1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Honoring Our Vets: A Tribute to Jay Wells – Wells Sweeping, LLC

Jun 27, 2013

Honoring Our Vets: A Tribute to Jay Wells – Wells Sweeping, LLC

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When Jay Wells left his family farm in Cambridge, Ohio as a young man to serve in the Air Force, he had no idea just how wild his ride would be.  Jay joined the Air Force in 1968 and found himself working on fixed wing aircraft during the Vietnam War.  Growing up on a family farm meant that Jay became quite adept at fixing things and he had a curiosity to figure out how things worked—traits that served him well while in the service.  When he finally rotated back stateside, his last post was in San Diego, California.  The weather and scenery captured his imagination, and upon finishing his military service, Jay decided to stay out west to pursue a career as a professional musician (guitar). 

For the uninitiated, the musician’s life looks quite glamorous—performing on a stage in front of a packed house can be quite a thrill.  What most don’t realize is that there are actually two aspects to the job as a touring pro:  the unglamorous tasks of setting up and tearing down before and after a gig, and the glitz of performing.  The really interesting part of his story is that Jay first started getting interested in the sweeping business because he saw a sweeper driver cleaning the club parking lot.  Jay stopped the driver, asked some questions about the equipment and the job, and a seed was planted. 

Jay’s last pro gig was up way up north in Redding, California in the late 70’s.  The disco craze made it harder and harder to find jobs playing live music, and on this particular evening, one of Jay’s fellow band members had a major falling out with the owner of the club.  The band was fired on the spot.  Fast forward to the parking lot–Jay ran into another sweeper operator–Jack Rodgers, the inventor of the Nighthawk Sweeper.  A conversation ensued, and soon Jay had invested $6,000 for his first Nighthawk, which was mounted on the back of his 73 Chevy pick-up.  While Jay was busy getting his own sweeping business going, he managed to sell 50-60 sweepers over a five-year period.

Jay’s family background, military service, and aspiring music career all created a perfect storm that kept him in California and landed him in the sweeping business.  Running Wells Sweeping  in California also means Jay has a wealth of knowledge to share with us on diesel emissions, clean air and water, and the positive environmental impacts of sweeping, but that will be saved for a future post.  Suffice it to say, if you visit Jay’s website, you will immediately notice his commitment to the environment:  his home page bears an interesting title:   Environmental Remediation Specialists.

Jay Wells

Jay’s story also brings home the point that many of the skills veterans learn while serving our country make them ideally suited for the sweeping industry:  mechanical aptitude, discipline, and a deep appreciation for the value of hard work.  If you are looking to hire a new employee, consider hiring a vet.  You’ll be quietly thanking them for their service, and more than likely, you’ll land an outstanding team member too!