30 Heroes for 30 Years: Joe Lindenmayer, California Closets

Joe Lindenmayer was first exposed to the Marine Corps when his oldest brother returned home from boot camp in his dress blues. Even at a very young age, Joe was inspired to be among the best. Service to his nation was in his blood; in addition to his brother being a Marine, Joe’s father and uncles served in World War II and Korea. The Lindenmayer’s are a very patriotic bunch!

Joe enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1988 while still a senior in high school. After boot camp, he was trained as an M60 tanker, and later moved into the M1 tanks. He fought to liberate Kuwait during Desert Storm from inside one of these main battle tanks, and the experience stuck with him.

After seeing combat, Joe started to think about getting a college education and moving into the officer corps to be able to better lead Marines in future conflicts. However, life had different plans. Joe was in the Reserves after college, and took his first civilian job with TSS Photography. It was here that he fell in love with the business world. His first exposure to VetFran was in 1993, when he sold a TSS Photography location to a Vietnam Veteran through the VetFran program. By 1995, Joe owned his own franchise location in Tampa.

Joe believes that the leadership lessons he learned as a Marine have stuck with him. He reflects on the fact that brands come and go, but those who favor solid leadership over simply chasing the money will have the staying power necessary to grow.

These days Joe stays busy as the owner of a California Closets location in Louisiana. He is focused on small town values, and makes sure to regularly contribute to organizations such as Dress for Success, the VFW, and the Cajun Navy. In addition to that, Joe serves on the VetFran committee and the International Franchise Association’s board of directors. With a lifetime of service to his community and country, Joe will continue to lead from the front.


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