By Cady Kuzmich
Clifton Park — Ray Gagnon, a Marine Corps veteran, is bringing JDog’s Junk Removal & Hauling business to the Capital Region this summer. Gagnon and his family held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday at the American Legion Mohawk Post 1450.
What makes this Philadelphia-based chain unique, is its dedication to providing employment and ownership opportunities to veterans and their families. According to Gagnon, it is “the only franchise in the U.S. that offers franchising to veterans and military family members exclusively.”
The vast majority of people involved in JDog are veterans while just 10 percent are family members of veterans.
Jerry Flanagan, an Army veteran who founded JDog in 2011, said, “Every operations member of the JDog team has served our country, and now we’re banding together to serve their local communities.” Flanagan drove up from Pennsylvania with his wife for the ribbon cutting.
Flanagan started the business on a neighborhood scale. Then, he said, “People started suggesting I market myself as a veteran and sales went through the roof.”
“We wanted to own a business that embraced the military ethos and would allow us to share our successes with our friends — fellow veterans,” said Gagnon. “As our company expands, we look forward to providing more job opportunities to other veterans in the area and providing our community with this unparalleled service the military way.”
Gagnon, originally from Argyle, retired as a master gunnery sergeant after serving 25 years with the Marines and now lives in Burnt Hills. He and his wife of 24 years, Robin, have two children, RJ and Kyle. Both RJ and Kyle are University at Albany graduates. The Gagnons’ younger son, Kyle, who majored in mathematics and economics, serves as JDog Capital Region’s general manager.
“I saw it [Flanagan discussing JDog] on ‘Fox and Friends’ in September. We were looking for a business opportunity my wife and I could share with our friends,” said Gagnon.
Along with his work with JDog, Gagnon is also the founder, president and chief consultant of Business Operational Success Systems, a supplier of international business and performance improvement programs. Gagnon said BOSS has done so well that he has been able to use some of its profits to buy into the JDog franchise.
JDog is committed to recycling, repurposing and donating as much “junk” as possible.
“We always look to donate to veterans organizations. We know what our charities are looking for,” he said. He added, “If our client asks us to donate something to a specific charity, we absolutely will.” JDog works closely with Habitat for Humanity, schools, churches, hospitals and charitable thrift stores.
“Every job by JDog ensures veterans are working,” Gagnon said. “We’re extremely professional. It’s the military way. We show up on time. We clean up after ourselves.” He added, “We’re competitively priced.”
The business charges its customers by the amount of junk, not by the amount of time it takes to load and haul the junk. Gagnon said JDog adjusts the price for clients based on how much valuable scrap metal they’re able to sell. The business takes its military roots to heart, and not only in terms of work ethic — JDog employees use camouflage vehicles and wear military-style uniforms.
JDog has 61 franchises nationwide and hopes to have 100 by the end of the year.
Reach Gazette reporter Cady Kuzmich at 269-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.