As a submariner, Bill performed many duties aboard the USS Ethan Allen including serving many shifts as a helmsman. As is common with many who served in the Navy, Bill saw many parts of the world. His duty stations included Pearl Harbor, Guam and Bangor, WA. The USS Ethan Allen was decommissioned in 1983 but Bill readily remembers his six hours on, twelve hours off shifts at sea.
After leaving the Navy, Bill attended the University of Northern Colorado to study anthropology. After college, Bill and his wife, Anne Dolan, moved to Seattle, where Bill worked as a bookstore manager for both Crown Books and Brentano's. In 2010, Bill left the book industry to open his own Wild Bird Center franchise (www.wildbird.com/kirkland), located in Kirkland, WA in the Seattle suburbs. Bill admits his timing could have been better, opening a retail store at the beginning of a recession, but through his determination and perseverance, saw sales in 2011 increase 40% over the previous year.
According to George Petrides, Jr., CEO of the Wild Bird Centers of America, "We are proud to be part of the VetFran program, actively seeking veterans to own and operate their own Wild Bird Center business. To be a successful franchise owner requires leadership skills, discipline, and a strong work ethic. Not surprisingly, many veterans feel these skills are precisely the attributes military service helped them develop. We see those skills in the Wild Bird Center franchise owners like Bill Hager with military experience so Petrides believes strongly that many veterans interested in nature and business will find a Wild Bird Center franchise a great fit.
The Wild Bird Centers of America (www.facebook.com/wildbirdcenters) is a national franchise and dealership system supporting wild bird and nature specialty stores throughout the United States and Canada. For franchise information, contact Jeff Young, Director of Franchise Development at jeff at wildbird.com or (301) 841-6405.