I served in the US Army National Guard from 1984 - 1987 at which time I joined the US Navy.and went on active duty at Naval Air Station Miramar in San Diego California. I was attached to the VF 114 "Fighting Aardvarks" and served 2 tours onboard the USS Enterprise. I was excited to work on the flight line at Miramar and flight deck of the boat.
Although, I preferred the Army, the Navy was a great experience too. And it provided me with a great name for my company. When I first started my own company in the early part of the 2000's people were still using a yellow pages for advertising, and the name Aardvark gave me a great alphabetical advantage.
In the mid 90's, while, working on a commercial fishing boat in the Gulf of Alaska, I broke my back in two places, herniated 8 discs as well as suffering from several broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a broken left arm and fractured pelvis. All from a really bad storm that hit our boat out of nowhere. Surprisingly, mine were not the most severe injuries to happen that day
From there, I spent the next 2 years going from a wheelchair to a walker to a really bad limp. But thanks to a couple of absolutely AMAZING friends, I was never allowed to give up. One friend owned a gym and worked with me on my recovery for close to 3 years. While the other taught me a new life skill... Construction. Most importantly, he taught me to use my brain more than my back. Since my back wasn't worth a darn anymore, that was a smart way to go. I still had to physically do the work too, because that is the only way to really "KNOW" what you are doing. But he also showed me how to look for potential obstacles and complications. He taught me to estimate jobs and project manage them.
Over the last 25 years since my accident, I have spent most of that in the residential remodeling end of construction. And about 15 years working strictly as a residential remodeling project manager for other companies like Renewal By Andersen and The Home Depot. I learned a LOT from both of those companies, good and bad. One of the most important things I learned is customer service. So, now I treat every job as if it was the only job. I project manage the jobs rather than sell them. I go out of my way to build relationships with my customers and work with them on their needs rather than what I think is best for them.