Few people would know their way around a $35 billion-dollar balance sheet, let alone one that's for a huge Pentagon project. For Brian Riddick, that was a typical day's work while at the Pentagon in the 1990s, working as a weapons systems cost analyst on the Joint Strike Fighter project and being a budget hawk for planes like the Stealth Bomber.
But Riddick also learned the more frustrating side of government work: delays. He would work on something for years with no tangible payoff. The corporate sector couldn't hold his interest for long either: after working his way up to CFO for Capital One's high-risk credit card business line, Riddick found big banking becoming as bureaucratic as the government.
Riddick explored a number of franchise concepts — dry cleaners and automotive repair among them — before selecting Huntington Learning Center in 2004, first in Boise, Idaho, then in Beaverton, Oregon, and now with locations in Washington State and a brand new location in San Antonio, Texas.
Riddick cashed in his Capital One options to help buy the franchise with Huntington Learning Center, which offers subject tutoring and test prep to students. "It doesn't matter if it's a weapons system or credit card or student who wants 10 points on the ACT, let's figure it out," Riddick said. His first Huntington franchise reached profitability in six months; since then, he's gotten the timeline to profitability down to as little as two months for newer centers.