Couple Tami and Jon Utterback are making their hometown's backyards fun again as they prepare to open their very own Mosquito Joe this spring.
Born and raised in Plainfield, Indiana, Tami Utterback and her husband Jon had always been interested in returning to their roots to open up a business. Tami attended Plainfield High School where she was a standout athlete, and eventually earned a full-ride scholarship for basketball to the University of Evansville. Out of school, Tami found work in Indianapolis, but she always had the desire to build something for her and her family.
She met her husband, Jon, in 2003, who currently teaches at her former high school and has been for the past two decades. He was a stellar athlete himself, a state champion football player at nearby Ben Davis High School. He'll be spending his summers helping alleviate their neighbors' mosquito and tick problems, while Tami takes on the business full-time. Hendricks County residents will be able to call on the Utterbacks for their pest control problems this spring with Mosquito Joe.
Can you tell me a little bit more about your background?
Tami: We all live in Plainfield, and will be servicing the west side of Indianapolis and we also own parts of the territories on the south side of the city. As for me, I’ve lived in Plainfield my whole life. I attended Plainfield High School and played basketball, volleyball, and a little bit of softball. I actually earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Evansville for basketball; I was also named to the all-state volleyball team, too. Out of college, I worked at a Galyan’s Trading Company, prior to them being bought out by Dick’s Sporting Goods. After that I joined Monster.com's sales team and spent 13 years there.
I met Jon in 2003 and we got married two years later, in 2005. We have two daughters together, ages seven and 10. We’re constantly involved in the Plainfield community and Mosquito Joe is going to be our third baby.
Jon has plenty of ties to the area, too. He was born and raised in West Indianapolis where he was a state champion football player at Ben Davis High School. Today, he’s a school teacher and a coach. He’s been teaching for 21 years and currently works at my former high school, Plainfield. He loves to coach youth sports – and has coached golf and football all this adult life.
Some of his former players will make up our crew of technicians as a result, where Jon will operate as the lead tech. He’ll maintain his job as a teacher but will use his summer break to help us spray.
What exactly led to your interest in opening Mosquito Joe locally?
Jon: For the last several years, we had been seeking a franchise to open. We heard of Mosquito Joe and kept doing our research, but we just kept coming back to the brand’s opportunity. We just kept hearing positive feedback and information about franchising with Mosquito Joe. It’s been making all sorts of rankings and lists, nationally, as an up-and-coming franchise to own and we wanted to be a part of it.
Tami and I researched many different kinds of franchises. We discovered that Mosquito Joe’s start-up costs weren’t as intimidating as other franchises. Unlike owning a restaurant franchise, we aren’t worried about keeping an inventory or investing in too much equipment, beyond our Mosquito Joe-branded van and what our technicians will be using to spray Hendricks County backyards. Most importantly, we spoke with many franchise owners around the country and they all loved owning and operating their Mosquito Joe franchises.