James Newcomer spent 20 years in the Air Force working as a logistics planner. His work in the military took him all over the globe – from Japan all the way to Scott Air Force Base near where he calls home today in Granite City, Ill. He was in charge of making sure everyone was prepared and cargo was loaded prior to deployment. In 2005, he moved on from the Air Force and began working in the private sector. He explored his options in franchising, having always been interested in becoming his own boss, but didn’t revisit the idea until recently when he was pointed to Mosquito Joe as an option to own in the area. Now, Newcomer is preparing to celebrate his one-year anniversary as a Mosquito Joe franchisee this June.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
I was born and raised in Cape Gerardo, Missouri, and after high school, I joined the military at the age of 18 and I was there for the next 20 years. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in logistics management. After, I worked for the federal government and got my dual master’s in IT management and procurement and acquisitions. From about 1985 to 2005, I was in the Air Force then immediately following I was working at the Scott Air Force Base as a contractor.
In the Air Force, I worked as a logistics planner where, day-to-day, I was primarily doing deliberate planning, making sure everyone understood what their roles were – that meant cargo, deployment – basically, I was in charge of how to be prepared. I worked in the deployment control center, where I set everything up from making sure people get on their designated aircrafts, making sure everything gets out on time. I also made sure people had their mobility bags, had their weapons and ammunition – it’s a very massive process. There are 32 units on any given installation and I was coordinating all of that.
My military career went like this: I spent 5 and-a-half years in Yakota, Japan (1985-1991), two years in Lowry, Colorado (1991-1993), Travis Air Force Base, California (1993-1997); one year in Suwon Air Force Base, Korea (1998). I went back to Hurlburt Field, Florida, to work in special ops for two years (1998-2000) and this is when I met my wife where she was a manager at a local grocery store in Fort Walton Beach. Then until 2005, I worked at Scott Air Force Base until I began working in the private sector. I worked at Charter Communications, a law firm, and then at Monsanto where I worked back in the IT industry as a project manager. My wife, Maria, worked for the Veterans Administration at the National Cemetery.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Mosquito Joe? How did you learn about the brand?
I was looking for a job so I took some time to research franchises that fit my skill set. I worked with FranServe and the Dwyer Group who assisted me in my research. I continued to job search and I eventually found work at Monsanto, so franchising was put on hold. But I always wanted to own my own business. One where I could invest in a true business model. Something prompted me in early 2016, so once again, I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. FranServe led me down the path, pointed me toward franchising and recommended Mosquito Joe. It really resonated with me. It wasn't a huge investment and the opportunities seemed lucrative. It seemed like something I could get into. I could provide the community a service and help control mosquitoes.
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