Dina Dwyer-Owens stepped into the shoes her father wore for many years as CEO of The Dwyer Group, so she knows a little something about standing in a father's shadow. As viewers learned, though, she knew a lot less about working with her hands and the tools of the trades her company uses on "Undercover Boss" (Sun., 8 p.m. EST on CBS).
The Dwyer Group is a conglomerate of other companies that provide essential needs to business and individuals relating to electrical, appliance, landscaping and plumbing, among others. Dwyer-Owens fully embraced this opportunity to get her hands dirty and ensure that the core values the company was founded on were being implemented company-wide.
She found one franchise owner who wasn't living up to the expected standards, and gave him a bit of a dressing down in the reveal. She did pay to have the company name, Mr. Electric, put on the truck he uses for the job. Dwyer-Owen had a much better experience with her three other undercover jobs.
Wayne works for the Mr. Rooter brand, and was convinced he was going to get fired for voicing serious concerns about paycheck inconsistencies he'd been experiencing. Instead, Dwyer-Owens assured him those had been looked into -- she made the initial call moments after he first told him about them. She also gave him $20,000 toward a down payment on a house.
She was touched by The Grounds Guys worker Jake, who was a team lead at 20 years old. Also following in the steps of his father professionally, she was impressed with his presence at work, and commitment to his brothers, who he had stepped up to help raise after his father's recent suicide. She invited him to be a franchisee and bought him a new truck big enough for the whole family.
Dwyer-Owens was most impacted, though, by meeting Tanna, a self-described "little country girl from nowhere." She was a rare female technician working for Mr. Appliance. She was courteous, dilligent and knew her stuff. During the day, they stopped off to meet Tanna's family, including her fireman husband. To support her big family of four kids, Tanna was looking at taking on a second job to help put money away toward college for her kids.
At the reveal, Dwyer-Owens showed how much she wanted to keep Tanna a part of the company. She set up a $10,000 scholarship for each child, gave Tanna a $25,000 cash reward simply "because" and convinced her to stay full-time with The Dwyer Group. Then she invited Tanna to work her on an initiative to reach out to more women about the real career possibilities for them in the company.
It was an emotional journey for Dwyer-Owens, and one that affirmed her belief in the guidelines and core values the company lives by. It also helped her feel more confident as the still relatively new leader of this company as they continue to grow and expand how they can best serve their clients.
"Undercover Boss" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
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