Gary Findley is a small-town boy who made good, very good. Growing up on a farm in Axtell, he became intimately familiar with chores at an early age.
Findley joined Gary Heavin in making the women-only Curves fitness brand a raving success. Waco became the Curves headquarters, and the brand developed such traction nationally and even internationally, the team could hardly meet demand from people willing to shell out six figures for franchising rights and territories. Findley joined others in making money hand over fist, but a lull in the action prompted soul searching. He made the difficult decision to leave Curves for opportunities unknown.
Findley tells that story and others in a newly released book, “The Redneck CEO: Faith, Hope and Hard Work,” a lively, entertaining read published by BizCom Press and available at Amazon.com. A copy arrived in the mail.
“I haven’t always had the best jobs or made the most money,” Findley said in a press release on the book. “But what I learned growing up in the country was priceless to guide me through the highs and lows and get me where I am today. Those facing the toughest hurdles in the world could benefit from the same lessons.”
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Findley recently told his story on “Undercover Boss,” an Emmy-winning TV series that showcases bosses who secretly go behind the scenes in their own companies, learning what employees and customers truly think.
“Gary Findley is living proof that when you do the right thing, focus on service, and never sell out for money or pride, success will come. It may not come on your timeline, but it will eventually come,” Waldo Waldman, a speaker and executive coach, wrote in the foreword in Findley’s book.
The press release says Findley has more than 30 years’ experience in franchising, and today serves as CEO of Stellar Brands, an umbrella for several franchising brands, including Restoration 1, bluefrong Plumbing + Drain, The Driveway Company and Softroc, which include more than 350 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Stoughton Trailers ribbon-cutting
Wisconsin-based Stoughton Trailers LLC will have a ribbon-cutting April 13 for its new production facility in Waco. Waco Mayor Dillon Meek and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton are expected to attend the festivities at 1301 Jewell Drive, according to a press release.
The 40,000-square-foot plant hopes to employ 125 by the end of the year.
Dwyer-Owens in hall of fame
Dina Dwyer-Owens has been inducted into the International Franchise Association’s Hall of Fame, joining her late father, Don Dwyer, to become the first father-daughter duo to receive the honor.
Don Dwyer was a native New Yorker and one-time Hollywood talent agent drawn to Waco by Success Motivation Institute, a company founded by the late Paul J. Meyer renowned for its motivational materials. Dwyer in 1981 founded The Dwyer Group, with Rainbow International Carpet Dyeing & Cleaning Co. its first success story. Dwyer would add brands including Mr. Rooter, Glass Doctor, Mr. Electric and Mr. Appliance, among others, and launched VetFran in 1991 to help military veterans own franchises.
Dwyer died unexpectedly in 1994, and Dina Dwyer-Owns took the reins. The brand grew under her leadership, gaining the attention of two private equity firms that added the company to their respective portfolios. The Dwyer Group was renamed Neighborly to better reflect its 19 home service brands. It remains Waco based, but has opened a second campus in Las Colinas.
“As I enter this prestigious community of Hall of Fame recipients, I do not do so alone or on my own merit, but by the grace of God with many mentors, colleagues and friends who helped show me the way,” Dwyer-Owens wrote in a blog post. “To call it humbling doesn’t even begin to describe things.”
Broadband listening tour
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will visit Waco on Monday “to get insights about internet access and collect input to develop the state’s first broadband plan,” according to a press release issued Friday.
The visit is part of the Texas broadband listening tour. It begins at 2 p.m. in the Bosque Theater of the Waco Convention Center. Hegar will be joined there by Waco Mayor Pro Tem Josh Borderud, the press release says.
The event is free and open to the public. Comments can also be made before or after the event at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Texas-BDO-2022. Feedback will be collected through May 5.
Main Event hosted its grand opening Friday at Cottonwood Creek Market, near New Road and Interstate 35. A spokesperson said more than 350 people showed up there to watch the ribbon being cut, and to indulge themselves in the many activities Main Event offers the young and young at heart.
Asked about overnight campers, the spokesperson said, “Yes, a man camped out with his three children starting at 10 Thursday evening. Dad of the year! They had a tent and everything—the Main Event team made sure the area was well lit for them and kept the outside lights on overnight.”
The first 200 in line opening day received complimentary laser tag play.
“I think people are most excited for laser tag, but when they arrive and see our high flying gravity ropes, that usually changes people’s priorities in terms of which activity to try first,” said the spokesperson via email.