In today’s tough job market, most workers would love to be promoted. But at what cost?  This was the question that ultimately prompted Redmond resident Jessica Belman to open CertaPro Painters, the nation’s largest painting contracting company, in Redmond.

Six years ago, Belman was living in Michigan, working for a large automotive company in corporate strategy and brand management. After spending years in middle management, she had successfully navigated the difficulties associated with being a woman in a male-dominated industry when she was faced with a different obstacle. Belman was told that in order to secure the promotion she deserved, she would have to approve of products and business decisions that she felt were not sound.

“They wanted me to be a ‘yes man,’ ” Belman said. “I had to toe the corporate line even when I knew that things were being done incorrectly.”

Rather than compromise her values, Belman decided to change her life entirely.  She looked into a number of business ventures and found the perfect opportunity with CertaPro Painters, a franchised exterior, interior, commercial and residential painting company. Of the areas CertaPro had available for development, Belman felt that Redmond and the East Seattle suburbs would be the best fit for her. So Belman packed up and moved across the country, even though she had never visited her new territory and had no network to draw from.

“It was tough starting out, but I knew that I needed to control my own destiny and be able to do things the right way without a corporate machine stopping me from doing what’s right,” Belman said. “That meant taking a big leap of faith.”

Despite the challenges of financing and establishing credibility as a woman-owned paint contracting company, Belman’s hard work and positive attitude paid off. Since its inception, Belman’s business has provided excellent quality painting and customer service to more than 700 local homeowners. She has embraced her new role as a business owner and as a Washingtonian.

“Washington has lots of cedar homes that need to be protected from the wet weather,” Belman said. “Paint is that layer of protection and it needs to be maintained.”

Founded in 1989, Oaks, Pa.-based CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America and provides a customer-driven painting experience that is unparalleled in the industry (both commercial and residential). The company expects to add 50 new franchises in 2011, working toward its goal of having more than 400 locations by the end of 2012. CertaPro franchisees establish large-scale, regional painting companies backed by CertaPro’s proven business system that has made them North America’s most referred painting company. CertaPro currently has more than 330 locations worldwide including the United States and Canada in addition to franchises in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. For more information, visit

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