When retired U.S. Marine Russell Johnson 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 White House.
But that’s exactly where the 20-year military veteran who served two active duty tours in Iraq is headed.
In October, Johnson will begin a two-week project painting the black wrought-iron gates that surround the 18 acres of White House property. He projects the job will require approximately 75 gallons of Sherwin Williams primer and paint to cover the 14 vehicle and 17 pedestrian gates.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be doing work at the White House,” Johnson said. ”This is truly a dream come true and a moment I will forever cherish and take great pride in.”
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). One of 20 companies nationwide 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, Johnson, 41, 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. Realizing the potential to establish and grow a business in the multi-billion dollar home services industry, 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,” Johnson added. “Now, I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren that I painted the gates at the White House.”
Locally owned and operated, Fresh Coat franchises provide consumers with a trusted brand for interior painting that has previously been non-existent while they professionalize the industry. Fresh Coat was recently ranked #35 in the 'Fast 55' by Franchise Times. With the introduction of its new Office and Commercial Painting program, Fresh Coat continues to develop and grow to meet the market’s needs. Fresh Coat boasts more than 50 locations across North America
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