Mosquito Joe Sara Sean Bess
Mosquito Joe franchisees Sean and Sara Bess are U.S. Air Force veterans.
Sean and Sara Bess

Mosquito Joe Franchisees Reflect on Their Military Service

Mosquito Joe franchisees Sean and Sara Bess met while serving in the U.S. Air Force 22 years ago. The couple discussed their military service and how it has helped them running the daily operations of Mosquito Control of Northwest Florida.

November 11, 2022

Editor’s note: In recognition of Veteran’s Day, PCT shares the story of Mosquito Joe franchisees Sean and Sara Bess. The couple met while serving in the U.S. Air Force 22 years ago. In the following article, the couple discussed their military service and how it has helped them running the daily operations of Mosquito Control of Northwest Florida.

For Sean and Sara Bess, many of the same skills that made them successful in the U.S. Air Force have transferred to the business world. 

The couple met while serving in the U.S. Air Force 22 years ago. Sean is currently a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, where he continues to serve full-time as a member of the Air Force Reserve. His past military service includes serving as a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours in the F15E and F/A-18; he has flown more than 500 combat hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sara also served as an aviator from 1998-2006 as a weapon systems officer in the F15E. She has flown combat sorties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sara left the Air Force as a captain when she was expecting her first child.  

Both Sean and Sara were instructors in Air Force fighter squadrons, which Sara said gives them both “a heart for service to others.”  So, when the Bess’s returned to civilian life they were drawn to Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly company, because they saw a big need for mosquito control for them and others. 

The company opened its Mosquito Joe of Northwest Florida franchise in 2015. The business has grown significantly during the past seven years, and now has 10 times the number of customers as it did in in 2015. “We have amazing customers, the best team in all of Mosquito Joe, and a great support system from our parent brand Neighborly,” said Sara. 

The imprint the military made on the Bess’s is evident in the company’s core values, which mirror those of the Air Force: Integrity, Service and Excellence.

The couple also brought with them the hard work and high standards that are part of the Air Force culture. “We know how to remain calm and think clearly in chaotic situations where we have incomplete information and still execute at a high level,” said Sean Bess. “We strive to be humble, yet credible and approachable."

The Bess’s have led by example, setting expectations and following through on them. Says Sara, “We both know how to prioritize a list of tasks and are not afraid to ask for help when we need it. We seek out collaboration opportunities and strive to develop our team. All these things were honed in the military.”

THE BENEFITS OF A MILITARY BACKGROUND
We asked Sean and Sara Bess how the military provides those who served with the background to success in the business world. The couple explained, “Your military service equips you well for business ownership--particularly in a franchise system. Business ownership was an option we always wanted to explore, but could not while on active duty due in part to the move schedule. In our experience, the franchise system provides a familiar structure and proven path to success. Within the framework of that structure are the roots of a successful business. It won't be easy, and at times it will be a grind - but most things worthwhile are not attained easily. Set realistic long-term expectations and keep faith in that plan and timeline. Be prepared to make small corrections often but adhere to your core beliefs and values. Boundaries are a must, protect your family commitments and time and accept the challenges that can add. Business is a team sport so gather smart people around you and cultivate relationships with others who have done what you are trying to do and listen to them. Treat your team with respect and make sure they know how much you care. Leadership always comes back to love. Love for those around you and love for what you do-so choose both wisely.”