March 20th, 2014
Our Latest Franchise Partner: Living the American Dream
Elio Valladares was born and raised in Honduras, first coming to America as a teenager to earn a degree in marketing from the University of Houston. After college, he returned to his native country to be the operations manager for a family-owned janitorial service provider for banks, airlines, schools and others in major cities across the country. He oversaw 500 employees for the 43-year-old company.
It was a lucrative business, but other factors were beyond his control. He decided he wanted to make a change.
“I had turned 40 and I told my wife that I wanted to do something for myself. I needed to do it,” Elio says. “The political climate was changing there, and we have four children. It was not the place to raise a family.”
After meeting a business coach at a franchise expo in South Florida, he evaluated several options. He attended AlphaGraphics’ Discovery Day at the AG headquarters in Salt Lake City, and he knew he’d found the right choice.
“I looked at a lot of business opportunities, but none were comparable,” Elio says. “The truth is that most want to get your money and move on, but there’s an incredible amount of support within the AG network, and it continues beyond the launch.”
Elio and his wife, Marcella, recently purchased an AlphaGraphics Business Center in Aurora, Colo., outside of Denver. It’s a market where the brand has established a strong presence, and others are thriving in the area. His fluency in Spanish would be an asset.
“I spent some time with two AG franchisees there, and not only were they successful, but they were very open and sincere, and are always willing to take a call and offer their help,” he says. “You’re never alone – it’s like a family. The way I see it is, if you invest in Wall Street, you’re always wondering whether you made the right choice. You are gambling. Here, I have the opportunity to grow a business, but with the kind of support that I find very comforting.”
With his marketing and operations background, he found AG’s consultative offering very appealing. He sees the way AlphaGraphics is constantly evolving to stay on top of a rapidly changing industry.
“AG is focused on the future, on educating people and sharing the vision and helping other businesses grow. Nothing is stagnant… it’s about providing solutions, and that’s what I do.
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