AuthorLauren Lampe

Family Affair: How JDog Owner Ray Gagnon Created a Family Business

For many men and women serving in the military, it is not easy to spend as much time with family as they would like.

Ray Gagnon, a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 25 years, has found a lucrative way to make up for lost time with family by teaming up with them as JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchisees, joining the trend of veteran-owned businesses. Ray, who founded and serves as president and chief consultant of Business Operational Success Systems Inc., or BOSS, a global provider of business and performance improvement programs, wanted a business he could pass on to his sons and was attracted to JDog’s commitment to veterans.

He, along with his wife Robin and sons Kyle and RJ, opened JDog Junk Removal & Hauling in the Capitol Region territory of New York in April 2016. The Gagnon family is adhering to JDog’s dedication to increasing post-military career opportunities for veterans by hiring fellow vets in their community.

A Family Effort

Ray, a former master gunnery sergeant, oversees his JDog Junk Removal & Hauling business, which operates out of Schenectady. Robin, an optician with more than 30 years of experience managing optical businesses, serves as office manager. She is the face of the business, working with customers, managing operations, scheduling appointments and employees, bookkeeping and other duties. Kyle, 23, who is working toward gaining partnership status, is the general manager. He runs the day-to-day junk removal and hauling operations, which includes leading the crews. RJ, 24, is working toward a masters degree in education with plans on becoming a college professor, and fills in when needed.

“It’s been great,” Ray said about working with his family. “I spent 25 years in the Marine Corps, so I wasn’t always around. There was a good portion of my sons’ lives when I wasn’t readily available.”

Not only is working as a family strengthening bonds and affording more time together, it is also proving to be a model for success. Since opening just eight months ago, the Gagnons have grown their JDog from a one-truck and one-trailer operation to a three-truck and three-trailer fleet, and have added a number of storage sheds to accommodate all the junk removal and hauling they are doing.

“We have very big visions for the business,” Ray said, adding that it includes being the premiere junk hauling business in this entire area. “Every single day we work hard to accomplish that. We’ve already expanded.”

Inspiring New Generations of Entrepreneurs

Similar to many franchise owners who want to pass their business on to their children, Ray and Robin’s vision includes providing Kyle with a greater stake in JDog Junk Removal & Hauling Capital Region and making him a full-fledged owner. The purchase of the franchise has awakened an entrepreneurial passion in Kyle that was not there before. Ray said Kyle’s enthusiasm for the brand and for providing job opportunities to military veterans and family members of veterans has his son thinking big picture. It is reflected in Kyle’s enthusiasm, Ray said.

“Kyle dove in head first—there was no recruiting necessary. We told him we’d love to have him build the business with us,” Ray said. “For Kyle, it has opened his eyes to business opportunities. It’s helped him understand how businesses work. His aspiration is to own multiple businesses like his mother and I do. He’s thinking about this business – how to build it, how to grow it and how to create the assets he needs to open other businesses. Being involved in the family business has given him the entrepreneurial bug.”

To Ray, family includes more than his wife and sons, however – it is also his fellow military veterans and their families whom he is eager to hire.

“My big thing was I always looked out for my Marines, I always looked out for my people,” he said. “After 25 years, I probably got pretty darn good at it. I wanted to help veterans, I wanted to find a company that provides business opportunities for veterans, that gets them started owning a business or by providing employment.”

Learn more about becoming a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchisee here.

Brothers in Business: Why the Weins Bros. Chose JDog

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Andrew and Isaac Weins are more than business partners, they are family. As JDog Junk Removal & Hauling owners in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, they are equally dedicated to building a successful business as they are to the respect, integrity and trust that defines JDog’s approach to service and business operations.

Since the two brothers became JDog owners in May 2016, they have been able to grow their business by making local connections within the community, and hope to expand their footprint in the greater Milwaukee area over the coming years.

What was it that attracted them to the JDog franchise opportunity?

Military Mission

Andrew Weins joined the United States Army Reserve out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2004 serving two tours, one in Iraq in 2006 and the other to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2014. After his last deployment, he was stationed as an Army Reserve Career Counselor.

With 12 years in military service, he achieved the rank of Sergeant First Class and uses his experience as a career counselor to help other veterans and soldiers make career decisions. At the same time, Isaac has worked in the junk removal industry alongside Andrew in the Milwaukee area for the past 15 years. Isaac has been able to use his experience to create innovative business strategies through dismantling and deconstructing of commercial spaces. He is also a business owner, turning reclaimed materials into artwork.

As a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling business owners, Andrew and his brother Isaac have been able to establish a connection with a larger network of military-owned business operators who hold true to the same values of respect, integrity and trust.

Ethos of Brotherhood

In keeping with JDog’s military culture and values, Andrew and Isaac were both motivated by the strong support network of veteran business owners that differentiates the brand from other business opportunities.

“We also have the ethos of brotherhood, where franchise to franchise we take care of each other, we look out for each other,” Andrew explained. “We reach out to each other if we ever need help, and we also reach out when we want to help other franchises, which is something you don’t see a lot.”

Instead of looking at other JDog Junk Removal & Hauling operators as competitors, they call on each other for help to build a stronger brand.

Bigger Than Yourself

As a JDog business owner, Andrew and Isaac are both able to create positive, meaningful change through their business investment.

“We want to be part of something bigger than just ourselves,” said Andrew. “This allows us to hire more veterans locally. We’ve been able to hire fellow veterans from the Milwaukee area, giving them opportunities that they may not have otherwise had.”

The brothers enjoy having fellow military veterans on our team because they understand the military values – respect, integrity and trust.

Support from the Top

Another advantage of being part of the JDog network of veteran-owned businesses is the support operators receive from the corporate office.

“The support from JDog Junk Removal & Hauling’s corporate since the beginning and even until now has been tremendous.”

Any time the brothers have needed to call corporate, they pick up the phone and help guide them in the right direction.

For more information about how you can become a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling business owner, visit us here