AAMCO founder gets IFA honor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Aug. 2, 2013) — The International Franchise Association has elected the late Anthony Martino, founder of the AAMCO transmissions and MAACO auto painting/bodywork franchise systems, to its hall of fame.
Mr. Martino began his career in franchising in 1959 by opening a car and truck repair shop in Philadelphia, called AAMCO Auto & Truck Repair — "AAMCO" was derived from Anthony A. Martino Co. and conveniently put his company at the top of the Yellow Pages listings.
Although his original goal was a more complete auto repair store, Mr. Martino soon realized there was great demand for transmission work — especially for the then still relatively new auto
matic transmission — so he decided to specialize in just that, according to a published history of the AAMCO brand.
Together with two friends he opened a few more shops in the area, but it wasn't until 1962 when he was approached by another entrepreneur with franchising experience, Robert Morgan, that the AAMCO franchise brand really got off the ground.
The business grew rapidly and Mr. Martino sold his interest in 1967, and five years later established MAACO, a re-anagramed version of AAMCO. He remained the CEO of MAACO until his death in 2008 at age 75.
While still at MAACO, he created the Sparks Tune-Up franchise in 1982 and then sold it five years later. That franchise model is no longer active.
A past recipient of the IFA's Entrepreneur of the Year award, Mr. Martino's business interests extended beyond automobiles, according to information provided by Driven Brands Inc., owner of MAACO.
He founded the Goddard School for Early Childhood Development in 1988 and established it as a leader in quality childcare before selling it in 2002.
Mr. Martino will be inducted into the IFA Hall of Fame in February alongside the late Conrad Hilton, founder of Hilton Hotels, the late J. Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International, James Maynard, founder of Golden Corral Corp. and Thomas Monaghan, founder of Dominos Pizza.
The induction ceremony will be held during the IFA's annual convention in New Orleans.