College Pro Painters is the largest and most successful student run painting company in North America. Young aspiring entrepreneurs have been gaining valuable experience from the College Pro system for over 40 years now, and there are thousands of past Franchise Managers and painters who have gone on to be extremely successful business men and women, attributing much of the skill and dedication they have to the College Pro system.
Jeff Wall, former franchise manager and current President of Handyman Connection, a national home improvement and repair franchise company, looks back after being with the company for almost 18 years and tells his story.
As a college sophomore at the University of Illinois in 1989, Jeff found an advertisement for College Pro Painters in his dorm. The ad presented a unique opportunity to young, relatively inexperienced individuals wishing to develop new skills. College Pro offered to train and mentor college students to eventually run a small painting franchise for a summer. Although his parents were skeptical at first, his father eventually encouraged him to take a chance and try the program.
Jeff spent two years as a franchisee and after graduation stayed with College Pro Painters and became a General Manager with the company. Jeff recalls “…College Pro has always been about giving you opportunities & responsibilities long before you are ready, and giving you the room to figure it out and make the best of a situation.” One of his favorite things about entering the General Manger program is that he was able to offer the same opportunity he was given to new college students, and share his great success story.
Jeff continued on with the College Pro Painters, and was the President of the US West division by 2007, eventually moving to one of TFC’s sister companies, CertaPro Painters. In 2010, Jeff took on the great challenge of becoming the President of Handyman Connection.
Looking back Jeff can think of no better opportunity he could have taken to get where he is today. He attributes much of his success to the skills he acquired in his first summer as a franchisee. Although there have been numerous challenges, long hours and frustration, Jeff recalls that College Pro Painters have always been a source of support and encouragement and likens College Pro to “…a family of which I am very proud to be a part of.”