John Turcott installing residential glass in Rancho El Dorado. He and hi wife Julie have owned Lizard Heights Glass for 12 years. Photo by Mason Callejas

A Glassy Outfit

A military background and a glass background brought John and Julie Turcott together. The two veterans have owned Lizard Heights Glass for a dozen years. John came up through the ranks in installing home and auto glass for other companies before striking out on his own. Julie managed maintenance at a glass-tempering facility.

Julie Turcott in the Navy and John Turcott in the Marines. Submitted photo

John & Julie Turcott (spouses)

Business: Lizard Heights Glass, LLC

Military background:

John: U.S. Marine Corps, platoon sergeant, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, Desert Storm vet, combat engineer, bulk fuel specialist

Julie: U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 2nd Class electronics technician (some sea duty, some shore duty)

Years in business: 12

Nature of the business: Auto glass and licensed glazing contractor (glass installation for home and business)

Family: Two awesome kids, Jaylie and JJ

Hometown:

John: Kalamazoo, Michigan

Julie: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Residence: Thunderbird Farms, aka rural Maricopa

Why did you join the military?

John: Freedom is not free. I won the lottery by being born in the greatest country in human history. I joined the Marines to defend all this country has to offer.

Julie: Ditto – but I was a little less “defend the country” and a lot more, “hey, travelling to foreign countries and experiencing different cultures sounds amazing!” (Just being honest!)

How has your military service impacted the way you run your business?

John: Honor, integrity, completing the task at hand and doing it with the utmost of your ability.

Julie: Life in the military is a lot easier if you exceed expectations, and that holds true with “real” life and business.

What advice would you give other veterans seeking to open a business in Maricopa?

John: Be honest, do the right thing for your customers, NEVER walk past a mistake and be prepared for long hours. To be successful you must be all in.


The Mechanics

The military was a family tradition for Raymond and AJ Serrao. It also developed their skills in automotive and aviation repair. They started Lugnut Auto Repair this year, though they have not yet completely removed themselves from aviation work because it has been lucrative and a critical source of income as they launch their mobile business.

Raymond Serrao works on a customer’s vehicle at his home in Glennwilde. Though Lugnut Auto Repair is mobile, he lets customers come to him, too. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Raymond Serrao and Alton (AJ) Serrao (brothers)

From their military years, the Serrao family: (front row, from left) AJ Serrao, Julie Ann Lo (Mom) and Aurora Serrao; (back row) Raymond Serrao, Abijah Serrao, Mathew Stack and Denver Stack. (submitted photo)

Business: Lugnut Auto Repair

Hometown: Mililani, Hawaii

Family:

Raymond: My wife Jennifer is the manager of Lugnut and we have two kids, Alina, 9, and Xalin, 8, who attend Legacy Traditional School here in Maricopa. I have five siblings, four of them were in the military along with both my parents. One of our siblings also works as a technician for Lugnut.

Residence: Glennwilde

Military background:

Raymond: I spent six years active Army 67T UH60 Blackhawk crew chief/repairer, with multiple deployments overseas.

AJ: I spent 9.5 years active Army Chinook mechanic/flight engineer, with multiple deployments overseas.

Years in business: We’ve been fixing cars and aircraft for decades. We have been in the auto repair business for less than a year, though.

Nature of the business: Mobile auto repair and maintenance

Why did you join the military?

Raymond: My family served in the military since my grandpa, for three generations; part of it was patriotism. The military provided me the opportunity to gain valuable life skills, discipline and experiences not provided anywhere else.

AJ: I joined for the challenge along with the opportunity to take care of my family and travel.

How has your military service impacted the way you run your business?

Raymond: Attention to detail, staying on task, setting objectives, goals and plans to accomplish them are all done the way military aviation taught me to.

AJ: The military aviation community is very strict with the highest standard and that is how we do everything.

What advice would you give other veterans seeking to open a business in Maricopa?

Raymond: Take all that non-combat training that the military drills in your head and use it. It’s more valuable than you think.
AJ: Maricopa is a fast-growing community and the support received for this city is far beyond any other city I have encountered. Arizona has a strong support system for veterans. I would highly suggest opening a business here. The city is growing quickly and the sooner you start the more imbedded you’ll be when Maricopa and Casa Grande are twice as big as they are now.


The Bug Killer

Raised on a dairy farm, Henry Weaver’s second favorite job ever is pest control. His favorite? The Marine Corps, which took him around the world, from Korea to Germany, from Japan to Iraq. When he started Semper Fi Pest Management this year, he was intent on instilling the values he learned in the Corps – thoroughness, integrity and straight-dealing.

Hank Weaver sprays for bugs as the owner of the new Maricopa company Semper Fi Pest Management. Photo by Raquel Hendrickson

Hank ‘Motivator’ Weaver
Business
: Semper Fi Pest Management

Hometown: Fort Plain, New York

Military background: I’ve served 25 years in the U.S. Marine Corps from January 1988 to January 2013, rising to the rank of master sergeant. My occupation was combat camera chief. I served two combat tours during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Years in business: 1

Nature of the business: Pest control

Family: Married to Marjorie Weaver for 10 years. We have seven kids (six boys and one girl) and four dogs.

Residence: The Villages

Why did you join the military? I grew up in a very small village in New York and wanted to see the world and serve our country.

Hank Weaver as a combat camera chief during his time as a U.S. Marine. Submitted photo

How has your military service impacted the way you run your business? Ensuring that Maricopa residents are receiving way above and beyond their expectations in pest control service. I believe providing great communication, looking professional at all times and going the extra mile even though it has nothing to do with pest service. Having motivated attitude and having honor courage and commitment in everyday life.

What advice would you give other veterans seeking to open a business in Maricopa? Use all the leadership traits that were given to you throughout your military career. Always remember to take care of our service members.

 

A Touchy-Feely Guy

After nearly a quarter-century in the service, Charlie Creely trained at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and is licensed and certified in multiple therapy/massage modalities including sports, deep tissue, cranial sacral, carpal tunnel, elder touch and more. Creely’s Healing Touch brings all the essentials for relaxation – music, special oils and a calm and friendly demeanor. And of course, his massage table.

Charlie Creely at work on a massage customer for his company, Creely’s Healing Touch.

Charles “Charlie” Creely

Business: Creely’s Healing Touch

Nature of business: Therapeutic massage for healing and deep relaxation uniquely offered as a service provided in your own home

Hometown: Beverly, New Jersey

Family: Two daughters, 18 and 16 years old

Community: Cobblestone

Years in business: 3

Military background: Served in the Army for 24 years. War veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Sixteen years active duty and eight years in the Reserves, retiring in 2007. On duty worked as a diesel tech/mechanic. Off duty studied as a civilian and became licensed as an ER trauma technician.

After retirement, worked at the VA Hospital in Phoenix until 2016. Working with veterans brought me to the understanding that care, kind treatment and the capacity to listen was what made my friends, the veterans just like me, happy and open to communication. These people are close to me; I have given my best and they have brought out the best in me. I continue to serve my community with this experience and the ideal it represents in mind and heart, in my practice.

Why did you join the military? It offered me the opportunity for education; to grow and learn. That was exactly what I was looking for to begin my life and career.

How has your military service impacted the way you run your business? So many aspects of the military are about relationships. People form bonds for life. Maturing and recognizing that was a motivating factor to continue to serve people in my own way, with my personal talents, skills and passion for the healing arts.

What advice would you give other veterans seeking to open a business in Maricopa? I can suggest working as a private enterprise. Being your own boss has distinctive rewards. Also, be clear about your purpose and be passionate and dedicated to your work. Make it work for you and your client. Above all, relax!


This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

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