Retired Army Airborne Ranger Seizes Maid Brigade Franchise, Purple Heart Veteran Considers Award His Latest Honor

Monday, November 09, 2009

Bronze Star Medal with Valor Winner. Recipient of a Purple Heart, campaign medals for Kosovo and Iraq and numerous Meritorious Service Medals. Those descriptions all apply to Major Philip Thomas Piaget. Now one more honor has been added: Gold Award in the Maid Brigade Veterans Franchise Giveaway.

Piaget, of Crestview, Fla., won the company's contest in time for Veterans Day 2009. The father of four retired from the Army in September after serving 20 years as an Airborne Ranger and entered the franchiser's national contest the same month, noting that his life as a leader of infantrymen and that of a quality Maid Brigade franchisee have much in common. Compared to his daunting combat and diplomatic assignments surrounding the efforts to quell sectarian violence and insurgent attacks on Coalition Forces in Iraq, his road to franchise ownership was smooth.

Piaget and the five other veterans who made it to the final phase of the contest underwent intensive scrutiny on Nov. 4 and 5 at Maid Brigade headquarters in Atlanta. Throughout the contest, the company evaluated leadership, management and interpersonal skills, financial capabilities and behavioral profiles. The final phase also included one-on-one and group interviews with a judging panel of four seasoned professionals who earned their own stripes in the military and business arenas. The process was in-depth and sometimes emotional.

Piaget convinced each judge independently that he deserved the Gold Award, valued at more than $45,000, including working capital, equipment, waived franchise fees, training and support -- everything he needs to establish a franchise operation in his hometown near Pensacola, Fla., by early first quarter.

"More than 100 veterans entered the contest, and although many would make excellent franchisees, Tom Piaget set a new gold standard for our program," said Maid Brigade Chairman Don Hay. Along with military veterans and fellow judges Rear Admiral Michael Miller, Vet Jobs Inc. President Ted Daywalt and Maid Brigade franchisee Ray Toombs, Hay selected Piaget based on his demonstrated leadership and commitment in the U.S. Armed Forces, which are traits shared with successful franchise owners.

This year's Silver and Bronze Award winners are, respectively, Thomas McWhorter of Fort Worth, Texas, a former Air Force captain who served for 10 years, and Gerald Zeigler of Virginia Beach, Va., a former chief petty officer who served 20 years in the Navy. They won second and third place versions of the Gold Award, with graduated levels working capital of $10,000 and $5,000, and will open their businesses early next year in their home markets.

The judges deemed the remaining finalists, former Air Force Captain Steven Buchanan of Lantana, Texas, and Air Force Major Michael Braibish of Salem, Ore., also highly qualified to own a Maid Brigade franchise. In addition to waiving these honorable veterans' franchise fees as indicated in the contest rules, Maid Brigade is awarding them with $3,000 equipment packages when they open their Maid Brigade operations.

Maid Brigade will offer the contest again next year and broaden the eligibility to include the National Guard and the Reserves. After Veterans Day 2009, and until next year's giveaway contest, Maid Brigade will continue to honor veterans by discounting its franchise fees 25 percent for all qualified and honorably discharged veterans. The program Web site, www.MaidBrigadeGiveaway.com, includes additional information about the contest, finalists, judging panel and award-winning 25-year-old franchiser Maid Brigade Inc.

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Maid Brigade, Inc.
4 Concourse Pkwy., #200
Atlanta, GA

Phone: (770) 551-9630
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