ServiceMaster Clean announced today that Jarrett C. Smith and Corbet K. Ellison have been awarded the company’s distinguished Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship. Selected from hundreds of applicants, Smith and Ellison completed a 1,500-word essay detailing how he would utilize ServiceMaster corporate objectives in their businesses.

“Franchises are the best way to start a business because you have faster start-up, people are typically already familiar with your brand and the support you receive, particularly with ServiceMaster Clean, is immeasurable,” said Smith. “But what I find most attractive about this company, in particular, are its corporate objectives: to honor God in all we do, to excel with customers, to help people develop and to grow profitably.”

The purpose of the Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship is to expand the ServiceMaster Clean commercial cleaning ownership base among women and minorities throughout the United States. Championed by professional basketball player and former Duke star, Shane Battier, the program was designed to help individuals overcome some of the obstacles of starting and running their own business by being a part of a franchise organization. The Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship allows individuals interested in starting their own business an opportunity to be awarded their own commercial cleaning franchise license – a $31,900 value.

“We recognize that, beyond being good for our business, reaching out to expand ownership opportunities for minorities and for women is a very meaningful way for us to live our faith-based corporate mission. That is why we have committed to diversity in our franchise network,” said Michael Isakson, president and chief operating officer, ServiceMaster Clean.

ServiceMaster Clean has committed $1.3 million over four years in direct grants and private financing to its Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship initiative, as part of its continuing pledge to diversity, business development and community outreach across the United States.  

Prior to earning the business services franchise, Smith was a business development manager for Zack Vertical Reach Media in Chicago, where he managed new and existing interactive advertising accounts. Smith’s extensive broadcast background also includes positions as an assistant editor with NBC for the Summer 2004 Olympics in Greece and as a technical intern for the A&E television series, Cold Case Files.

Smith earned a bachelor of arts in mass communication in 2004 from Miami University of Ohio, where he was a Diversity Scholar and Miami Success Award recipient. His thematic sequence was cognitive psychology.

“This is truly a dream come true – to own my own business and chart my financial success,” said Smith. “Everyone I know told me that ServiceMaster Clean is a very progressive franchise-based company, and I am learning that first-hand. From the training I’ve received at ServiceMaster Clean Academy to the advice I’m receiving from fellow franchisees, this is certainly the best situation I could be in given the current financial climate.”

Ellison served overseas as a pediatric dentist in the U.S. Air Force before earning the business services franchise. During extended service in Aviano, Italy, he was the sole pediatric specialist for southern Europe for the USAF. Ellison also practiced in Tokyo, where he provided continuing education to all dental staff and supervised both technicians and therapists.

Ellison earned a bachelor of science in biology from Howard University in 1997. He then went on to graduate from the school’s College of Dentistry in 2001 with a doctorate in dental surgery, later specializing in pediatrics (2003). Ellison’s professional affiliations include the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the National Dental Association and the District of Columbia Dental Society. He is a commissioned officer of the U.S. Air Force

“This is truly an extraordinary shift for me, but I am up for the challenge,” added Ellison. “And what’s most exciting is that this is going to be a family effort. My sister, Melissa, will serve as our director of operations, while my father will be in charge of sales and marketing. My mother is even in on the act, leading the customer service charge.”