RALEIGH — Need your drywall repaired? There’s a veteran-run business that can help.
PatchMasters is a veteran run and owned business specializing in drywall repair that offers franchise opportunities to military veterans. There are currently two locations, one serving Iredell County and another in southern Wake County.
PatchMasters offers “high-quality drywall service for all those small holes, dings, and dents. Our technicians will leave it like it never happened.”
The Iredell County location opened in March and the Wake County location opened up in July of this year. PatchMasters has fanchises across the United States and some in Canada.
“All we do is drywall repair,” said Tim Forrest, the CEO and current owner and operator of the southern Wake County location. “We want to do the repair. We don’t want to get into competing for new homes and new buildings and all that. It’s not where I want to be.”
A resident of Holly Springs in Wake County, Forrest served in the Army for 30 years and 10 months. He enlisted in 1987 and retired in 2018 is a colonel 06.
“I lived in 42 countries for various and sundry reasons. I did two years in Afghanistan, two years in Iraq. I was there for the OIR fight, which you probably know is ISIS,” said Forrest. “I was over that way in northern Iraq.”
Forrest said he’s seen “a lot of the world, and as an engineer I’ve built a lot of the world.” He also accumulated a number of medals and awards and recognitions, but he said he most wants to give back. That giving back includes running for Holly Springs Town Council in the upcoming 2021 municipal election. He’s also helping veterans get their own business, leading a Boy Scout troop as committee chair and building beds for Sleep in Heavenly Peace.
Forrest, who also started PatchMasters in the Iredell location, said the organization has a parent Corporation, Bronze Star Holdings, which owns the two LLC’s. Bronze Star Holdings is named after the military meritorious valor award from a combat zone.
Bronze Star Holdings was incorporated in May of 2020 by military veteran John Gallina. He is also the CEO of Purple Heart Homes, which has chapters in all 50 states, with offerings that include helping veterans obtain access ramps for a new house.
“Bronze Star Holdings’ purpose is we want to recruit, train, and enable veterans to have their own franchise if they can,” said Forrest. “We want to enable them to get their own business, whether that’s through our investment, their investment or combination thereof.”
Currently, there are three veterans working with PatchMasters, one of whom is a disabled veteran.
“He’s a single-handed individual due to an IED in Iraq,” said Forrest. “But he’s actually able to do drywall because now there’s special equipment they didn’t have 10 years ago or 20 years ago, for one person to be able to do drywall by themselves. They have a lot of special gear now.”
Forrest said they plan on recruiting more in 2022 once they get beyond process and training procedures, training concepts, operational development, and marketing.
The idea for PatchMasters came from Gallina, who wanted to help veterans, disabled or not, who want to work and provide for their families. Forrest said that, “those opportunities are limited… real limited.”
Gallina told Forrest that once he is able to “get us off the ground, get this working, then I want us to go after getting veterans and helping them get to the next level of life to where they own their own franchise.”
“They can take their family on that vacation to Disney World. They can live a good life because most veterans leave the military, whether at 25 or 45, with leadership skills, hard-working ethics, you know, male…female…it doesn’t matter,” said Forrest.
Forrest says that PatchMasters is a way to connect veterans and their skills to real-world jobs.
“You’ve got all this raw material, and then they go out… they may have worked on a college degree at night to get a job in a corporation, or a company, and their manning a desk, they’re answering phones to get by because they don’t have any civilian experience. Or their military experience may not align very well within a job in the civilian market, especially like infantryman, right?” said Forrest.
He added that they want to “provide a veteran with a way to provide for their family in and use their skills they’ve earned and learned.”
When asked why drywall repair was the route they decided to go down, Forrest said that kind of work is a fast-growing industry in the United States.
“In North Carolina alone, it’s over a billion dollar a year industry because drywall goes in a lot of buildings and homes,” Forrest said, citing the increases in new homes and business buildings. “Pick a thing, there’s usually drywall there.”
PatchMasters in Iredell County can be accessed via: https://statesville.patchmaster.com/
Southern Wake County’s PatchMasters can be accessed via: https://southwake.patchmaster.com/
Veterans interested in working for PatchMasters or becoming a franchise owner can visit: https://patchmasteropportunity.com/