/ EIN Presswire / A tough-as-nails Army Airborne Ranger, an articulate and persuasive Air Force Public Affairs Officer or a technically trained naval nuclear reactor operator. Who would best lead a brigade … of residential cleaning maids?
Nationally recognized franchiser Maid Brigade has named six finalists in the First Maid Brigade Veterans Franchise Giveaway, a Veterans Day contest awarding new businesses to those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Finalists reside in Arkansas, Florida, Oregon, Texas and Virginia, are former officers and enlisted soldiers in the Army, Navy and the Air Force, and range in age from 31 to 44. Three have earned their MBAs, and each has passed several levels of approval to reach this stage of the program. Each completed a behavioral profile evaluation to determine if he would fit within a franchise environment, Maid Brigade’s system in particular. To enter the contest, each finalist submitted an essay on how his military experience and leadership prepared him for successful business ownership.
The finalists’ next step, on Nov. 4 and 5, is to vie for the Gold in a two-day evaluation process conducted by Maid Brigade executives and a panel of four judges. The judges consist of a rear admiral who once served as the first active-duty director of the White House Military Office; a retired naval captain who now heads the leading military-related job board on the Internet; a retired Vietnam veteran and award-winning Maid Brigade franchisee; and Maid Brigade Chairman and founder Don Hay.
“This company is setting the example of how patriotic employers can support veterans and their families,” said Ted Daywalt, president of Vet Jobs Inc. and one of the four judges. “The American dream is business ownership, and Maid Brigade is making the dream possible for those who’ve defended our free enterprise system.”
The first-place award includes working capital, equipment, training and a waived franchise fee to own and operate a new Maid Brigade residential cleaning franchise, valued at more than $45,000. The Silver Award is a $27,500 version of that same package, and Bronze provides equipment, training and a waived fee, with an overall value of more than $17,500. Additionally, for any veteran interested in owning a Maid Brigade franchise who entered the contest and qualified as a viable franchise owner, Maid Brigade will waive its smaller market “Select” franchise fee, a value of $14,500 each.
The national franchiser Maid Brigade launched its giveaway program as a way to salute the U.S. military, to assist veterans in their civilian endeavors and to recruit more disciplined and skilled veterans to its franchise network. “The ‘brigade’ in Maid Brigade takes on a new connotation this Veterans Day,” said Hay, whose company has been a longtime supporter of the military and its families. Currently, 10 percent of the Maid Brigade franchise network consists of military veterans. The finalists:

Gerald Zeigler
Virginia Beach, VA
Served 20 years
Rank: Chief Petty Officer

Philip (Tom) Piaget
Crestview, FL
Army, Airborne Rangers
Served 20 years
Rank: Major

Michael Braibish
Salem, OR
Air Force and Air National Guard
Served 16.5 years
Rank: Major

Steven Buchanan
Lantana, TX
Air Force (9.5 Active Duty, 2.5 Reserves)
Served 12 years
Rank: Captain

Thomas (Tommy) McWhorter
Fort Worth, TX
Air Force
Served 10 years
Rank: Captain

Christopher Norwood
Van Buren, AR
Served 6 years
Rank: Captain

By Nov. 6, the judges will determine who wins the Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards, and by Veterans Day, the company will announce the winners. Within a matter of 90 days, each new franchise will be up and running, with the winning veterans at the helm. 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 on the finalists, judging panel and award-winning, 25-year-old franchiser Maid Brigade Inc.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Sperling
[email protected]