Bobby John

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Robert Lewis "Bobby" John, Sr.

(Louisiana businessman)

Robert john sr.jpg
Political party Democrat

Born January 1, 1937
Crowley, Acadia Parish, Louisiana
Spouse Roberta Ann Hanks John (married 1958-2014, her death)
Religion Roman Catholic

Robert Lewis John, Sr., known as Bobby John (born January 1, 1937), is one of the co-founders of J&J Exterminating, the largest independently-owned pest extermination company in the U.S. state of Louisiana. John and his brother, Harry, an entomologist who graduated from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, founded the company in 1959 in their native Crowley in Acadia Parish in the southwestern portion of the state.[1]

Though Harry, John had worked in New Orleans for a pest-control company, but the brothers had no previous experience in the establishment and management of a business. They launched the company, named for the initials of their surnames, by contacting residents in every neighborhood of Crowley to solicit business.[2] Now with twelve locations throughout Louisiana, J&J focuses on roaches, fleas, spiders, ants, wasps, ticks, silverfish, rats, mosquitoes, and termites, which silently destroy homes and other wooden structures.[3]

In a 2015 interview, John recalled:

My brother decided we should go into business in our hometown of Crowley. I jumped at the opportunity to be part of it. ... We began the business in our parent's [Thomas John and the former Maggie Elizabeth Mickoul][4] home. They had a breezeway at the back of their house, kind of like a screened-in porch. We put a phone and a desk there and went into business. We knocked on every door in Crowley and asked people for their business.

The good thing is that my parents were well respected in the Crowley area; people trusted our family name. That made it easier for people to trust us for their pest control. My brother had the entomology background and knew all about pests. I knew I wanted this business to succeed. I was newly married and we had to make this work. With that mindset, we worked hard everyday.

The year 1969 comes ... was bleak. The oil field was in a slump and we felt it. At that time, our only office was in Crowley, and many people in this area worked in the oil field. There was very little money available for families. Pest control was far from their minds; they were struggling just to survive. During those times, we worked with our customers as much as we could. When they needed to suspend their regular pest control service, we understood and we gave them suggestions on what they could do to control pests until they could afford to resume their pest control schedule. People appreciated that we helped them out in a difficult time and that we didn’t put undue pressure on them. They remembered that and came back when they could.

Customer service is everything. We live and breathe it. We look for employees who have strong communication skills and who treat people the right way; we can teach them the pest control industry, but they need to have the right attitude.[1]

Robert John, II (born March 1960), of Lafayette is the current president of the company; his father now resides in Lafayette too and serves in an advisory role. John, II, was reared in the business, having worked evenings, weekends, and summers prior to his graduation in 1984 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He then joined J&J full-time: "I have strived to carry on the professionalism that my father instilled in me. It was the perfect fit for me; I knew the business by osmosis and by working my way through numerous jobs."[2]

John, Sr., is the widower of the former Roberta Ann Hanks (January 10, 1937 – April 25, 2014), the former clerk of court for both the city of Crowley and the Acadia Parish district attorney's office. He is Roman Catholic. In addition to their son, there is a daughter, Christine John Casanova (born 1958) and her husband, Dr. Robert Casanova (born 1957) of Lubbock, Texas.[5]

The third generation of Johns, Robert, III (born c. 1991), joined the company at its corporate headquarters at 105 South College Road in Lafayette upon his graduation from Tulane University.[1]

Many recognize J&J through its partial sponsorship of The Moon Griffon Show, a conservative radio talk show broadcast throughout the state weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Time.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 First Person with Robert John, Sr. founder of J&J Exterminating. thriveswla.com (August 6, 2015). Retrieved on January 10, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 About Us. jjext.com. Retrieved on January 10, 2016.
  3. J &J Exterminating. KPLC-TV. Retrieved on January 10, 2016.
  4. Robert Lewis "Bobby" John. genealogy.com. Retrieved on January 11, 2016.
  5. Roberta Hanks John. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on January 11, 2016.