October 23, 2019

Purpose, Service, and Leadership, with Lou Schager

Episode 60:

Lou joined the national franchising company, Mosquito Joe (a Neighborly Company), as Chief Operating Officer in the spring of 2017, and was named Brand President in October of 2017.  He leads all aspects of marketing, operations and franchise sales for the Brand, which has quickly grown to 145 franchises in 36 states since 2013. Prior to joining Mosquito Joe, Lou served as Vice President of Strategy for Reinvent Hampton Roads, a non-profit designed to drive business development through economic cluster analysis as part of Growth and Opportunity Virginia (GO Virginia).  

Lou retired from the Navy after 27 years of Naval service in 2017.  A graduate of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), he served as the Commanding Officer of “VFA-34”, an FA-18 squadron that earned the “Estocin” Award in 2012, representing the best FA-18C squadron throughout the US Navy in all areas of operations and safety performance.  His military career culminated as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, leading a staff of 1,500 military and civilian members in support of 16,000 personnel working daily on the base.

During his Navy career, he accumulated over 4,200 flight hours and 815 arrested landings on aircraft carriers and completed 110 combat flying missions.  His awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Individual Air Medal, Strike-Flight Air Medal (five awards), Navy and Marines Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marines Corps Achievement Medal, and numerous campaign medals and deployment ribbons.  He was the first to be recognized 3-times for the peer-selected Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award for the East Coast FA-18 Naval Aviation community.

Lou graduated with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College.   He completed the Hampton Roads CIVIC Leadership Institute course in 2015 and serves on the Boards of the Chesapeake Bay Academy, the Navy League of Hampton Roads and the Virginia Beach Military Economic Development Advisory Committee.   


What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Lou graduated from TOPGUN and served 27 years in the US Navy, ending his military service career as CO of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA
  • How Lou completed 110 combat missions, and which impressive commendations Lou earned during his military service, before moving into civilian life with Mosquito Joe
  • How Lou’s 27 years in the Navy helped him develop the leadership skills, commitment, and appreciation for customer service that he brings to his role at Mosquito Joe
  • How Lou transitioned from his military career to a career as a business executive, and what led Lou to work at Mosquito Joe as COO and President of the brand
  • Why Lou’s military service in the Navy was so influential over his positive outlook and drive, and why it helped him develop a hunger to succeed
  • Why Aristotle’s quote stands true today: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
  • Why following the Mosquito Joe franchise process is critical for new franchisees, and why some franchisees struggle to follow the process due to impatience
  • How Lou dealt with the incredible challenge of his four-year-old son’s battle with a stage-four cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • What steps Lou takes to help the members of his staff and franchisees find success and maximize their potential
  • Why Mosquito Joe’s bright colors in the logo, fun approach, and unique culture set them apart from other companies in the mosquito control industry
  • How Lou works to lead by example, set the right vision for Mosquito Joe, and promote purpose and accountability within his team

Additional resources:  

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