Dina's Blog

  • Remembering the Vision and Values of a Daring Founder

    Once a month I have the honor of speaking on the “Son Rise Morning Show,” a radio program that airs on the EWTN Global Catholic Network. Whatever the topic happens to be, the conversation always includes a discussion about values in business.

    And this week that included a very timely conversation on appreciating the vision and values of an organization’s founder. It is something that EWTN is feeling first-hand, with the recent passing of Mother Mary Angelica – the remarkable Catholic nun who founded EWTN.

    With only a high school education, no television experience and just $200 in the bank, Mother Angelica launched the Eternal World Television Network in 1981. Today, EWTN is the largest Catholic media network, reaching 264 million homes around the world.

    Leaving this Earth on Easter Sunday at the age of 92, Mother Angelica leaves behind an incredible organization and an incredible team that has carried on her communication mission for years. But the vision and values of Mother Angelica must live on as well.

    Great founders see beyond risks and envision great rewards.

    As I shared on the air this week, suffering the loss of a founder is a journey our franchise family at The Dwyer Group had to make as well. You can listen to the interview HERE (fast forward to 2:12:35).

    When my father Don Dwyer, Sr. passed away in 1994 at the age of 60, it was a tough journey forward for my mother, me and my brothers and sisters, all of our relatives and close friends, not to mention everyone associated with this incredible organization he had built. We mourned the loss along with our company associates, our franchise owners, our vendors, company stockholders and more.

    Don Dwyer, Founder of The Dwyer Group, Inc.

    Don Dwyer, Founder of The Dwyer Group, Inc.

    Don Dwyer would tell his associates: “I don’t see you for what you are. I see you for what you could be.”

    We knew Don Dwyer’s vision needed to continue to guide the company that he started. We understood the importance of carrying the company forward with a deep respect and appreciation for the vision and values of our founder. That is why we created Founder’s Day, to honor the man who started it all.

    Once a year we take time out of our day to appreciate the entrepreneur who was willing to venture into the unknown. And every day, we live and lead with our operationalized Code of Values, an updated version of the original Code of Values that Don Dwyer set in place when he started the company.

    With each passing year, we have embraced success without losing site of our important beginnings. Today, CEO Mike Bidwell and our leadership team have grown the company and our service brands beyond our wildest dreams. The Dwyer Group now includes 13 service brands and more than 2,500 franchise owners in 10 countries around the world who account for more than $1.3 billion in annual system wide sales. We have expanded more in that last two years than in the first 33 years of our existence.

    And as great as the company is today, it’s still important to remember where we came from, how we got our start, and who took those first steps and showed the way. Without great founders, there would be nothing to carry forward. Here’s to all of the inspirational founders who took that first important step and invited others to follow.