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Advancing forward

image Derrick Thompson, owner of J.J. Madison’s Painting

SAN ANTONIO - Derrick Thompson is using his time in the Army to advance forward in his new-found civilian direction.







    Thompson was a 19 Delta Calvary Scout. This MOS (Military Occupation Specialty) goes back to the wild west days and the men who used to ride ahead and do recon work. (Full disclosure: Thompson really wanted to be a diesel mechanic, but he let his high school buddy, who joined up with him, pick the job. Bet that’s the last time he does that.)
    Post-Army, Thompson is scouting ahead as the owner of start-up company, J.J. Madison’s Painting. “J.J. Madison” is a combination of two children’s names, an “assimilation of two families becoming one,” Thompson said. J.J. was his wife’s son’s name, and Madison was Thompson’s daughter who was miscarried.
    Thompson had been doing painting since he was a teen. He got the idea for having his own company last year, while painting daughter Payton’s room. “I’ve always really liked painting,” he said.
    After his three and a half years in the Army (to include a tour in Iraq), Thompson, who was originally from the Bay Area, moved to Syracuse, NY, with his battle buddy. But since his family had family in Texas, and his mother had moved back to Seguin, Thompson made his way to the Lone Star State. He had spent many a summer here and was familiar with Texas.
    One small glitch: “I miss having snow in Seguin,” he said. Thompson is a fan of all four seasons
    Thompson filed the paperwork to start J.J. Madison’s Painting last year but has only gone public with it March of this year.
    In the meantime, Thompson actually still officially works for Amazon. He had to take a leave of absence from Mr. Bezos’ company when his mother needed emergency surgery.
    “I want to branch out and do my own thing,” Thompson said. His step-father had owned his own company, and, “I figured if he can do it, I can do it.”
    Thompson left his superiors at Amazon with the awareness that his goal is to run his own business and he didn’t plan on returning.
    Thompson said of being the new guy: “It is challenging but you’re growing something that nobody knows.”
    In the Seguin area, the main painting venue are re-paints. However, Thompson is agreeable to getting into new construction should that opportunity arise, despite the fast-paced scheduling for getting in and getting out.
    “Honestly, I’ll go where the money’s at,” he said. “I’ll go if you need me to go and there’s a chance to be profitable.”
    Even though Thompson said the “normal” range for him would be around one and a half to two hours away, he’ll gladly go further if it’s worth his while. His big priority is his family and their needs.
    Thompson has (at this writing) several paint jobs lined up and bids out. One job is an exterior house makeover for a co-worker at Amazon.
    What Thompson would love to be able to do is be well enough along with J.J. Madison that he could volunteer his time to help someone in need. He knows people on the coast who are still recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Thompson would like to assist folks like that.
    His ultimate goal would be to build up J.J. Madison for his kids. “My whole future is to have continuous growth so that my kids can take it over,” he said. “If they can learn the value of working for oneself and not somebody else, hopefully one day they can either take over this business or they can start their own.”
    Thompson has worked for more than one Fortune 500 company, Amazon being the latest one. But he is a firm believer in not taking a paycheck from someone else if that is at all possible.
    “The only way to not be reliant on somebody else is to do your own thing,” he concluded. With the lessons in management he has learned from the big guns in business, Thompson hopes to honor two kids who never had a chance in life by making the company named after them a success.
    Thompson’s also using his recon skills he learned in the Army to scout ahead for bigger and better opportunities for himself and his family. Drive on, young man.
    J.J. Madison’s Painting is a new painting contractor in Seguin. -dsz

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Author Info
Dan Zulli dan@constructionnews.net