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Why Veterans Make the Perfect Franchisees

We are extremely proud of our diverse group of franchisees. However, our Veterans hold a special place in our hearts. Military Veterans typically have a phenomenal work ethic, positive mindset & unprecedented determination to be the best. Meet some of our amazing Veteran Hand & Stone franchisees.

Greg Billy (pictured above) is a┬áthree-decade veteran in our system that stands out. The former naval officer spent 30 years as a submarine officer, in that time traveling the world, running a naval base in Italy, and commanding a nuclear submarine. Given the intensity of that career, it’s no surprise Billy would seek out a venture oriented explicitly around relaxation for his post-Navy life. “I’ve always had a passion for health and wellness. Hand & Stone’s core concept of providing a luxury experience at a more affordable price point is exactly the type of opportunity I was looking for,” he explains. “Given my management experience, two locations seemed well within my scope of ability to start.” Billy’s first spa opened August 4, 2018, in Cranberry, Pennsylvania, and his second in East Liberty in March of 2019.

Jorge and Lynn Rosende are both army veterans that were looking for the next phase of their careers and are so glad they decided to join us. “Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa is the perfect franchise for veterans. They acknowledged our service and even provided veteran discounts to offset some of the initial costs. When deciding on what franchise my husband and I wanted to invest in, comradery and the partnership relationship with corporate was very important to us,” Lynn explains, “Unlike other franchises Hand & Stone just felt like family, it felt like they were invested in our success as much as we were. They have been by our side through our first successful opening and have demonstrated their commitment to us so much that we signed on for two more locations. We love Hand & Stone and every day are grateful we chose them for our next career.” The Rosendes currently have one spa open in North Carolina and two more in development.

Darrell Aubrey enlisted in the United States Army over 35 years ago in Houston, Texas. Over the next three decades, he climbed the ranks of the army, traveled with the military to Korea, Germany, and many US states, attended college to become an officer, and earned his doctorate. Even with all these accomplishments, Darrell wanted to add business ownership to his portfolio. “I was looking to own a business with a solid business model where I could also still have time to help out in the military community. With the help of my amazing manager, I can continue to work with around 150 junior ROTC cadets in Killeen. It was a lot of work upfront but with what I’ve learned during my time in with the army, I am able to lead my team and build my business while doing what I am passionate for.” Darrell retired as a full colonel in December 2019 in Georgetown, Texas, and opened his Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa later that same month.

We are always looking to add veterans to our system and are happy to report we just added a great one! Kaleb Warnock is a five-year Navy veteran and had 10 years with Border Control after. He is currently a Tropical Smoothie Café and Marco’s Pizza franchisee and decided to diversify his portfolio with a service brand this past September. When asked why he thinks veterans make great franchisees, he explains, “In franchising, you are given a solid business model to follow and are tasked to lead a team. The United States Military is the best in the world and teaches you to follow their model and lead people. I use the skills I learned during my time in the Navy every day in my businesses and it has always proved to be successful.” Kaleb and his wife Patty signed for three Hand & Stone spas in the El Paso, Texas area, a new market for our brand. He also was awarded the SBA veteran business owner of the year.

We are proud to have such accomplished and successful veterans in our system and are always looking to add more. If you are a veteran who is looking into spa ownership, reach out to our Director of Franchise Development Sarah Moudry and ask about our discounted franchise fee for veterans.