7-Eleven franchise won by Burleson Navy veteran

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Page celebrated ownership with $711 check to Junior ROTC

With a passion to lead - whether in his home, on the job or in the community - U.S. Navy veteran Mark Anthony Page of Granbury said winning a 7-Eleven franchise would allow him to use his leadership skills and settle into a community with his family.

Page said it is the American dream to own his own franchise and that is what prompted him to enter 7-Eleven's Operation: Take Command contest last year.

The contest launched on Veterans Day as a multi-phased competition for first-time prospective franchisees retired or separated from the military. Entrants first had to be interviewed and qualified. The top 25 of the 6,000 entrants competed for the public's votes in a Facebook video competition with the three finalists interviewing face-to-face with 7-Eleven Inc. CEO Joe DePinto.

In his entry, Page said he's always been committed to service from when he was on active duty in the Navy, as a reservist, and later an educator and role-model for young people. A devoted family man with four children, Page said he believes running a 7-Eleven franchise would allow him to continue his commitment to community service.

After a tough start in life that included being a ward of the state for two years, Page moved in with his grandmother who had already raised 16 children of her own. He enlisted in the Navy just days after graduating from high school, seeing it both as a way out and a way up.

While in the reserves, Page attended college and earned a bachelor's degree in communications and a master's in kinesiology. He taught and coached in public schools before taking a position that required him to be away from his home and family.

Voters were impressed with Page's background, leading him to sweep the competition and placing in the final three. The prize was an available 7-Eleven store of his choice at a discount, valued up to $190,000. DePinto, however, was so impressed he offered Page a store at no cost.

Page said winning the contest was an "unbelievable" opportunity. He chose to take command of the Burleson 7-Eleven at 980 N.W. John Jones Blvd.

"It was life-changing," Page said when he realized he won. "As I moved through the levels of the contest, I started thinking maybe I really had a chance. Seeing people from here and even other countries that didn't know me, but voted for my video on Facebook was very humbling. My wife was my biggest cheerleader. I couldn't have done it without her."

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