At one o’clock in the morning Jeff and his friend had just come back from a night of partying in his small hometown, when a commercial for the Coast Guard came on. It came on at a time in his life that he was searching for more meaning, for more experiences, and he felt as if the commercial spoke directly to him. The next day he signed up, and served from 1997 to 2006 until he returned to Colorado, filled to the brim with experience.
Because he served in search and rescue, pursuing law enforcement felt right to him after transitioning back to civilian life. Often, during his transition, he remembered his recruiter telling him not to worry, that “by the time you get out you’ll know what you want to do in life.” And he was basically right.
In Colorado Jeff put himself through the police academy but when the recession hit, the sparse job market pushed him to Indiana. There, he struggled to find work in the “terrible economy.” It occurred to Jeff that he needed to find an industry that was infallible to dips in the job market, a job that was always needed. Now more that ever that was important to him, with a baby on the way.
Moving into security was a logical step considering Jeff’s talents. The Jonas Project provided a lawyer to review his business contracts probono, which saved Jeff tremendous work in the long run. And a mentor that would help him get his business off the ground.
“There were a lot of things I was doing that were dumb because I didn’t know better,” Jeff says of that time. “The Jonas Project lawyer helped me write contracts to protect my interests.” With the legal guidance and the help of his Jonas Project mentor, Bill, Jeff figured out how to make it all work. “Bill is phenomenal,” Jeff raves of his mentor. “He’s a really good listener. He gives a lot of good feedback, and he doesn’t judge. He’s made me see that that experience taught me something and now I can move forward.”
Bill’s background in manufacturing has helped Jeff build his company’s tax structure, answer his many financial questions, and equipped him with marketing tools. “Basically he’s just a great person to bounce ideas off.” And even better, he’s always only a phone call away. Today, Marshall Security is a profitable company. In the last three months alone, Jeff has tripled their monthly income. He credits his dedicated workforce which includes three veteran hires, The Jonas Project’s resources, and of course, his mentor Bill.
“There is no way I could have done this without The Jonas Project,” Jeff says. “They’ve given me the drive to say – ‘I can do this on my own.’”
Jeff lives with his family in Bloomington, IN.