National retail franchise appoints Jason Gehrke to board of directors

Franchise chain Inspirations Paint has appointed Jason Gehrke to its board of directors. Gehrke has more than 20 years experience in the franchise sector, is the founder of the Franchise Advisory Centre and is the deputy chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia.

Gehrke is also a member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Franchise Consultative Panel and an adjunct lecturer at the Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence.

He was voted onto the board for a two year term by a majority of franchisees at the company’s annual general meeting after filling a temporary casual vacancy since June.

“It is a great honour to join the board of Inspirations Paint and to have received the support of the franchisees in this appointment,” said Gehrke. “This is a business with a great history and enormous potential. I look forward to contributing to its continued growth and innovation,”  he said.

Inspirations Paint was founded in Newcastle in 1979 and has 134 stores across Australia with an annual turnover approaching $300 million. It is the single largest distributor of Dulux paints in the country and supplies one in every six litres of paint sold in Australia.

The network is unusual among franchise brands in that it is owned by its franchisees, who voted Gehrke onto the board as its first director from a non-paint industry background.

“The board recognised that to take the business to the next level we needed to add a fresh perspective to the board with core skills in franchising, strategy and critical analysis,” said Inspirations Paint chairman and multi-unit franchisee Glenn Ringrose.

“A number of our national office personnel, including our CEO had attended several of Jason’s franchise education events over the last few years, and after a period of due diligence on each other, we extended the invitation to Jason on the condition that it was still subject to a vote by the franchisees.”

Inspirations Paint has recently completed a major rebranding to expand its appeal to home renovators under the tagline What’s your next project, while increasing its offer to trade customers and introducing its own range of brushes and other paint accessories.