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DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. is the only food retailer to rank among the Top 100 Military Friendly Employers published by G.I. Jobs magazine. Furthermore, the convenience store chain comes in third among all retailers on the list.
"The company prides itself on a diverse workforce and its military-friendly hiring and franchising practices," according to the magazine. "The company’s franchise program offers discounted franchise fees to retired or separated veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been honorably discharged from the service."
7-Eleven introduced its military veterans’ franchise program in 2009.
Qualified veterans who become first-time 7-Eleven franchisees receive a 10-percent discount on the initial franchise fee for the first store they franchise. This discount can range from $1,000 up to approximately $35,000, depending on the store, according to the company.
To date, 16 veterans have become 7-Eleven franchisees; an additional 18 have applied. Dennis Wallis, who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1977, and his wife, Sandi, were the first to take advantage of the program. The couple acquired a 7-Eleven franchise in Redmond, Ore. in late 2009.
He said the most rewarding aspect of their new business has been the number of new friends they have met in the community. "We can’t go anywhere in town where we don’t run into people we’ve met as customers in our store."
Military roots run deep in the company. 7-Eleven’s president and chief executive officer Joe DePinto is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and former U.S. Army officer. "Being named as one of the top military-friendly employers is one of the greatest honors our organization could receive," DePinto said. "The military is an outstanding training ground. It teaches and instills values-based leadership and the qualities of adaptability, perseverance and a can-do mentality. These traits are important to military personnel, but also much sought after in the business world."