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Franchise company got its start in Montreal

Carmelo Marsala, right, could never stay in a job for longer than two weeks – “I have a problem with authority,” he says – and so at age 19 he figured he had better start working for himself. He founded Spray-Net Inc., which specializes in spray-applied paint on PVC and aluminum surfaces on residential exteriors. Here he watches his brother, Jack Marsala, at a work site.

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Jack Marsala paints the siding of a home in Candiac, Que. Carmelo Marsala got his start running a franchise of Student Painters in Montreal while he was attending Concordia University. “I have never had a passion for painting,” Carmelo says. “It was more a passion for running my own business that made me sign on.”

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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Workers prepare a home to be painted. Spray-Net Inc. was born in 2009, and today it has 15 franchises in Quebec, three in Ontario and one in Halifax.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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It also was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2014 and the winner of the Air Miles Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the 2015 Small Business Achievement Awards recently presented in Quebec.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Marsala would like to establish 20 new franchises this year, with the goal of painting 2,500 houses total, which would more than double the number painted last year. But he needs to find the right people at the home office.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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Mr. Marsala faces a different sort of human resources search than he has done in the past. “Before, I was looking for people with the right attitude and a willingness to learn something new,” he says. “But now I am wanting to engage in a rigorous partner selection process to find people with more management experience as opposed to technical expertise.”

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

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