Being based out of Virginia Beach, VA, we are surrounded by those who are serving or have served in the military on a daily basis. Many of our corporate employees are related to veterans or are veterans themselves, and about 20% of our franchise parters across the country are veterans as well. To honor their service and celebrate their success as entrepreneurs, we would like to highlight a few of our veteran Mosquito Joe owners and hear their stories.
Josh Lien, Mosquito Joe of Greater Austin (TX)
Josh is a prior US Army officer who served two tours in Iraq while on active duty. After leaving the military, he still remained close to our military personnel working as a government contractor on training programs in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He met his wife (also a veteran) at a salsa dancing event in Kabul, Afghanistan. Josh continued regular trips to Afghanistan after the birth of their first child in 2011, but when he received news that their second child was on the way, he elected to leave government contracting and open a Mosquito Joe franchise in Austin, TX, in order to spend more time with his budding family. He opened his first Mosquito Joe territory on the same day his 2nd child was born in April of 2014, and was joined by his parents, who moved from South Dakota to Texas during this same time to assist him with his business venture and to be close to their grandchildren. Since then, he has expanded to four territories and experienced tremendous growth. Josh attributes his success to the work ethic and leadership skills he gained while in the Army, as well as to the support of his family.
Greg Polster, Mosquito Joe of Hilton Head and Coastal Georgia (SC and GA)
Greg was born in Albuquerque as the son of an Air Force Vietnam veteran and went to college at Arizona State University. He joined the Army in 2003 and has since served in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Tanzania. As Greg transitioned from active duty, he looked for ventures through the well-known Boots to Business program, which helps service members explore the basics of starting their own business. Through a VetFran consultant he met at the program, Greg found Mosquito Joe and felt it was a great opportunity that allowed for flexibility and aligned with what he was looking for in a business. He’s currently in the Army Reserves and works as an Airborne Civilian Affairs Soldier. He is in his first season as a Mosquito Joe franchise owner and owns two territories.
Tim Sorrentino, Mosquito Joe of Camden and Gloucester Counties (NJ)
Tim is a former infantry officer in the Army. He and his wife Kristen opened their Mosquito Joe location in the spring of 2017. Tim graduated from Rowan University with a BA in teaching, while simultaneously being commissioned as an infantry officer in the US Army. Serving part time in the army national guard and teaching for approximately four years, before being called to active duty in support of an Iraq deployment. Tim remained on active duty after the deployment where he served as a plans officer. He was then later deployed to Afghanistan to serve as a mentor to the Afghan Army. He obtained a Masters in Education Administration and an MBA from Villanova before separating from the army full time.
Robert Rummells, Mosquito Joe of West Richmond and the Peninsula (VA)
In 1984, Robert was living in Los Angeles playing semi-professional football for the San Fernando Valley Freelancers, part of the 18-team Valley League which played the High Desert League. Then, on January 14, 1988, Robert enlisted in the United States Army where he became an Army Ranger and was assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, GA. Robert retired from the US Army in March 2009 after a 22 year career that involved missions around the world in a variety of conflicts. Upon retirement, Robert also did two additional defense contractor jobs before working with Mosquito Joe. In his 5th season as a Mosquito Joe franchise owner, Robert and Christine own four territories and cover the areas of West Richmond and Northern Hampton Roads.
We certainly realize that protecting our neighborhoods from mosquitoes isn’t quite the same as defending our country, but we take great pride in helping veterans find new purpose in giving back to their community by using the same skill set the military gave them to own their own business. There are many other Mosquito Joe veterans not mentioned here, and we are honored to be partnered with all of them. We do participate in the VetFran program, which gives veterans $2,500 off the franchise fee.