My story in Utica Community Schools began when I moved here in junior high school. I graduated from Utica High School in 1994, and then went to Western Michigan University where I majored in marketing and business administration. After a few years in New York, I wanted to move back to this community and began opening Jimmy John's franchises. Today, I own 13 locations in Macomb County and the Toledo, OH area.
Utica Community Schools gave me the confidence to be a successful business person. While in Utica High School, I focused on business courses that prepared me for college and my goal to become an entrepreneur.
I was encouraged to think creatively and be innovative, particularly in my time with the Utica High School store. My teacher at that time - Mrs. Semrau - was very supportive of my vision for the school store. We grew the store into a place that began to sell sweatshirts, merchandise and other products that supported the high school. When I think of my life as a business person, I always think of Mrs. Semrau.
Utica Community Schools is a great place to be. My advice to current students is to take advantage of what the community has to offer. There is a great deal of support - all you have to do is reach out and embrace it.
I moved back from New York because there is such a sense of community here. I knew that this is where I wanted to be in business because I know the people, the places and the faces. This is my home.
Utica Community Schools Board of Education