Joey Link showed up. And it was incredible. Despite the hardships of diabetes and infections that have led to hospital stays, surgeries and the loss of limbs you might think are necessary for the job, Joey has been the epitome of determination. Having dealt with the passing of loved ones in his family, he also remains that much stronger to live his life to the fullest. His Aire Serv family, customers, friends and relatives have reaped all the rewards for having a man of that caliber among them. And, I had the pleasure of visiting Joey at Aire Serv of Louisville, Ky., to give him the good news that he was a Pearl Award winner.
Watch the video here:

Joey attended our 30th celebration and reunion to be honored by our entire company. He will also enjoy a cruise vacation, courtesy of The Dwyer Group. If ever there was a man worthy of congratulations, it’s Joey Link. And I’ll be the first one to say that his incredible influence has stretched far beyond the streets of Louisville, Ky. Thank you, Joey! You remind all of us what it means to Live R.I.C.H.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Here's to Higher Learning

Benjamin Frankin once said: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” I couldn’t agree more! I’ve always been a fan of lifelong learning. Teachable moments are a daily opportunity. Speaking as the CEO, I am never done learning. And sharing opportunities for growth with others are equality important. That’s why I was so proud to announce the creation of a special 2012 scholarship program at The Dwyer Group reunion and 30th Anniversary celebration recently.

The company will immediately begin accepting applications to grant thirty $1,500 scholarships to eligible full-time employees of The Dwyer Group and full-time employees of franchisees who are planning to enroll or are enrolled in coursework at certain undergraduate, graduate and trade schools. Eligible candidates will have been continuously employed by the respective company for a minimum of two years. Our hope is to help build talent, knowledge and skills that we value – all while recognizing the incredible team of people it takes to represent The Dwyer Group and our service brands each and every day. It’s a beautiful feeling to invest in the team. And this scholarship program is just one more example of how we continue to Live R.I.C.H. in our franchise family.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Family Reunions: Dwyer-style

Do you want to know how we are having fun in the process at The Dwyer Group this week? I am blessed with a very big family and we know how to plan a shindig! Don’t dare call it just a convention. It’s so much more. Actually, let me start at the very beginning… My mom and dad had six kids to nurture and mentor, so all things “family” were big. No doubt. That crept over into the family-owned business without a second thought too. From the earliest days of The Dwyer Group, joining the company also meant joining the family. That’s why annual conventions soon became dubbed: Reunions. This year and this week are no different. We’re officially celebrating our 30th Anniversary and hosting our annual reunion. And over the years, just as the Dwyer family has grown with kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, our franchise family has grown as well with more brands, more associates and more franchisees. Personally, I like to think that growing up in a big family with lots of brothers and sisters and cousins and more, prepared me well for being part of a big company with lots of great franchise brands and people I cherish like…well…like family. I cannot wait to see all of our attendees at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis this week. I mean, I cannot wait to be with the family!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life After Hurricane Irene

The damage is in the billions. People are without power. Homes have been lost. And we wake each and every day to the reality of entire communities picking up, starting over, making repairs, and moving on. That is life after Hurricane Irene. As we continue to hear stories of the destruction, we at The Dwyer Group also hear about the heroes who are going in and cleaning up. I am so proud that our franchise brands play a role in helping homeowners and business owners get back on their feet. Whether it’s flooded homes, broken windows, electrical problems, plumbing problems or a host of other service calls, our franchisees and their incredible technicians are there to serve. It reinforces the theme we’ve been championing all year during The Dwyer Group’s 30th Anniversary – “Customers First.” Times like these make us appreciate the everyday conveniences we often take for granted: running water, reliable electricity, and the safety and comfort our homes provide from the outside elements. Mother Nature can certainly put that to the test, as she did along the East Coast. And my thanks go out to all of our franchisees and their teams who are working long hours to do what they do so well by putting customers first.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Flies When You're Living R.I.C.H.!

Our great team at The Dwyer Group has been busy making preparations for our Annual Reunion. And this year promises to be extra special, because we will also be honoring The Dwyer Group’s 30th Anniversary with all of our attendees. Binders are coming together. Registrations are piling up. Speakers are preparing their remarks. A lot of celebrating will be on hand this October. In fact, we’ve been so excited for this hallmark anniversary, that I almost overlooked another important anniversary. It has been five years since I introduced the Live R.I.C.H. theme to our Code of Values. Double wow!

I remember getting ready for our 25th Anniversary and The Dwyer Group’s Annual Reunion. I was finishing up my book: Live R.I.C.H.: How to build success in your company and your life with a proven Code of Values. It was printed and shipped just in time for attendees to get a copy at the Annual Reunion. My idea was to give everyone something special for their trip back home – a little dose of the corporate culture we’ve been creating as told by associates, franchisees and family and friends over the years to me. I wanted to inspire people with the kinds of uplifting stories I get to hear every single day as chairwoman and CEO. I wanted to spread our corporate culture to a rapidly expanding franchise network and to promote the themes of Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus, and Having Fun in the Process. The message took hold! Soon I was sharing the book with every new franchisee who joined The Dwyer Group of Companies. I was giving interviews to the media about the importance of ethics in business. I even gave copies to everyone at the International Franchise Association’s annual convention for the year I served as Chairwoman. The book has been through several printings. Well, here we are five years later. It’s another Annual Reunion for The Dwyer Group and another fantastic milestone for our team and our family of franchise brands. Thirty years is an accomplishment all its own. But the last five years have been incredibly special and unique to me. I’ve had a front row seat to see the Live R.I.C.H. theme and our Code of Values propel us even further. Happy Anniversary, indeed!

Dwyer Group Reunion 2010 -

Friday, July 29, 2011

Who Misses Summer Break?

July seems to be the best time of the year (aside from Christmas) to take time off with my family for vacation. The kids are out of school and we are aching for some fun in the sun.

Over the years, I’ve learned several important lessons about how to make the most of your vacation.

Lesson 1 It’s okay – and actually necessary – to really vacate from life’s daily responsibilities like work or chores. Your mind and body need time for fun, rest and rejuvenation and you must be fully engaged to experience these feelings. Your family will really appreciate this engaged time with you. My strategic coach calls these free days, as they are free from any type of work and free to do what you love outside of work.

Lesson 2 - Plan ahead and get all the major items off your to-do list so you won’t spend time fretting over what didn’t get done. Be sure to communicate to your team and customers that you will be gone and whom they can contact if they need help while you’re out. Provide your emergency contact info to the one person you have assigned to handle your business while you are away. Do not call that person; they will call you if they really need you.

Lesson 3 - Go somewhere that the entire family finds enjoyable. We love going to the beach; some of us love to snorkel, fish and swim while others mostly enjoy lying on the beach and reading a good book.

Lesson 4 - Take time to really appreciate your family, friends and surroundings. Basically stop and smell the roses.

Lesson 5 - There are times when the whole family can’t seem to take the same time off. Know that it’s okay to take separate vacations from time to time. It’s better to have some vacations than none.

Live R.I.C.H.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walking with Elephants

Drayton McLane, Jr., chair and CEO of the McLane companies, former vice-chair of Walmart and CEO of the Houston Astros, was a hit last recently at our company wide meeting.

 I've been reviewing my notes from the meeting and thought it would be good to regularly revisit his key points.
  • Focus on your values regularly. McLane and his team conducted small group meetings across his company (12,000 employees) every two weeks to focus on what it means to operate with integrity, respect and Christian values.
  • We have freedom and free-enterprise in America, this gives us a chance that most don't get to achieve our dreams.
  • The most difficult thing - change, because we are creatures of habit. The most dangerous time in our personal lives is when we are succeeding because we begin to believe our own stuff.
  • We must keep taking risks; making mistakes is what entrepreneurship is about.
  • You can never become what you want to be by remaining as you are.
  • Don't underestimate the power of technology and social media, use the unfriendliness of technology and make it human. 
From his MSU business school professor in 1959:

 1. Dare to dream - it's free

 2. Operate out of your imagination not your memories; memories have too many errors

 3. Seek adversity, the lines are shorter

 4. Walk with elephants (leaders)

  What an honor to have had the opportunity to walk with this elephant for an afternoon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May - National Home Improvement Month

Today marks the beginning of National Home Improvement Month. This May, as in years past, the weather begins to cooperate for those projects around the house that have been neglected. And what originally began as a season to promote the services of professionals within the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) has quickly grown into an annual conversation for all kinds of fixes: DIY to licensed contractor and beyond.

Will you finally repair those gutters? Can you install that new water heater now? Is it time to replace those old windows? What about those dirty carpets? Even more daunting is the question – Can you do it alone? Spring suddenly shines a bright light on all those things that could use some sprucing up. And projects big and small begin to creep up the list for your attention. To this I say: “Don’t procrastinate.” What you tackle today in home improvements, you can enjoy that much more tomorrow. And what you can’t fix yourself, you also don’t have to put off forever. You see, while May is National Home Improvement month, I like to think home improvements are a mission we accomplish year-round at The Dwyer Group. We love helping customers improve their homes. It deserves our attention and expertise 24/7 just like our toll-free numbers that customers can call in their time of need.

Thankfully, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary at The Dwyer Group and the 30th anniversary of the Rainbow International brand that started it all, we also celebrate the millions of residential and commercial customers who have come to us for those trusted improvements. For services and repairs, it is the highest compliment to be the valued provider that crosses that front door to serve.

So, here’s to a happy National Home Improvement Month…and every month to come.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Innovation at its Best

innovation: a new way of doing things which results in positive change and makes life better!

March 27th marked the 30th anniversary for Rainbow International and the Dwyer Group. What an achievement! The only way a company can thrive and not just survive for 30 years is due to being innovative. Hats off to Dwyer associates, franchisees, master licensees, and our customers for your contribution to our combined success.

As I reflect back over the 30 years, one of the greatest habits I was taught by our late founder, Don Dwyer, was to be constantly learning. His favorite method for learning was to listen to tape programs/audio books. I have carried on this habit. One of the recent audio books that I listened to was, Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo. The book shared Steve Jobs’ principles of leadership.

Principle number one - do what you love - following your heart can make all the difference.

2) Put a dent in the universe - surround yourself with like-minded people that relate to your vision and turn ideas into world changing innovations.

3) Kick start your brain - innovation does not exist without creativity.

4) Sell dreams not products - to Steve Jobs people who buy Apple products are not consumers. They’re people with dreams, hopes, and ambitions. He wants to build products to help them achieve their dreams.

5) Say no to 1000 things - simplicity is key. Innovation means you got to eliminate the unnecessary so the necessary can speak.

6) Create insanely great experiences - Apple stores are the gold standard in customer service because they introduce simple innovations that make deep, lasting, emotional ties with the customer.

7) Master the message - Steve Jobs knows how to tell a product story in an art form.

I was listening to this audio book one morning while getting ready for work. A morning in which I happened to have developed a sore throat through the night. I was heading out of town the next day and had a large action list to achieve and I didn't want to interrupt my day with a doctor's visit.

I asked myself, "what would Steve Jobs do to be innovative at a time like this"? My first thought was, I'll take a picture of my throat with my IPhone. It's got a great flash and I'll e-mail it to the doctor’s office. I must admit that I was feeling a bit giddy about my innovative thought and it took courage to press the send button. By the way, the picture was unbelievably clear.

At 6:11 AM I e-mailed the photo to my doctor’s office with a request that he please take a look and let me know if he was able to diagnose my problem. By 8:20 AM, I received an e-mail from his office acknowledging receipt of the message and by 10:14 AM, the nurse called to say that it appeared I had an infection and the doctor was prescribing an antibiotic. Wow!!! It's amazing how technology is changing our world.

I'd like to challenge all of you to look for new ways that we can conduct business that results in a positive change that makes life better for all. Let's gear up for another 30 years of thriving!

PS-thanks to see Steve Jobs and Apple for making it possible for me to take a quality photo with my Apple IPhone and to jar my creative juices with his book.

I think I'll tweet about this :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

For the second year in a row, franchise companies of The Dwyer Group, Inc. will commit $100,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities®. In addition to donating $100,000 to the charity in 2010, our franchises donated $82,000 through plumbing, electrical services, appliance repair/maintenance, glass installation/replacement, heating and air conditioning work at Ronald McDonald Houses across North America.

The national sponsorship includes Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric and Mr. Rooter Plumbing, as well as The Grounds Guys. As part of the renewed sponsorship, franchise owners will continue to donate their services, labor and supplies.

Ronald McDonald House Charities was established in memory of McDonald's founder and franchise icon Ray Kroc in 1984. The cornerstone program, the Ronald McDonald House®, provides a “home-away-from-home” so families can stay close by while their child gets the health care they need.

"The families that RMHC supports derive strength from each other, volunteers, staff and corporate donors like The Dwyer Group,” said Marty Coyne, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities. “On behalf of the 12,100 children and families we serve every day through RMHC core programs, I thank The Dwyer Group for this amazing commitment to our families.”

Visit RMHC at if you are interested in making a contribution to this wonderful program.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

VetFran Program on “20 To Watch” List for 2011

Franchise Times magazine included the VetFran Program - founded by my father, the late founder of The Dwyer Group - to its “20 To Watch” List for 2011. Each year the magazine predicts the industry’s top movers, shakers and money makers, and it’s a huge honor for the VetFran Program to be recognized in this list.

As the former chair of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran Task Force, I am a big supporter of the VetFran program, which gives honorably discharged U.S. veterans incentives and discounts on purchasing franchises. Helping veterans transition into entrepreneurship is a great way for us to say ‘thank you’ for serving our nation.

Since the VetFran program was re-launched in 2002, more than 350 franchising companies have participated in the program. To date, more than 1,500 veterans have purchased their own franchises with the help of the VetFran program.

The Dwyer Group celebrated its 200th franchisee through the VetFran program in November. Army veteran Lonnie Oldham – along with his wife Nancy and son Clayton – opened a Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise in San Angelo, Texas. They were able to save $6,500 because of the VetFran Program.

Altogether, The Dwyer Group has given more than $1 million in discounts to veterans through the VetFran program. This is a milestone I think Don Dwyer Sr., late founder of VetFran and The Dwyer Group, would be proud. He established the program after the Gulf War as a way to honor our veterans and re-launched after 9/11.

If you’re interested in using the VetFran Program to open a franchise, you can visit to learn more. Go to to find out the other 19 to watch in 2011.

Here’s wishing you a world class day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here's to Optimism

I count my blessings that The Dwyer Group has experienced such incredible growth and strength. And last week, the International Franchise Association released a forecast for 2011 that projects a 2.5% jump for the industry and some 194,000 new jobs: This is another incredible sign of the role small-business ownership will continue to play in moving our great country forward. The opportunity to be in business for yourself and not by yourself still thrives, and everyone at The Dwyer Group and across our franchise brands is excited to be a part of it.