Dwyer Group Annual Awards Day
Today was a special day at The Dwyer Group. It was our Annual Awards Day at corporate headquarters. This is a little different from the awards that are bestowed on franchisees by the brand presidents at Dwyer Group Reunion each year. This is a special internal program, where we honor individuals in support positions in-house. There are franchise sales awards and team member awards across the Dwyer Group and our service brands. And then there is the Live R.I.C.H. award, which holds a truly special place in my heart.
When we defined our Code of Values with the idea to Live R.I.C.H. at Dwyer Group (following the themes of respect, integrity, customer focus and having fun in the process), we started to receive stories showcasing those values in action from people in our organization. That soon translated into special nominations for people worthy of the Live R.I.C.H. award on Awards Day. There is no better feeling than reading those nominations.
Such was the case when Doyle James, president of Aire Serv at the time and now president of Mr. Rooter, nominated Brandon Haire from his Aire Serv team. Brandon is a vice president of franchise development, working with the Aire Serv and Mr. Appliance service brands. Doyle attached a letter to his nomination for why Brandon should receive this award. Below is that letter, and it speaks for itself for why Brandon was this year’s Live R.I.C.H. award winner.
It is people like Brandon Haire who show the power of living and leading with values in business and in life. Thank you, Brandon!
I got to present the Live R.I.C.H. Award to Brandon with his beautiful wife and children in attendance.
(A letter sent to Doyle James at The Dwyer Group.)
My name is Kristen Swendel. You don’t know me, but I looked you up online and found out you were president of Aire Serv. The purpose of me writing to you is about one of your employees, Brandon, who has truly changed my life and my family’s life for the better.
Last week, early in the morning, I stopped by Café Cappuccino with my 13-month-old daughter, Lilly. My husband and I were given a gift certificate to this local restaurant and were planning to go the three of us, but he had to travel for work. Needless to say, Lilly and I finished our breakfast, and we were heading to drop her off at daycare so mommy could get to work. I got her all buckled in and got myself situated; put the key in the ignition and “NOTHING.” My battery had died. I tried calling my husband, but as I mentioned before he was out of state and didn’t answer. Typical. The next move was to call everyone I could think of in my phone…no answer. I then got out of the car, Lilly was about to lose it at this point, but there was a couple walking up, so I asked them if they had jumper-cables, NOPE. Three more sets of breakfast eaters came, no cables. I grabbed Lilly out of her car seat, sat down on the curb, cried, and tried to call everyone on the phone, NO ANSWER. Feeling helpless and hopeless, I hugged Lilly and my phone began to ring…It was my husband. After I proceeded to tell him he is nowhere to be found when I need him, he said he was going to try and call one of his friends.
At this point, two or three more people had gone by without even looking in my direction. Now I must admit that I was not dressed for success on this rainy morning, and I know my make-up was a hot mess after crying on the curb, but people avoided even parking by me. All that to say, the next thing that happened truly changed my life. My husband called back, and as I was on the phone with him, a white Jeep pulled up a couple of spaces away. At the time I didn’t pay attention to the driver, but he had definitely seen Lilly and I. He smiled and waved at Lilly and walked into the restaurant. In the midst, my husband was calling me back to tell me he couldn’t find anyone to help us, but would keep trying – I lost it. Here I am holding a 13-month-old that doesn’t get what’s going on, daddy can’t help, it’s raining hard now, I am two minutes away from pulling out my taser and mace and taking my frustrations out on this retched vehicle. When a glorious hand touches my shoulder “Do you guys need help?”
I almost pounced on him with a YES! I proceeded to tell him what was going on, that our battery had died. What he did next made my day. Brandon told me that he didn’t have cables in his car either, that he was actually driving his wife’s car, but that didn’t stop him from helping. He grabbed my keys, tried to start the car and then popped the hood. Lilly is crying pretty hard at this point. Once he confirmed that it was indeed the battery, he said, “I bet someone inside has cables” and marched right back into the restaurant. The part that makes my day is that I could see him through the window, walking table to table asking for cables. It worked. Brandon marched back outside with a lady, grabbed the cables from her trunk, pulled his Jeep next to mine, and hooked up the cables. As the cars were connected, Lilly and I stood under the overhang with Brandon and he asked questions about us, told me all about his wife and two boys, one of which is close to Lilly’s age. I told him about how this free breakfast ruined my day, what my husband did, and how he has to travel to work because money was tight, and how this is just an added stress he doesn’t need financially.
Nonetheless, after a few minutes, Brandon unhooked the cables returned them to the lady and closed the hoods on both of our cars. For most people this would have been enough, but Brandon isn’t most people. He made sure I had called my work and Lilly’s school and explain what was going on. After that he told me I had to follow him to Auto Zone. He helped me buckle Lilly into the car seat, and he even explained to me where the straps are supposed to go across her chest for maximum safety. As we were following behind Brandon I couldn’t help but think, this guy must be an angel. Here is a man in dress slacks soaking wet, now covered in grease, taking a perfect stranger to fix her rust bucket. As we pulled into Auto Zone, my suspicions were confirmed…he must be an angel. Brandon walked into Auto Zone with Lilly and I and headed straight for the counter. He told the man behind the counter that I needed a new battery and connectors and that HE was going to pay for them. After a few minutes the man grabbed a battery and the connectors and we all headed outside. The Auto Zone guy asked me about my morning and I told him all about my sorrows, and then he had to grab something from inside.
As if the whole morning wasn’t life changing enough, what Brandon did next truly shaped my family forever. As the guy walked in, Brandon asked if he could share something with me. I said sure and smiled. Brandon said 95% of life is perspective, and that the power of life and death come from the tongue. He said, you keep looking at this day as a curse and it will be, but let’s recount your day. You had an amazing breakfast with your sweet daughter for free right? Then your battery dies. But look you are getting a new one…for free! That’s awesome he said. He then said here is the way I see your day. God knew the exact day that battery would die, and the exact day you would eat breakfast, and the exact day your husband would be gone, and the exact financial hurt you were going through. But there is more to the story. Do you know why I was at Café Cappuccino this morning? I told him, no. Brandon then amazed me further. The whole reason he was at the café in the first place was that he had been there the day before for his once a week coffee and the computers wouldn’t take his card, so he told them he would come back and pay for it the next day. WOW, WOW, WOW. I was blown away. But the last line he said truly touched my heard and my husband’s after I told him. As Brandon was leaving he said keep that in mind, but do me one favor…look up, Google, whatever you have to do, but read Psalm 5:12. I did. I cried.
This man, Brandon, I don’t know what he does for you Mr. James, I don’t know his last name even, I do know that he was wearing an Aire Serv dress shirt, but he is one guy that is changing people’s lives. Please thank him for us, and let your company know that this is how you truly live, the way Brandon does.
Kristen, Jacob and Lilly