The Edmond Sun

Business

July 14, 2014

Express Employment Professionals opens 700th franchise location

OKLA. CITY — Staffing icon Bob Funk is a dreamer. Time and time again he recalls his past when all he wanted was to become three things: an entrepreneur, a minister and a rancher. And now, more than 31 years later, Funk’s entrepreneurial dream continues to unfold.

“We’ve hit upon the magic formula for success,” said Funk, CEO and chairman of the board for Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest franchised staffing company. “There is no doubt that the franchising business format is proving to be the greatest answer for businesses coming out of the recession.”

Express recently awarded its 700th franchise location and the company shows no signs of slowing down. With offices in the U.S., Canada and South Africa, Express has rapidly expanded since the great recession of 2009. In the past three years alone, Express has grown from 553 franchise locations to 700. Additionally, sales are up 152 percent since the beginning of 2010.

Funk spoke highly of the franchise owners, the staff and the environment they have created.

“It’s a testament to the Express culture. We’re unique in the staffing industry. We’re among the top brands in North America and have committed to the winning model of franchising.”

Louis and Vernita Williams of Lansing, Ill., are the new owners of the company’s 700th Express office. Louis was a pharmacist for 20 years and a pharmacy owner for 10.

He has a degree in chemistry from Indiana University, a Master of Business Administration from Purdue University and a doctorate in pharmacy at the University of Illinois. Vernita managed several retail nutritional businesses for more than 10 years and was the human resources manager of the pharmacy she and Louis owned. She is a graduate of the Joseph School of Business and Entrepreneurship and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

The couple became interested in starting their own staffing company and after looking into various franchise organizations, the Williams family selected Express.

“My wife and I were looking to join an organization with a stellar support system. Express was a perfect fit,” Louis said. “My professional life has always had meaning, but this career choice has special significance for me. The opportunity to help families and give them the chance to work gives me a special sense of purpose in this world. An Express franchise will also provide the financial security my family and I have desired for so long.”

After being ranked No. 71 on Entrepreneur’s 2014 Franchise 500 list, Express is optimistic about the company’s future. According to Lewis, “There is enough open territory to have 1,000 locations in North America. We at Express fully intend to use every available space in order to reach as many people as possible who are looking for jobs.”

Express Employment Professionals has generated more than $2.5 billion in sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013, and ranks as the largest franchised staffing agency in the United States. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.

For information about owning an Express franchise, visit ExpressFranchising.com.

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