Ex-Marine Hits Road; Opens Up ‘Green’ RV Firm
Jim Jamison’s late brother retired from the Army in 1983 and spent the next 10 years running a guns and crafts store – an odd combination, Jamison acknowledged – with his wife in Kansas.
“It was neutral financially,” Jamison said, “but very positive in terms of satisfaction. … I saw that one of the unspoken values of a business, when it’s small and family-oriented, is that you get to spend a lot of time with the people you love.”
That’s how Jamison, a Virginia Beach resident, wants to end his career, too.
The Virginian Pilot reported he was a pilot in the Marines, retiring as a colonel in 2009. Now Jamison, a 58-year-old Virginia Beach resident, works as a civilian manager in the data division of the Joint Staff in Suffolk. In two or three years, he hopes to leave that job to launch – with his wife – Green RV Operators of America, which will provide online training for recreational-vehicle operators.
It will meld a skill he honed in the military – training others – and one of his loves – RVing. He and his wife have a Winnebago and recently drove to Asheville, N.C. “I served 35 years to protect the freedoms that I’m beginning to enjoy,” Jamison said.
The Winnebago will serve as his future office. He plans to work not only with his wife – she’s the creative one; he’s better on the technical side – but also with their three children.
Jamison isn’t counting on Green RV Operators to be “a big money-maker.” The goal, he said, “is to spend time with my family and do something I’m passionate about.”
The “green” part of the title refers to Jamison’s plan to emphasize “environmentally responsible ways” of driving RVs, including reducing the use of electricity and “mpg per camping day.”
“There’s a financial payoff for the operator, and a payoff for the Earth and the rest of us for that good stewardship,” Jamison said.
He received a master’s in business administration at Regent University this year. His studies made him realize how much his military experience had prepared him for a move to business. “We had been doing a lot of that stuff in the Marine Corps – strategic communications, team building – but we just didn’t call it that,” he said.
The degree program also helped him develop a business plan and provided up-to-date information about marketing and other necessities.
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