CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MAACO® is proud to announce that founder Anthony "Tony" Martino has been posthumously inducted into the International Franchise Association (IFA) Hall of Fame for his extensive contributions in promoting and advancing the franchise industry. Martino is among a class of five industry leaders who have been selected to the 2014 IFA Hall of Fame.
Established in 1979, the Hall of Fame Award is the oldest and most prestigious award conferred by the IFA, the world's largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Past recipients include: Robert M. Rosenberg, CEO of Dunkin' Donuts; Frederick "Fred" DeLuca, co-founder of Subway; and Kemmons Wilson, the founder of the Holiday Inn hotel chain.
"It's a proud moment for all of us who worked with Tony. We knew his genius in building dominant national brands and developing strong franchisee following. It's a great honor to his memory that his talents are recognized by the franchise community," said David M. Lapps, past President of MAACO and long-time employee and friend of Tony Martino.
With success in three franchises, Mr. Martino led a life of great achievement. He began his remarkable career in 1959 with a simple shop specializing in automatic transmission repair. The founder of AAMCO Transmissions significantly grew the business throughout the 1960s before selling it and turning his automotive knowledge and business insights to MAACO. When he opened a pilot MAACO Auto Painting & Bodyworks center in 1972, he positioned the brand between low-cost auto painters of lesser quality and expensive dealership work. The rest is history as the company rapidly grew into the MAACO we know today, one that repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually.
"Following in the footsteps of a visionary leader like Tony Martino is both humbling and a challenge," says Jose Costa, President, MAACO. "We are continuing to build the MAACO brand into the one we know Tony would want it to be for today's customers," he added.
A past recipient of the IFA's Entrepreneur of the Year award, Mr. Martino's business interests extended beyond automobiles. He founded the prominent Goddard School for Early Childhood Development in 1988, and established it as a leader in quality childcare before selling it in 2002. Mr. Martino passed away in January 2008.
In February, Mr. Marino will be honored along with the late Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, the late J. Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International, James Maynard, founder of Golden Corral Corporation and Thomas Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza.
The induction ceremony, which will be held during the IFA Annual Convention in New Orleans, celebrates the accomplishments of these pioneers who introduced many innovations and successful systems to their respective markets along with some of the most pervasive and well-known global brands. Each of these franchise icons have contributed significantly to the growth and sustainability of franchising in the U.S. and around the world.
Founded in 1972, MAACO(R) Collision Repair & Auto Painting (www.maaco.com) repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually. The 450 franchises have restored the safety and beauty of all types of vehicles for nearly 40 years. MAACO Franchising, Inc., headquartered in Charlotte, NC, has been cited numerous times by Entrepreneur magazine as #1 in its category in the Annual Franchise 500 survey.
About Driven Brands
Driven Brands, (www.drivenbrands.com) headquartered in Charlotte, NC, serves as parent company for the separate businesses: MAACO(R) (a franchise-based collision repair and auto painting retail network) Meineke Car Care Centers(R) (a franchise-based automotive service and repair retail network); Econo Lube & Tune (a franchised chain of automotive repair/quick lube services); a franchised network of mobile services consisting of AutoQua\(R), Aero-Colours(R) & Drive N Style(R) (specializing in automotive interior reconditioning and maintenance, paint refinishing and restyling services for Car Dealerships) and Tortal.net (developer of on-line training solutions for a variety of industries). Management team members serve on the industry association boards, the IFA and AAIA.
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.