The late Don Dwyer, Sr. began his entrepreneurial quest in New York when he sold his cherished convertible to buy a newspaper route to help fund his college education. The part-time paper route grew rapidly and proved to be so lucrative that Dwyer turned it into a business. As the story goes, he soon was earning more money with his business than recruiters were offering to college graduates, and his vision only continued to broaden. After a short stint in the military, Dwyer worked as a Hollywood talent agent before purchasing his first franchise to market and sell management and motivational materials. The franchisor recognized Dwyer's sharp business acumen and brought him to the home office in Waco, Texas where he quickly rose to the position of senior vice president.
Dwyer then seized the opportunity to create his own franchise, Rainbow International Carpet Dyeing & Cleaning Co., which became one of the world's largest companies of its kind and the flagship of The Dwyer Group that was later formed. The Dwyer Group soon encompassed a variety of franchises, both through acquisitions and start-ups, which catered to home services and commercial businesses. And by 1993, Dwyer realized a lifelong dream when he took the company public on the NASDAQ. Today, Dwyer's legacy lives on through Aire Serve, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric, Mr. Rooter, Rainbow International and The Grounds Guys, all brands that are part of The Dwyer Group umbrella spanning more than 1,600 franchisees around the world.
But Dwyer's contributions to the franchising sector didn't stop there. He established the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, VetFran, in 1991 where franchise companies offered discounted franchise fees and other incentives to veterans. IFA re-established the program in 2002 and more than 4200 veterans have become franchisees through its program since then. Dwyer also served on the IFA board of directors and received numerous other awards and media exposure. And aside from his high profile and personal success, Dwyer on any given day would say that his proudest accomplishment was realized when franchisees thanked him for helping them achieve their dreams.