“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be doing work at the White House,” retired U.S. Marine and Fresh Coat franchisee Russell Johnson said. “This is truly a dream come true and a moment I will forever cherish and take great pride in.”
In October 2010, Johnson performed a different tour-of-duty for his country—a two-week project painting the 14 vehicle and 17 pedestrian black wrought-iron gates that surround the 18 acres of White House property.
At first, when Russell purchased his Fresh Coat franchise, he just assumed his new assignment would be catering to homeowners in Eastern North Carolina looking for professional painting services. He could have never imagined that his entrepreneurial endeavor would take him to the most historic home in America.
The opportunity to paint the White House gates presented itself after Russell submitted a bid for services to the National Capital Region Division of Acquisition Management (NCR). Out of 20 companies interested in the job, Fresh Coat was awarded the contract in September 2010.
“Even before he secured the account, we knew Russell was the right man for the job,” said Ralph Martin, president of Fresh Coat. “Through his hard work and determination, not only has Russell established himself as a model American, but has quickly become a model franchisee in our system. It was the least we could do for one of America’s finest.”
Throughout his military career Russell dreamt of launching a business that would allow him to showcase the leadership skills he developed and perfected as a U.S. Marine. As fate would have it, during his transition from military to civilian life, Johnson was introduced to Fresh Coat, one of the painting industry’s first and fastest-growing professional interior painting businesses. Johnson opened his Fresh Coat franchise in June 2010, and has since become one of the concept’s most successful franchisees.
“I’ve always wanted to work for myself and I just didn’t want to look back when I’m 80 and wish I had tried,” Russell added. “Now, I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren that I painted the gates at the White House.”