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Valuable in More Ways Than One

When moving onto a new job, many individuals use the skills they acquired in their previous careers to be successful. That couldn't be more true for a number of corporate team members at Wichita, Kansas-based Value Place, who all served in various branches of the military. In fact, Value Place's employees use the skills gained while serving their country on a daily basis.

"It doesn't matter if someone was in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, National Guard or Reserves because anyone who served in the military is a disciplined self-starter. There's never a need for micromanagement because these people are some of the most dependable and honest individuals one could ever hope to meet or work along side of," said Gina McKee, Value Place's vice president of franchise development.

McKee would know: She grew up in a military family and followed in her father's footsteps by joining the Navy in 1981. For five years, McKee traveled the world as a cryptologist with top secret clearance handling secret communications for the Navy. She says skills she learned while in the Navy's ranks have helped to shape her into the person she is today and feels that she and many of her coworkers still employ a number of military teachings each day at Value Place.

"We didn't necessarily seek out individuals with military backgrounds but their shared characteristics and mentalities are exactly what we look for in a Value Place employee," said McKee. "These are people who served their country voluntarily and handle each task they are assigned with the utmost respect and care. This is something that simply cannot be taught and there's definitely something to be said for that."

Approximately 50 members of the Value Place family served in the military - eight of whom work at the company's headquarters - including chairman and founder Jack DeBoer. DeBoer served as a military police officer for the Army in Fort Bragg, N.C. for two years in the 1950s but that seemingly short timeframe made an extremely large impact on the 77-year-old's personal and professional life.

"I enlisted in the Army straight out of college and the experience has stuck with me over the years. I learned so much about people and life and I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn't be the person I am today without having served," said DeBoer. "We do have a high percentage of veterans within Value Place and these individuals hold the same values close that I do. I think that we've built a strong team at Value Place and these admirable individuals play an integral role in the company's past, current and future success."

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