Max Muscle Veterans with Servant Hearts

Max Muscle Nutrition is proud of the men and women who serve our country. The supplement company, headquartered in City of Orange in California, offers military veterans who become a Max Muscle franchisee a $10,000 credit toward their first product order. Several veterans now own Max Muscle stores and all say their military training has helped them become successful business owners.

On Veterans’ Day, we pay tribute to all military men and women. Here, we are highlighting Max Muscle Franchisees who have served in various branches of the Armed Forces. We thank them for their service, not just to their country, but to the Max Muscle customers they now serve by helping them achieve their health and fitness goals.

Dan Prigge, U.S. Army, 2006 to 2015
Max Muscle, Green Bay, WI Franchisee

Dan Prigge, 29, went from an elite soldier jumping out of airplanes to being confined to a wheelchair 24/7 after being blown up while deployed in Iraq in 2011. After 39 surgeries and five years of grueling recovery, he credits his wife Annabell for being his rock and pushing him through the tough times. He also credits Max Muscle franchisee and veteran Bill Porter for taking him under his wing and helping him heal. “Never be too proud to lean on a loved one for help,” Dan said. “If I didn’t have my wife and Bill in my life, I probably would have never made it this far.”

It is because of Bill Porter that Dan eventually became a Max Muscle franchisee. When the opportunity came up to take ownership of an existing store, Dan jumped at the chance. “The way that Bill and everyone from the Max Muscle team treated me, it was a no brainer,” he said. “I couldn’t do anything but return the favor and open a store to help spread the message Max Muscle stood for.”

Today, the two-time purple-heart recipient’s greatest mission is helping people in Green Bay, Wisconsin get healthy for life. “I will always have the back of my clients and be there for them every step of the way,” he said. I will always sleep better at night knowing that I have made a difference in at least one individual’s life that day. I couldn’t ask for a better job!”

Bill Porter, U.S. Army, 1968 to 1993
Max Muscle Fayetteville, NC Franchisee

Bill Porter, 70, has travelled extensively and lived in remote areas from the jungles of Viet Nam to the metropolitan cities of West Berlin, Munich, and Stuttgart. Working in military intelligence, he’s been around the block a time or 12 and feels that his military experience and training has helped him become the business owner he is today. “One of the most important parts of military life is learning discipline – being able to discipline yourself to do the right thing even when outside influences and stressors try to steer you on a different path,” he said.

Bill has stayed true to his path of being a successful Max Muscle franchisee in Fayetteville, NC since 2008. He has helped countless individuals, many of them military (the store is close to Fort Bragg), including Dan Prigge, who now owns Max Muscle Green Bay, WI. “My association with Dan is more than him being a customer,” Bill said. “He was in really bad condition [when he came back from Iraq]. I have never seen anyone with as much determination. His attitude after everything that had happened to him was still positive. … It made me want to help him that much more.”

Even though he could be retired, Bill said he is the kind of man who always has to have something to do. He’s in great shape (“I’ve got to represent,” he said, with a chuckle.) and his goal is to help all those who come into his store looking for answers about health and nutrition. One of his favorite aspects of being a Max Muscle franchisee? “I am part of an ethical organization that does not sacrifice quality for cost,” he said.

Mark Sarale, Air Force, 1982-1986
Max Muscle Stockton and Modesto, CA Franchisee

Mark Sarale, 54, has been a Max Muscle franchisee for 21 years. He became the Regional Director for North-Central California 10 years ago. He discovered Max Muscle through Kris Dim, who owned the first Max Muscle store in Northern California. Mark tried the MaxPro protein and was hooked.

Before Max Muscle, however, Mark served our country in the U.S. Air Force for four years during which time he travelled with and played on a U.S. Air Force base basketball team. He joined the military at 19 years old. “At the time, I just felt I needed some direction,” he said. “It was the best thing I ever did.”

Long before that, Mark’s father fought in the Korean War as a paratrooper for the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division. “The military taught me discipline, accountability, and how to be a team player, which translates over into life,” Mark said. “It also taught me to take pride in my country.”

Mark also takes great pride in being a Max Muscle franchisee. “I have seen a lot of companies come and go and we keep getting better,” he said.

Mark has been taking Max Muscle’s MaxPro Elite protein for 21 years. “It’s the only protein I trust,” he said. “I know the quality is second to none.” His other favorite Max Muscle supplement is the free-testosterone boosting 2Tx. He said it helps him feel young!

Karen and Scott Herkes
Karen: U.S. Navy, 1978-1983; Naval Reserve 1984-1986
Scott: U.S. Navy, 1975-1981; Naval Reserve 1984-1986
Max Muscle Bettendorf, Iowa and Moline, Illinois Co-Franchisees

Karen and Scott Herkes met in Scotland while serving in the U.S. Navy 35 years ago. They both had Top Secret Special Intelligence clearances and worked in the Cryptologic Technology field. He was in electronics repair and she was a signal analyst. “The military is a great place to grow up, learn a sense of responsibility, develop technical skills and mental toughness, and work in a team environment towards a common goal,” Scott said. “These traits translate directly into becoming a good business owner.”

The couple opened their first store 10 years ago and is still going strong with two stores today. “Besides offering a very high quality brand, the franchise has a focus on science and education and we love being able to provide that knowledge to our community,” Karen said

The Herkes not only educate customers and suggest products according to their individual needs, but the two also practice what they preach. They stay fit and they take the products themselves. In fact, Karen has many favorite Max Muscle products.

“A few times a weeks, I use MaxPro Elite for snacks or meals because it tastes so darn good, even in water, and mixes so well,” she said. “I also love to mix Max Isolate, FBX 2.0, and Pro BCAAs for my pre-workout, and Max Isolate, GlutaMatrix, and Pro BCAAs for recovery. The pre-workout gives me the nutrients and energy I need for my early morning workouts and the combination I use for recovery just helps my body repair more efficiently afterwards. I absolutely crave both my pre- and post-workout concoctions!”

Scott’s staples are 2Tx for healthy testosterone levels, Nitro 2 for increasing blood flow and oxygen during workouts, and many of the Max Muscle protein powders.

Tom Wiens, U.S. Marine Corps, 1986-1990
Max Muscle Eugene, OR Franchisee

Tom Wiens learned early on the importance of respect, discipline, and attention to detail. “Growing up as a military kid, you have to learn how to adapt to changes pretty quickly,” he said. “My dad was reassigned about every 2 years and we moved a lot.”

Having to pack up a family of six and unpack in a new location, mostly overseas, certainly helped Tom learn to adapt. He applies the lessons he learned growing up to his business operations as a Max Muscle franchisee today.

Tom first discovered Max Muscle in Bend, OR, thanks to a co-worker named Dominic Current. Tom had been traveling extensively for work and due to injuries and surgeries sustained in the military, he had packed on some weight. He noticed Dominic was in incredible shape, so he asked him how he did it. Dominic told him about Max Muscle and the rest is history.

Tom, whose favorite Max Muscle products today are 2Tx, ZMA, MaxxTOR, ARM, MaxPro Elite, FBX 2.0, and Vit-Acell, opened his store in Eugene over six years ago. “I love helping people without a set of rules from some corporate person who has no clue what it takes to do what we do,” Tom said. “The best part is that everyone at corporate WANTS you to succeed! You really don’t see that at most work places.”

Taylor Read, U.S. Army, 2009-2013; Army Reserve, 2013-2017
Max Muscle Cottonwood, Salt Lake City, UT Franchisee

Taylor Read, 35, considers his time serving in the U.S. Army to be one of the greatest honors of his life. He was deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months and during that time, one of his four daughters was born. He got to share the experience via Skype. Taylor joined the military at age 27 after he had already graduated college. “I just didn’t feel fulfilled,” he said. After serving his country, he felt fulfillment, but then he wanted a new challenge.

Taylor wanted to own a business that he believed would help improve his community. He looked up businesses that had a high satisfaction rate for veterans and found Max Muscle near the top. “I have always loved health and nutrition, so it was a good fit,” he said.

His favorite aspect of the job? “I love interacting with the community and seeing my customers change their lives,” he said.

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By LaRue Gillespie