Former Navy Sailor Attributes His Success in Franchising to His Military Training

But it was the next stop that would make Jesse part of one of the most significant events in American history. Jesse was stationed on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise out of Norfolk, Virginia.


The USS Enterprise was in the Closest Position

On Sept. 10, 2001, Jesse and his 5,000 shipmates were near the Horn of Africa off the coast of Somalia. They were on month five of a six-month deployment. They were anticipating the trek home.

The next day came news of the September 11 terrorist attacks on American soil. The USS Enterprise was strategically positioned in just the right spot. The Big E, as it was dubbed, made its way to the North Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf and launched the first strikes in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The USS Enterprise became the  first U.S. aircraft carrier involved in a combat mission against Afghanistan. The sailors on board would not be heading home as scheduled, but instead, became part of history.


A few years later, Jesse was discharged, went to college and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering and created a remarkable career in the corporate world, working in tech, electronics and the energy sector, including wind-power generation. Successful as he was, he was searching for something more.


Jesse’s dad, a U.S. Army veteran and civil servant, had a fulfilling hobby as a carpenter — a skill he passed along to his son.


“My dad was talented working with his hands. It was a creative outlet for him,” Jesse recalls, “I knew that was something I was missing. I loved refurbishing things, making old, worn things look new again. I love preservation. I just had to figure out how to monetize the idea.”


The timing of starting a new business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic might have discouraged some entrepreneurs, but not Jesse.


“I made up my mind that I was not gonna wait around and let life happen. I was gonna go for it.”


He discovered N-Hance, the No. 1 wood refinishing company in the U.S. –a franchise that supports veterans. He is now a franchise owner in Ames, Iowa, with two territories there. Jesse says franchising is a perfect fit for a military veteran.


“The military is detail- and process-oriented, as is franchising. We are given the map to navigate the ship. Hard work, discipline and following the guidance can bring about great success. “


Jesse is enjoying that success. He received Rookie of the Year accolades from N-Hance and wants to see the business grow.


“I have four boys, and I want to teach by example. I want them to see that they can build a company and provide a great service in their community. Hopefully one or all of my sons will take over this business or be inspired to create lives where they work hard and enjoy their families. After all, that’s what it’s all about.”