Mr. Rooter franchisees Paul and Saunda Kitchen recently received the Don Dwyer Award of Excellence.

Paul and Saunda Kitchen


Mr. Rooter franchisees Paul and Saunda Kitchen recently received the Don Dwyer Award of Excellence from The Dwyer Group, holding company for Mr. Rooter Corp.

A tribute to the founder of The Dwyer Group, this award recognizes a deserving franchisee or associate who demonstrates outstanding and continual dedication to The Dwyer Group.

“Paul and Saunda live their lives and lead their business by the code of values and principles my father created as the compass for this company,” said Dina Dwyer-Owens, daughter of Don Dwyer and chairwoman and CEO of The Dwyer Group. “They go above and beyond to help their team, community and fellow franchisees.”

The 10th recipient of the award, the Kitchens played a major role in the development of the Mr. Rooter Zees for Zees Outreach Program. The money from this fund helps Mr. Rooter franchisees that need assistance with travel expenses to annual conferences. Since its inception in 2007, they’ve raised more than $60,000, enabling 45 franchisees to attend various conventions.

Owners of the Mr. Rooter franchise in Santa Rosa, Calif., they developed the Kitch-Kids fund, which provides financial support for their employees’ children to participate in sports, academics and other programs that give back to the community.

“We are humbled to receive such a significant award,” Saunda Kitchen said. “It is an honor to be recognized with an award that embodies Don Dwyer’s legacy of leadership.”

Saunda is the franchisee chairwoman of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) new grassroots program, Franchise Congress. Before this position, she was a member of the Franchise Forum, where she advised the IFA’s board of directors.

Paul was the company spokesperson when The Learning Channel featured Mr. Rooter on its Designing Spaces show. In years past, he sat on the company’s advisory council, which provides opinions on the plans, programs and policies affecting the system-wide direction of Mr. Rooter.

In years past, the Kitchens have received Mr. Rooter Franchisee of the Year, Excellence in Mentoring and Excellence in Leadership awards. Saunda also took home the Woman of the Year award last year. 

“Saunda and Paul are inspiring leaders and mentors within the Mr. Rooter system,” said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corp. “They willingly donate their time and graciously share advice and ideas, and our Mr. Rooter brand is better because of them.”

Other Awards

Mr. Rooter recently recognized its 2008 award recipients:

  • Multi-Concept Franchisee of the Year: John Wheeler, Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Greenville, S.C.

  • Franchisee of the Year: Steve and Michele Ferree, Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Portland, Ore.

  • Woman of the Year: Sue Glovan, Mr. Rooter Plumbing, Buncombe and Henderson Counties, N.C.

  • Excellence in Leadership: Scott Rossmiller, Mr. Rooter, Napa and Marin Counties, Calif.