Our Founder's Story

It all started with a single shoe shine box.

When Dan Perkins was ten years old, he received a ten cent per week allowance. He wanted more and was told he would need to earn it. Perkins had a friend who shined shoes so together they made a shoe shine box for Perkins. He shined shoes in the downtown area of his hometown, Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Young Perkins wanted to maximize his efforts and approached the owner of a local car wash and asked if he could offer his services to the patrons waiting for their car. Impressed with this young entrepreneur, the proprietor told Perkins he could not hold up the car owners once their car was completed.  “No problem,” thought Perkins until he noticed the name of the business – Minute Car Wash. It took Perkins three minutes to shine one pair of shoes. Perkins had a solution. Ever resourceful, he employed his friend and together they shined one pair of shoes.

Perkins graduated from Greater Johnstown High School and went on to earn three undergraduate degrees from The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown while working three jobs: UPJ/AV Dept. manager; night time film editor for a local television station and weekend manager at the car wash that helped begin his journey.

Perkins, a Marine Corps veteran, earned a master’s degree from Pepperdine University before starting his own business – MTS Technologies, Inc. Perkins served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer until 2017. He is now retired, working as a consultant and continues to serve as The Challenge Program, Inc.’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.