Two years after being wounded in battle, Lillie Williams is stepping into the garbage hauling and demolition business.
On April 25th, Williams held the grand opening of her JDog Junk Removal & Hauling franchise in Pickerington.
JDog operates out of office space provided by Cultivate, a 3,600 square foot business incubator at 19 N. Center St., Olde Pickerington Village.
Williams also operates out of the Cultivate space at Grove City, 3989 Broadway, which opened in September 2021, and maintains a warehouse at 2808 Banwick Road in Columbus, where it stores dump trucks and the company’s trucks and trailers. I keep it.
“I run all three franchises,” Williams said. “I’ve been in the (U.S.) Army for 21 years, I’ve dealt with logistics, so I thought this would be a good fit.
“Logistics is about managing transportation and managing people.”
Williams decided to look for private business opportunities after being injured in combat in Somalia in May 2019.
“Our camp was attacked many times and I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury,” she said. .”
After recovering from his injuries, Williams attended the Boots to Business program at Mississippi State University, designed to prepare military personnel for their transition into the civilian business world.
She said her instructor recommended franchising with JDog. Because the company provides business opportunities for veterans, helping them explore business ownership and transition from active service.
Groveport resident Williams decided to start the JDog franchise in Pickerington and Grove City.
“We thought Pickerington would be a good place to (expand),” Williams said.
JDog has six employees at three sites, and Williams plans to hire three more within a month. Williams is one of his three veterans recruited.
JDog offers residential and business junk removal and hauling, as well as demolition and recycling.
“We also get furniture that people want to donate and give it to groups like Volunteers of America, Habitat for Humanity, and Goodwill,” Williams says. “Within the next two years, he hopes to increase the number of employees to 15-20 or more.”
Williams said he wants to help fellow veterans find jobs.
“We want to embody and embrace the fact that we are members of the military, but we want to be able to help them live and work without military structures,” she said. “We also hope to be able to develop community programs to integrate into the workforce so that students and high school graduates can learn different aspects of work and start their own businesses.
“JDog is here, ready to serve people just like it was in the military.”
Matt Yerkes, founder of Cultivate, was happy to provide office space for Williams to build her business.
He said JDog provides more professional services to the community, franchising and hiring those who need the opportunity.
“JDog Junk Removal & Hauling or any other locally owned business can focus all their time and effort on the early stages of business development, keeping overhead costs low,” says Yerkes. .
“Lillie is a wonderful addition to the Pickerington small business community.”