Office Pride Franchise Review: Dean and Nancy Riesterer of New Haven, Ind.

Lost job equals found opportunity for Indiana couple

Dean Riesterer has felt the pain of so many Americans who’ve been laid off. As the general manager of a confidential documents destruction business, he spent nearly 10 years building the company from the ground up. Then he came back from vacation four years ago only to learn his job had been eliminated.

Dean and Nancy Riesterer, Office Pride Franchisee owners.

Dean and Nancy Riesterer, Office Pride Franchisee owners.

Such news would be devastating for anyone, but Dean ultimately leaned on his faith to see him through. “It wasn’t horrible because it was God’s bigger plan at the time,” says Dean, who is now an Office Pride franchisee in New Haven, Ind., a suburb of Fort Wayne with about 15,000 people. “You really go through a lot, but we should have known better, because God just really opened it up as far as all the doors to start with Office Pride.”

Dean and Nancy’s first Office Pride account was a small bank, “and it just grew from there,” he says.

“We never looked back,” adds Nancy, who was soon able to quit her nearly 20-year career in banking because their commercial cleaning franchise was doing so well.

Dean had always yearned to be an entrepreneur, but he had never been able to make the leap. One of his best friends, Scott Voelker, an Area Developer for Office Pride, encouraged the Riesterers to give it a try. The couple, who’ve been married 11 years and have three grown children between them, weren’t exactly on the same page when it came to opening their own business.

“I had never worked for a big corporation before,” says Dean. “I had always worked for small companies, always a couple steps down from the guy who owned the place. So the idea was very appealing to me, and not to Nancy at first at all.”

“Scott kept saying, ‘Why don’t you try Office Pride?,’ and I said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to try commercial cleaning,’ ” Nancy says.

But there was a meeting that changed her mind and confirmed for Dean that going with Office Pride was the right decision. Their meeting with Scott Voelker and some other folks from Office Pride showed them how important faith was to the business.

“That made me change my mind, the godly concept and the way the company provided a way to serve people,” says Nancy. “The more I look at it now, especially, God put us where we needed to be to do this. We want to do excellent for our customers and we want to serve. I was able to manage people for a while, so that helps me now, and Dean was in operations. Our talents really fit it well.”

Once she saw the possibilities, Nancy got past her occasionally having to clean. From their single account with a bank in October 2009, the couple now have 25 employees and 55 building accounts. Neither had any prior commercial cleaning experience. Indeed, Dean thinks that might have been a detriment.

“Nancy and I went to Office Pride training and took that to heart. This is a proven system; we’re going to run it the way we’ve been taught in training,” says Dean. “We take the time to train our employees, and it’s really weird, but it’s not just cleaning, it’s not something just anyone can do. If anyone can do it, why are all these other companies losing their contracts?”

Nancy agrees. “I think coming into it not having any previous cleaning experience, it helps us embrace the systems Office Pride offers. We had nothing to cloud that experience,” she says.

Dean says they began to see what a good opportunity this business could be. “And what they stood for was huge,” adds Dean. “In the corporate world today, it’s just scary. The moral character is getting rough.” The low-entry investment coupled with Office Pride’s emphasis on Biblical principles made the decision a no-brainer for the couple.

“We thought, ‘We want to honor God in this business.’ We totally gave it up to Him,” says Dean. Adds Nancy, “God protects and God provides, and we totally live by that in our business.”

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