I was never the kid that desired to settle on one particular career when I grew up. I was interested in a million things including the arts, various trades, the military, academia and law enforcement. After obtaining my undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology I worked as a parole officer and then a HVAC technician. After a few years I decided to fulfill a familial and patriotic obligation by enlisting in the United States Army as an Intelligence Analyst in 1997. While it was never my intention to make a career of the military, when 9/11 happened, I knew there was no bigger calling for service and there was no way I could forfeit my duty to my Country and fellow Soldiers.
After over 20 years of service in the military, I finally decided it was time to try something new. I was ready to pursue the other things I was interested in from so long ago. Achieving the American Dream was always really important to me – I believed I could succeed going the entrepreneurial route. My hope was to find a career that allowed me to utilize my personal strengths, contribute to society and help those in my community.
That’s when I began looking at the opportunities within franchising. I was connected to a franchise coach and he’s the one who told me about Restoration 1. The brand appealed to me for two reasons: I get to be hands-on and I have the opportunity to help people in their time of need. It’s the best of both worlds all while creating a business for myself. And in November of 2017, I officially opened my Restoration 1 location in Springfield, Virginia.
Why Restoration 1 And The Military Go Hand In Hand
Our services are available 24/7. This might sound a little crazy, but I love the 24/7 emergency response that Restoration 1 offers. In the military, especially supporting Special Forces, we had to be available all day, every day and respond quickly. Now, I get to continue that with Restoration 1. When disaster hits, your customers expect you to be there for them no matter what.
Teamwork is crucial. Working together is a critical component in the military. Your team is your family, and if one person doesn’t do their job, that can affect the entire team. That same mindset translates to Restoration 1. You need a team of people who are committed to the cause even when it’s 2 o’clock in the morning.
Install the same core principles in everyone. In the military, we’re all fighting for the same cause and the same freedoms. When everyone is on the same page, then it allows you to work better as a team. I’ve taken this experience and applied similar core principles to my Restoration 1 team. One of my main ideals revolves around customer service. I expect my guys to give exceptional customer service with every single job. When you do that, everything else pretty much takes care of itself.
We have to think outside the box. Problem solving is one of my favorite things. Not every job will be simple nor will you always have all the tools you need to get things done. When that happened in the Army, we could never just quit. We had to figure out a plan. The same goes for Restoration 1. I push my team to figure out how they are going to get a difficult job done and when they can’t we problem solve together.
Hiring Veterans is Important
Being a veteran myself, I truly understand the value that other veterans can bring to a business. I also understand how difficult it is for a number of veterans to transition to civilian life after serving in the military for so long. That’s why I look to hire veterans at Restoration 1 of Springfield. For the past two years, I’ve received the Gold Award for the HIRE Vets Medallion Program by the Department of Labor for recruiting, employing and retaining veterans for my small business. This is something I am committed to and will continue to provide employment opportunities within Restoration 1 to veterans for years to come.
Written by Cory Graves, Owner, Restoration 1 of Springfield