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Gerard Ortiz

PCT’s BRAD HARBISON just lately caught up with Lou Schager, president of Mosquito Joe and a adorned U.S. Navy fighter pilot, who built five deployments to the Persian Gulf aboard plane carriers, including battle missions above Iraq and Afghanistan.

Schager is nonetheless associated in safeguarding others, even though in a distinctive way. As president of Mosquito Joe, he qualified prospects a enterprise that provides expert services that retain people protected from outdoor public overall health pests, largely mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.

Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly corporation based mostly in Virginia Seashore, Va., is a rapidly- increasing organization. The company, which commenced in 2013, has developed to involve 165 house owners, servicing 350 territories in 38 states, and created $98.5 million in 2020. In 2018, Mosquito Joe joined Neighborly, the world’s greatest service provider and franchisor of household company manufacturers. In the subsequent Q&A, which took spot during PestWorld 2021, Schager talked over his armed service experiences, how and why he came to Mosquito Joe in 2017, and some latest and long run initiatives for the company.

 

PCT: When and why did you determine to be a part of the army?

Lou Schager: Well, the realistic purpose was that escalating up just one of 14 youngsters, monetarily it was a challenge for my mom and dad to get all of us by way of college. I was fortunate to excel in academics and soccer, so I used and acquired an appointment into the U.S. Naval Academy. But generally I usually required to fly. On completion at the Naval Academy, I was selected to turn out to be a pilot and then used 50 percent of my 27-yr career traveling F-14s with the 2nd 50 % of my profession flying FA-18s.

 

PCT: Convey to us about your overseas deployments as properly as what you did back household whilst in the Navy.

LS: Overseas, I performed five deployments flying aboard aircraft carriers and done fight missions generally about Afghanistan and Iraq. All through my vocation, I was selected for and graduated from TOPGUN (U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Ways Teacher system) and afterwards commanded an FA-18 squadron. For my past work in the Navy, I was the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Oceana, which is the largest naval air station on the East Coast. 

 

PCT: What missions have been you included in even though in Afghanistan and Iraq?

LS: Our mission was to give air-to-air and air-to-floor overcome aid for coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Near Air Assistance becoming the principal mission. The aircraft carrier deploys with 5,000 sailors, eight squadrons and about 70 plane so it was constantly empowering with all 5,000 sailors aboard committed to the widespread purpose of “victory in beat.”  

 

PCT: What does it just take to be a good fighter pilot?

LS: With so numerous variables whilst traveling, you have to be capable to imagine swiftly and compartmentalize very well. And I imagine that potential customers to the sentiment of becoming “cool under stress.” When in the air, you just cannot afford to get too emotionally thrilled even when you are acquiring shot at or if you have an aircraft malfunction. You have to keep on being composed and consider care of your very own plane, but as you get a lot more senior, you may well be major a wingman or four aircraft or even a strike of 30 aircraft, which calls for emphasis, notice to element and management, primarily when issues really do not go as prepared. 

 

Leslie and Lou Schager with sons Griffin (remaining) and Ryan (ideal).

PCT: Searching back again at your encounter in the Navy, what provides you the best sense of pride? 

LS: Without a doubt, it is acquiring to know the terrific People in america from throughout the place, from all walks of everyday living, serving facet by aspect with them, with a prevalent mission. These are lifelong buddies. Regardless of whether it was a exceptional officer or the youngest sailor or Marine in my command, I felt a kinship with my fellow navy good friends and, of study course, the determination to the overarching mission. Recognizing the worth of the mission is in no way lost on any of our company associates. When you are flying in beat and supporting troops on the floor and you hear the battling and shots of gunfire in the qualifications of the radio, you are prepared to do what is necessary to protect them. To that close, following each individual mission, upon landing, I took satisfaction in thanking each individual sailor I passed on my way back to the completely ready place for the reason that without having them, jets don’t fly and we can not meet up with our mission.  

PCT: What led you to Mosquito Joe and how do your navy expertise transfer about to jogging this business?

LS: I appreciate the army due to the fact I take pleasure in the feeling of objective and mission. When you are abroad and in combat, it is effortless to rally your team and say, “Team, we’re going to perform 20 hours straight on the flight deck right now mainly because our troops on the floor are counting on us.” When trying to find an option soon after my military services occupation, I asked myself, “Where can I discover that sense of intent in the non-public business enterprise sector?” Mosquito Joe’s mission of bringing contentment and overall health to families and their animals actually resonated with me. Also, I was drawn to Mosquito Joe as I knew it could be the excellent chance to just take gain of my armed service-encouraged management skills, strategic considering and a disciplined technique to adhering to processes.

Even before I joined Mosquito Joe, my spouse and children was a consumer for yrs. I admired the get the job done they were accomplishing and their shopper service was 2nd to none. Of course, it is not the correct same as what I skilled when traveling missions, but I unquestionably feel superior about bringing happiness and overall health to people around the region. 

    

PCT: Considering that having around as president in 2017, what’s been your aim and what have been some of your initiatives?

LS: At 1st, early on, my charter was to support out with processes and training. Via my TOPGUN instruction, I have been ready to codify a far more sequential and sturdy instruction continuum to help all of our franchise homeowners. I also had a intention of developing our expert abilities, our core competency, when it arrived to recruiting gifted entomologists for our personnel. That was a massive objective. I brought on our complex director and his technical specialist, David Rate (also a U.S. Air Power veteran) and Shannon Harlow-Ellis, and they’ve completed a fantastic career for us.

We want to carry on our development around the place simply because it’s obvious — out of doors pests are hardly ever going absent. We’ve built a devoted hard work in the Midwest and New England for ticks and mosquitoes. Also, with mosquitoes turning into a genuinely significant difficulty in California, we’re happy to be a option for our customers’ requires out West.

 

Also, we want to carry on the solid growth that remains concentrated on our expert, exceptional consumer service. Becoming a aspect of the EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship System (PESP) is genuinely critical to me and our homeowners, as properly as the individuals, because it demonstrates we are thoughtful about our strategy to built-in pest administration while looking at the results on the natural environment. 

   

PCT: How do you see Mosquito Joe evolving in the future?

LS: Being a section of the PESP system is earning certain we are executing our expert services with a experienced, dedicated built-in pest management approach. So, it’s not just about a ridding a property from mosquitoes. We’ll often preserve our main competency for mosquito, tick and flea control, but we’ll also be tackling other out of doors pests to guarantee our buyers remain joyful and healthy.

The creator is senior electronic editor of PCT.

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