A former Marine Corps officer is applying his experience and leadership skills to local Jiffy Lube service centers and it’s paying off. He was recently honored as franchisee of the year at Jiffy Lube International’s annual convention held in Orlando, Florida.

The award is presented annually to the franchise “that best exemplifies Jiffy Lube's core values and attributes, including a commitment to operational excellence, employees' professional development, innovation and an outstanding customer experience.”

It all began with fly-fishing trips to Montana. “While I was still on active duty, I would sometimes make trips out here fishing while on leave,” said Briggs Anderson, who now owns seven Jiffy Lubes throughout western Montana. “I met my wife on one of those trips, she was a nursing student at UM and I wanted to move to Montana.”

Anderson served in Falluja, Iraq, in 2007, and Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2008 with the Second Battalion of the Seventh Marine Regiment. He attained the rank of Captain. In Iraq, he ran the motor pool for the infantry unit.

“It entailed a lot of preventative maintenance,” Anderson said. “I worked with the mechanics and operators to ensure everything ran smoothly.” Although his Jiffy Lube customers aren’t driving into combat, Anderson brings the same level of dedication and professionalism to the job. “People rely on their vehicles. Everyone needs to take car of their car,” he said. “We want to be part of that.”

After completing his tour in the Marine Corps, Anderson and his wife Niki Leffingwell moved to Colorado, where he worked at an agricultural business called the Cargill Group. But they were still looking for a way to get to Missoula.

“I also always wanted to own my own business,” Anderson said. “So when the chance came to buy the Jiffy Lubes in Missoula, we went for it.”

Why Jiffy Lube?

“They do this kind of service better than anyone out there,” Anderson said. “They’re organized, professional, ready and know what they’re doing.”

In 2017, he and his wife acquired eight Jiffy Lube service centers in western Montana – five in Missoula, one in Columbia Falls, one in Helena and one in Bozeman. They closed two of the centers in Missoula, and opened a new one in Butte.

“By consolidating the Missoula stores, we were able to improve our quality of service and performance, pay our employees better, and do a much better job overall,” Anderson said. “It has improved our competitiveness in every way.”

Anderson employs 45 people, and taking care of the troops is important to him. He has raised their salary by 10-percent, is helping them get cars with zero-interest loans, and puts a lot of responsibility and trust into his managers.

“I guess that’s something I took away from the Marine Corps,” Anderson said. “My employees are wonderful. They help me out, and I help them out. I do what I can to help improve their quality of life -- to be fair, responsible and trusted. I’m in this for the long haul.”

Anderson also has a strong commitment to the environment.

He switched to storing motor oil in bulk tanks rather than cardboard boxes, a move that reduces annual cardboard waste by at least 10 tons and plastic waste by one ton. He also recycles all waste oil, either by using it for heating in the stores or recycling through a third-party oil recycler, and recycles used metal oil filters rather than sending them to a landfill.

“We’re not perfect,” he said, “but we strive to do the best we can.”

Jiffy Lube’s “signature service” oil changes emphasize preventative maintenance by checking, changing, inspecting and filling essential fluids that include motor oil and transmission, power-steering, differential-transfer case and washer fluids. They also vacuum the interior of vehicles, and will top-off fluids between oil changes.

Anderson’s Brooks Street store in Missoula is a certified “multicare” service center. In addition to their signature oil changes, they also do tire rotations and service brakes, tires, batteries and spark plugs.

“We have an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified mechanic,” Anderson said. “Our focus is expanding into brakes, tires, cooling systems, filtration and light suspension work.”

“It’s been a great journey,” he said. “I hope we can continue to grow.”

As for fishing, Anderson said: “I don’t fish enough, but I still get out when I can.”