Veteran auto repair franchise owners honored for meaningful contributions to community
For well over 50 years, AAMCO franchise owners have become indelible fixtures of their communities, strengthening their local economies and exemplifying the very essence of the American Dream. With nearly 700 auto repair franchise locations open across the country, AAMCO has proven to be a brand that communities can trust — not only for exceptional service but also for job creation and charitable works. AAMCO is a brand with staying power.
For 12 years, Tom and Patricia Eden have run their AAMCO franchise in Lafayette, Indiana, with their community at the forefront. As they’ve become successful business owners, the husband-and-wife team have always given back: donating more than $30,000 to local charities and nonprofit organizations.
Most recently, they sponsored a young equestrian in the 2016 Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair horse competition; their sponsored rider took home a blue ribbon! On several occasions, the Edens have paid for customer repairs and driven customers to their destinations. In addition, AAMCO of Lafayette offers discounts to active and retired military personnel.
In recognition, Tom and Patricia were recently honored by Greater Lafayette Commerce Committee as the Small Business of the Month for their dedication to their community, commitment to innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and State Representative Sheila Klinker presented the Edens with the award at a ceremony in July.
“My wife and I are incredibly honored to be chosen as the Small Business of the Month in Lafayette,” Tom says. “Our AAMCO center was founded on three building blocks: positive customer experience, pro-employee business philosophy and a desire to help others through personal acts and charitable giving. Because we place an emphasis on these areas, we’ve been able to grow our business while still giving back to the community.”
A proven business model helped the Edens become meaningful members of their communities
For more than half a century, AAMCO’s network of locally owned and independently operated auto repair franchise centers has employed the latest technology. Expert technicians diagnose a repair, fix it right the first time and back it with a nationwide warranty. Known as the world’s leading transmission expert, the company has evolved into a Total Car Care brand that provides a variety of services, including brake repair, tune-ups, shocks and struts, routine maintenance and more. AAMCO was named to Entrepreneur’s 2016 Franchise 500, ranking at the top of the transmission repair category. Based on network size, growth rate and financial strength, the brand also earned a spot on Entrepreneur’s “Best of the Best” list.
The Edens opened their AAMCO franchise in 2004 after years of searching for the right opportunity to fit their needs. The owners have lived in the Lafayette area for more than 25 years and are part of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Lafayette Business to Business. Before joining AAMCO, Tom worked as an engineer and then plant manager for 20 years, while Tricia raised their four children and assisted with the daily operations for the AAMCO center.
“We’re incredibly proud of the Edens for their dedication to the continued growth of their center and community involvement,” says Rob Rajkowski, chief operating officer at AAMCO Transmission Inc. “The Edens have grown their business by more than 30 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is a true testament to their dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience.”
Ready to make a difference in your community? The time to open an AAMCO franchise is now
AAMCO is actively seeking single- and multi-unit operators who are passionate about the brand and committed to providing the highest-quality service. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $250,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 per unit. Depending on the real estate selected, franchisees can expect the total investment to be approximately $227,400-$333,000, with a $39,500 initial franchise fee. Reduced franchise fees are available for honorably discharged veterans. Since the auto repair franchise began offering a discounted pathway to veterans through its VetFran program in 2012, seven US veterans have joined the AAMCO franchise owner network.
“For the AAMCO brand to remain successful going forward, we need engaged owner-operators who are excited and passionate about this business,” says Brett Ponton, CEO and President with AAMCO. “It is extremely important in the Total Car Care marketplace, which is our space, to have very customer-focused owner operators who love to build teams and are passionate about our great national brand. Our auto repair franchise owners find success in making our national brand feel very local as they serve the communities around their stores.”
Learn more about AAMCO