Franchisees vote first external Director onto Board of national retailer


Australia’s largest network of franchised paint stores, Inspirations Paint, has appointed franchising specialist Jason Gehrke to its board of directors.

Gehrke has more than 20 years’ experience in the franchise sector and is the founder of franchise education and consultancy business the Franchise Advisory Centre. He is also the deputy chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia, 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.

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,” says 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.”

Gehrke was first appointed to the board in June to fill a temporary casual vacancy, and in late November was voted onto the board for a two-year term by a majority of franchisees at the company’s annual general meeting.

“It is a great honour to join the board of Inspirations Paint and to have received the support of the franchisees in this appointment,” says Gehrke. “This is a business with a great history and enormous potential for an even brighter future as it continues to provide the best range and the highest levels of service and expertise to trade painters and weekend renovators alike.

“I look forward to contributing to its continued growth and innovation.” Gehrke stated.

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.