It’s been an amazing week in so many ways, but I doubt it will equal this week when many of us meet in San Antonio for Auto Glass Week.
Last week was the Dwyer Group’s 38th annual reunion, about 3,000 people were in Dallas at the Gaylord Texan. It must be the largest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Apparently, we occupied 95 percent of its rooms. We announced that The Dwyer Group changed our name to Neighborly. We now have 22 companies that are “Neighborly” and this makes great sense!
My company, Glass Doctor, had two days together as did Mary Kay’s company, Five Star Painting. We gave yearly awards, including franchisee of the year, rookie of the year, leadership awards and others. The most touching for each of us, was when one franchisee of each company spoke about their experience with Hurricane Harvey.
Last year Harvey caused $125 billion in damage in the greater Houston area. 107 people died while fighting, and some areas even had 40 inches of rain. Harvey, along with Hurricane Wilma in 2005, are recognized as the costliest tropical cyclones on record.
I remember when Mary Kay and I were driving back from last year’s Reunion in Orlando, and were shocked when we saw the damage along I-10, almost 100 miles from Houston.
My franchisee, John, was not in a flood zone and didn’t have flood insurance. The flood waters were as high as 18” on his first floor. They lost all of their clothes and furniture on the first floor. Their house is still not back in shape and live in their second floor. There’s still a bathtub and toilet in their backyard.
When I asked John how they made it he cited a couple things.
First, he was saved twice, by his neighboring Glass Doctor franchisee who picked them up from flooding waters and took the family to his house.
We put together a “Go Fund Me” site and over 20 franchisees donated $5,000. One franchisee, who didn’t know John well, donated $2,000. As he told the story on stage John didn’t cite anyone in particular. Instead, he thanked everyone and shared how important it is for all of us to help people in similar situations.
He said at one point the only clothes he had were those donated to him. He also lost his truck, which was filled with tools he needed to stay in business. He shared with me the story of a truck that arrived from Atlanta filled with furniture needed for his main level. He also said FEMA did a great job helping.
Chris, from Mary Kay’s franchisee, received over $6,000 in donations, primarily from the Five Star Painting family. Chris shared an emotional thank you and update at the Five Star meeting, comparing the fraternity that is the franchise network to that of his military brethren.
As we get ready to head to San Antonio to network and learn how we can make more money – let’s also keep a keen eye for the people who need our help. Both those you know already and those you’ve yet to meet. Most of us are so blessed and need to bless others.
See you in San Antonio.