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Dec
9
2021
STORIES

Store Stories: Employee and Community Engagement at the Heart of Each The UPS Store Center

Store Stories: Employee and Community Engagement at the Heart of Each The UPS Store Center

An ongoing combination of hard work, continuous learning, the power of a well-known brand and commitment to great customer service contributes to a franchisee growing their business.

An ongoing combination of hard work, continuous learning, the power of a well-known brand and commitment to great customer service contributes to a franchisee growing their business. However, without a highly engaged workforce, even the best-loved brands can fall short.

Some great examples of employee engagement are present in our franchise owners’ The UPS Store locations. Each and every day, franchisees build a stronger workplace culture through their dedication to serving their team, as well as their community.

From a variety of backgrounds, The UPS Store franchise owners have proven that no matter their history, a strong focus on employee engagement can make all the difference. Below, we’ll look deeper into The UPS Store family, reviewing the unique stories of how members of the community transitioned to serving their community, building a highly engaged team along the way.

Ashwin Narayan

Ashwin Narayan started his career in the Air Force, working in Recruiting and Information Technology and completing several deployments including Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. After retiring from the military, Ashwin worked in automation for a heating and air conditioning company before pursuing his next career move as a local retail owner with The UPS Store.

A trusted mentor advised Ashwin to “Take care of your employees first, as they in turn will take care of your customers,” and he not only took the sentiment to heart, but he also lives by this mantra daily. Ashwin’s initial desire to provide great customer service in his community and find a sound business investment are what led him to The UPS Store, which has topped Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 ranking in the postal and business services category for 31 consecutive years.

Building the right team for his five Ohio The UPS store locations is very important to Ashwin, so he gets to know each employee well and prides himself on training and career development. Ashwin knows that a highly engaged team contributes not only to the store experience, but also to the world-class customer service that The UPS Store strives for.

Ashwin’s commitment to his community is just as strong as his dedication to his employees. Early in the pandemic, he helped fellow local business owners reopen by printing complimentary “We Are Open” signs, and printed banners for the nearby hospital to honor local Health Care Heroes.

Marie Jensen

Marie Jensen is a fourth-generation Oregonian and local retail owner of three The UPS store locations. Following her philosophy of “aiming for exceptional,” Marie has a “get it done” attitude that is displayed in her work ethic and her hands-on approach with her team.

When Marie’s neighbor, an owner of a The UPS Store location, suggested that Marie and her husband join The UPS Store family, her optimism led the way. Marie leveraged her management degree and service industry experience to open her first location, followed by two more since. She works diligently alongside her staff, putting her compassion and fearlessness on display while ensuring that her team is fully trained to serve customers and the community. Marie shares, “My greatest feeling of satisfaction is when our team is helping our customers.”

Like her fellow local retail owners, Marie goes above and beyond through her generosity and service to community programs like the Toys for Toys Literacy Program and The Clackamas Bookshelf, which provides free books to low-income children. In addition to providing support to other local business owners with services from The UPS Store, Marie also participates in her area’s Chamber of Commerce where she helps improve and promote economic growth in the community.

PJ Thurkauf

As a New Jersey native and lifelong resident, PJ Thurkauf knows his community well and has dedicated most of his career to lending a helping hand to make a difference in the lives of others.

PJ became a volunteer firefighter at his local Fire Department at 15. His desire growing up was to help others, and his love for fire trucks made him a natural fit for that start to his career. Continuing his path of service, he later served the community as an EMT.

When PJ was 18, he applied for a job at Mail Boxes Etc. (which eventually became The UPS Store) and little did he know at the time, that’s where his path of owning a franchise began. He worked his way up to a managerial position, became part owner of the store and eventually went on to own two The UPS Store locations.

PJ is continuously grateful he gets to do what he loves daily, which is helping his local community and customers. His dedication and gratitude continue to show in his work after 26 years as a member of The UPS Store family. PJ believes that extensive employee training and leading by example to “do the work right” are crucial to each of his store’s success. By empowering his employees to provide a “superior customer experience,” he serves his community well and has also earned the reputation of “rad boss” with his team.

As a 15-year member of the Morristown, NJ Rotary Club and even serving as president at one point, PJ serves his community outside of The UPS Store. He’s also active in his local Chamber of Commerce and regularly sponsors local sports teams.

Matthew Wood

Raised on his family’s horse farm in Kentucky, Matthew Wood grew up riding, showing horses and competing. With his passion for horses, it seemed like a natural fit to build a career raising them, but life had other plans for Matthew.

While studying at Georgetown College, Matthew’s entrepreneur mentors (his aunt and uncle) encouraged him to invest in a franchise opportunity with The UPS Store to become a local retail owner. With Matthew’s passion for graphic design, printing and great customer service, it was the perfect opportunity to build a career and invest in his community. Nine years later, Matthew acquired his second The UPS Store location, and he remains focused on growing and servicing quality stores.

Matthew’s commitment to providing a great store experience for his customers begins with his team. He’s made his business a family affair, with part of his team consisting of his brother, a cousin, an uncle and even his parents, who all contribute to Matthew’s success.

Giving back to his community is a priority for Matthew. He proudly sponsors local fundraisers and sports, and his stores rank at the top for collecting donations for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program. He’s also active with AVOL Kentucky, an organization whose mission is to educate and end HIV.

Inspiration Everywhere

These franchisees’ stories are inspiration and proof that no matter your background, a focus on employee engagement and desire to serve your community are significant on the path to becoming a local retail owner with The UPS Store. To learn more about The UPS Store franchise opportunities, check out our upcoming webinars or reach out to our franchise development team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise Top Rated for Veterans in 2022 badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $10,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #2 in 2022 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the sixth consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

See the Full Testimonial

Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.