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BOHNNE JONES

Decorating Den

i9 Sports Client Story Video
Christopher Villa
i9 Sports
NoDa Brewing Client Story Video
Suzie & Todd Ford
NoDa Brewing
Decorating Den Client Story Video
Bohnne Jones
Decorating Den

Don Poffenroth & Kent Fleischmann

Dry Fly Distilling

From Corporate Burnout to
Craft Distillery

Fly fishing friends for years, Don Poffenroth and Kent Fleischmann spent many days on the river discussing their dreams for the future. Both men worked corporate jobs in the food industry and had years of marketing experience.

“I came up with this idea,” said Poffenroth, “since I used to be involved with a brewery in Montana. I initially looked at that business, and when I started to look into brewing I was led to check out distilling by some of the vendors I had worked with. That’s how the idea for distilling started.”

After drawing up a business plan, he asked Kent to invest in his new venture. Kent offered to partner with him and the rest is history.

With Guidant Financial’s help, they used their retirement funds for the bulk of their startup capital, and then began learning the business of craft distilling.

Now, they’re one of the top brands in the industry, world-renowned for their vodka and award-winning gin and whiskey.

Learn more about Dry Fly at their official website. Read about them in Yahoo Small Business and USA Today.

Dry Fly Vodka Bottle Dry Fly Shot Glasses Dry Fly Barrels

Suzie & Todd Ford

NoDa Brewing Company

Brewing What They Love

Suzie Ford was a banker who had just been laid off; her husband Todd was an airline pilot who missed seeing his wife. They decided to change course and start a business together.

Since Todd liked to brew his own beer, and had learned a lot about craft brewing during his layovers in Portland, Ore., a brewery seemed like a good option.

Suzie's best friend is a CPA and she recommended they use the services of Guidant Financial to find funding.

“My friend had clients that had used Guidant's services, so I got in touch and we decided to use their 401(k) rollover service for our initial funding. Everything was very easy—we were able to communicate by email and our outside counsel, Frank, answered all of our questions.”

The Fords opened the NoDa Brewing Company in the spring of 2011 and received a warm welcome in Charlotte. Now, their beer is served in Panther Stadium, at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and in numerous pubs around North Carolina.

“It's art to us,” said Suzie. “We can't paint, we can't write, but we can brew.”

Learn more about NoDa Brewing Company at their official website. Read about them in the Charlotte Observer and WBTV.

NoDa Beer Bottles NoDa Kegs NoDa Brewing Team

Bohnne Jones

Decorating Den

A Beautiful Career

After decades in the Healthcare IT industry, Bohnne Jones endured a series of layoffs that left her ready for a career makeover. She’d always enjoyed interior decorating, and knew she had the skills to run her own business. Once she found the decorate Den franchise, she was on her way.

But first, she needed funding.

FranNet consultant, Dan Aronoff, told her about Guidant Financial and she decided to use her retirement funds to invest in the new business.

“Guidant Financial made it so easy for me. We were able to do everything over the phone—they walk you through the entire experience of buying a business and they make sure you are set up for success.” said Jones.

Since then, Bohnne has made a name for herself in Nashville winning numerous awards for her designs. Beloved by her clients, her business is so successful she’s even hired an assistant to help manage the workload.

“Starting this business was the best decision I ever made.” said Jones.

Learn more about Decorating Den at Bohnne’s official website. Read about Bohnne in the Nashville Ledger.

Bohnne Jones Decorating Den Decorating Den Bohnne Jones

Christopher Villa

i9 Sports

Entrepreneurship Found a Good Sport

Christopher Villa made a lifelong dream come true when he purchased an i9 Sports franchise in 2006. “I think I decided when I was about 4 years old that I’d like to be my own boss, so I started putting the pieces in place during my corporate career in the footwear business,” said Villa.

Now, he leads one of the most successful i9 regions in the country.

The decision to purchase an i9 Sports franchise was an easy one. “When we were looking for a business to start, we wanted something that was community driven. i9 seemed to fit the bill, not to mention the fact that I’m very passionate about sports and I played sports all my life so it seemed to be a good fit.”

i9 provides team sports for children in a positive atmosphere and removes the burden of a crazy schedule for families by hosting the practices on the same day each week.

Villa found Guidant Financial through a franchise broker and never looked back. “One of the things I can say about Guidant Financial is [that] they’re very on top of compliance and very on top of making sure that your customer satisfaction is very high.”

As for the benefits of owning a business, Villa says there are many. “I’ve been able to coach my son’s baseball team; my wife and I are able to take trips and do the things that we love to do.”

He looks forward to starting his next business, a mobile gaming truck franchise, in a matter of weeks.

Kids at Seattle Mariners Game Christopher Villa i9 Sports i9 Sports kids

Linda Tyler

Red Mango

A Spoonful of Success

Linda Tyler is the quintessential American woman—she served her country for years as an Arkansas State Representative; she stimulates the economy with her frozen yogurt franchise and she’s a dedicated wife and mother.

Linda remembers her search for the perfect business, “We were looking for three things: profitability, great product and great franchise support.”

She found all of that in the Red Mango all-natural frozen yogurt franchise; then she needed to find the funding. She turned to Guidant Financial.

Guidant gave us a way to tap into our own financial resources in a cost-effective way. Our Guidant experience was positive. The legal and financial services were easily understood.

She enjoys what she does and reflects on how wonderful it is to have her community on board, “We continue to get great support from our Red Mango guests and the neighborhood. Our product is the best there is and we’re proud to be part of the Red Mango team.”

Read about Linda in Women & Co.

Hungry yet? Find a Red Mango near you.

Red Mango Frozen Yogurt Linda Tyler Red Mango Linda Tyler Red Mango Franchisee

Randy Biehl

Eveningside Vineyards

Turning Hobby into Harvest

Transitioning from a career in law enforcement to owning a winery can’t be an easy thing, but Randy Biehl made it happen. He was a U.S. probation and parole officer for almost 25 years and developed a passion for wine in his early 30s. He later decided he wanted to plant a vineyard and open a winery.

Going on a recommendation from his son, to get his winery going, he called Guidant Financial.

“I have been very impressed with the level of service, the professionalism, and friendliness of Guidant staff and management,” said Biehl.

Biehl also endured an IRS audit, but came through with flying colors.

“An IRS audit is very unsettling but Guidant stood by me every step of the way and that brought me great comfort. We were successful!”

He likens caring for a vineyard to gardening because “a great garden takes great care and so does a great vineyard.” He mentions that his life and his spare time are all consumed by his love for wine, “You know you have a passion when your hobby becomes your vocation.”

Learn more about Eveningside at their official website.

Eveningside Vineyards Wine Glasses Eveningside Vineyards Barrels Eveningside Vineyards Grapes

Jennifer Nicholls

Mathnasium

Making Math Her New Mission

As her retirement from a 20-year U.S. Navy career drew near in 2011, Dr. Jennifer Nicholls began an extensive job search. She wasn’t even considering starting her own business until she discovered the Mathnasium franchise.

She explains, “My father was a math teacher, and I have always been good at math. Education is really my passion, but I wasn’t interested in getting a credential so I couldn’t go the pure teaching route. Mathnasium seemed like a great fit combining my passion for education with my extensive program management experience.”

While investigating ways to utilize her Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for business funding, she found Guidant. Mathnasium, coincidentally, also recommended Guidant’s services. “The process with Guidant was very easy to navigate,” notes Nicholls. “ They answered all of my questions—even the silly ones. The sales team, legal counsel and tax folks were/are extremely helpful and continue to answer any questions to this day.”

Nicholls credits her years as a Naval Officer for her strong work ethic, leadership skills and accountability. “These are all things that were introduced to me early on, but the military recognizes and rewards these attributes in a stronger way than I have observed in the civilian world.”

Jennifer Nicholls is the first recipient of our veteran scholarship award. To learn more about Dr. Nicholls’ Mathnasium, visit her center’s official website.

Jennifer Nicholls Family Jennifer Nicholls Mathnasium Jennifer Nicholls Mathnasium Franchisee

Rand and Janeel Smith

eyeSmith Sport & Fashion Optical

Living Their Vision

On the verge of becoming empty nesters, Rand and Janeel Smith, proud parents of eight children, decided to buy their own business. Janeel was a music teacher; Rand had been in the eyewear industry for decades.

They decided to use their retirement funds to start a retail eyewear business.

Rand explains, “We wanted to start our business using our 401k monies but we had no idea how to do it. Our friend told us about Guidant Financial, so we contacted them and had a great experience.”

Now, they own the thriving eyeSmith Sport & Fashion Optical store in Kansas City, Mo. Their store specializes in outfitting sport enthusiasts with appropriate eyewear for their activities.

“We can put prescriptions in sunglasses for fisherman, for skiers, for scuba divers motorcycle riders—so it’s a draw that people want,” says Janeel.

They attract out-of-state customers with their state-of-the-art technology for eyewear fittings and unique selection. In addition, they consider their customers their friends.

In addition to their vast product offering, they find creative ways to market their store. The latest “stunt” included a geocaching treasure hunt that landed explorers right next to the eyeSmith location.

If you’re ever in the Kansas City metropolitan area, be sure to stop in and say “hi.” You’ll be greeted with friendly smiles, excellent customer service and a beautiful store. We dare you to not try on a pair of glasses!

To learn more, visit their official website or call (816) 256-5333.

eyeSmith Ski Goggles eyeSmith Sign eyeSmith Glasses