This last weekend I was in Las Vegas for the National Auto Dealers Association’s annual trade show and convention. I was at the show helping out at the Throttle Muscle trade show booth. The trade show was a bust for Throttle Muscle, definitely not a receptive audience for our line of products. At one point I was talking to a dealer who mid sentence turned and walked away without saying a word. All was not lost though, I met a gentleman named Topher Gleason who in a ten minute conversation re-energized my focus on our mission. Topher encouraged me to tell our story, to write posts every week about why we do what we do. So here I am. I am going to start my story today. I am going to start the story about WHY a Jiffy Lube Franchisee would launch a products company.
In 2011, I was attending a Jiffy Lube Convention in Chicago. I had just endured the worst part of my Jiffy Lube career having whittled our Franchise operations from a high of 51 locations in six different states to 14 in two. I had been through a Corporate bankruptcy and personal bankruptcy and was struggling both monetarily and emotionally. Truth be told, I didn’t even want to be at the convention facing some of the very people that negatively impacted my life through the bankruptcy process. Then something life changing happened: I, along with several other Franchisees, was invited to attend a dinner with the National Goodwill Ambassador for MDA: Abbey Umali. At the time I was on the Marketing Committee for Jiffy Lube but that’s a story for another day. Embarrassingly enough, I was the only Franchisee that accepted the invitation and was invited to bring along my entire team.
My brother Cody Mead was attending the show as a Vendor. He had three members of his team along with him and were invited to join me at dinner with Abbey Umali and the MDA team. It was at that dinner that the concept of Throttle Muscle and Muscle Blades was born. The idea was born out of our collective desire to do everything we could to help Abbey Umali and others that lived with one of thousands of muscle diseases. Abbey touched our hearts. From her humor to her grace, our entire team was touched beyond words. I knew that what I could accomplish in my 14 Jiffy Lube stores was not enough. I wanted to do more. I wanted to give more. This would become a mission for me and my life!
With 41 Jiffy Lube locations, my team raised over $180,000 for Jiffy Lube’s prior national partner: American Heart Association. My goal was to find a way for my remaining 14 locations to help raise that and more for Muscular Dystrophy Association. The next several months was full of talking, researching and planning how we could accomplish that goal. Throttle Muscle was born out of my desire to raise both dollars and awareness for those suffering from one of the numerous muscle diseases covered by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.