Q&A With Lou Schager Mosquito Joe
Q: Can you share more on your military background?
In 1990, I graduated from the United States Naval Academy and began my journey through the Naval Aviation pipeline. I was privileged to serve 27 years in the U.S. Navy, primarily flying F-14 and FA-18 aircraft for much of my career, graduated from the Navy’s Strike-Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) and served as the Commanding Officer of an FA-18 squadron. Throughout that time, I flew 110 combat missions in support of our U.S. and coalition forces over Iraq and Afghanistan over five separate deployments. During my last tour, I led as the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Oceana, the largest Naval Air Station on the East Coast before retiring in 2017.
Q: What led you to franchising?
I love the military because I appreciate the sense of purpose and mission. When seeking an opportunity after my military career, I asked myself, “Where can I find that sense of purpose in the private business sector?” Mosquito Joe’s mission of bringing happiness and health to families and their pets really resonated with me. Also, I was drawn to Mosquito Joe as a franchise business as I knew it presented an opportunity to take advantage of my military-inspired leadership skills, strategic thinking and a disciplined approach to following processes.
Q: How have the skill sets you developed in the military helped you in your franchising endeavors, especially during the pandemic?
Serving in a leadership capacity in the military requires as much of an emphasis on building relationships as it does on making informed, strategic decisions. Developing and sustaining business relationships requires clear communication, and that was paramount during the pandemic to help navigate the uncertainties of COVID. Also, Veterans leave the military with leadership skills and an innate understanding of how to share best practices to help each other succeed. Similar to the best-run military organizations, Mosquito Joe franchisees are always helping each other and constantly working on advancing their teams to provide their community with the best mosquito control services possible.
Q: Why are military veterans especially well-suited for franchising?
Veterans leave the military after years of following a disciplined regiment and that translates well into running a franchised business. Inherent in operating within a Franchise model is a servicemember’s ability to follow processes which leads to strong Brand loyalty and success.
Q: Do you have any advice or resources for other military veterans looking to transition into the franchising industry?
I’d invite servicemembers to do their homework and ask lots of questions when seeking business opportunities in franchising. There are so many to choose from, but at the end of the day, find a category or business sector that you have a passion for since this will be your life for years to come. Also, International Franchise Associations’ “VetFran” is an excellent resource for military veterans seeking to learn more about franchising opportunities.
Q: What plans for development do you have for 2022?
We want to continue our growth around the country because it’s obvious – outdoor pests are never going away. We’ve made a dedicated effort in the Midwest and New England for ticks and mosquitoes. Also, with mosquitoes becoming a really big problem in California, we’re pleased to be a solution for our customer’s needs out west.
Also, we want to continue a strong growth that remains focused on our professional, superior customer service. Lastly, being a part of the EPA’s Pest Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) is really important to me and our owners, as well as the consumers, because it shows we are thoughtful about our approach to Integrated Pest Management while considering the effects on the environment.
Q: Is there is anything else you would like to Add.
I am proud to be within the Neighborly family, the world’s largest provider and franchisor of home service brands. Like Mosquito Joe, every Neighborly Brand promotes a commitment to Veterans, creating opportunities for thousands of servicemembers across the country.