By Sue Botos
From a young age, Jameson McGovern knew what he wanted to do for a living.
The owner of a successful landscaping business, Serious Lawncare LLC, McGovern is grateful, and this year decided to help those less fortunate by launching a food drive for the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.
“Landscaping has always been my passion since I was a little kid,” said the 2011 graduate of Rocky River High School during a recent interview. He recalled that the seeds for his company, were planted when he was about 10 years old.
“I would walk around the neighborhood with a lawn mower looking for mowing jobs,” McGovern said.
At age 16, McGovern built on that early foundation and was able to purchase a truck and trailer, officially launching his business while still in high school. He did this while balancing a full schedule of work, classes and sports, including football and basketball. “I sent out fliers, but it got to the point where I didn’t need to do that. My customers were recommending me by word of mouth,” said McGovern, who currently employs two other workers. By the time McGovern graduated, his company was officially licensed.
As this year’s holiday season approached, McGovern said he sat down with his parents to discuss ways he could give back to the community.
“We brainstormed and came up with the idea of a food collection,” McGovern said. He then sent fliers to his customers, explaining his plan. “I attached a clean 64-gallon trash can to my trailer in November, and the goal was to fill it up, “McGovern recalled.
This goal was met; several times.
“There was an overwhelming response. I did not expect so many items to be given,” McGovern said, noting that about 300 items were donated by his customers, who either left the nonperishable food items on their doorstep, or gave them to McGovern and his crew when they came to do a job. Some supplied items a few times, he said.
McGovern’s attitude of gratitude is no surprise to Rocky River High School athletic director Mark Wagner. “Jameson was always a hard worker, in the classroom and on the football field,” Wagner stated. “He took that work ethic and has applied it to Serious Lawn Care. It has been fun to watch Jameson grow his business by working hard and taking care of his customers with his excellent service. It’s great to see a young person understand the value of giving back to the community.”
Impressed by the generosity of his customers, McGovern plans to make the food drive an annual event.
“I was fortunate early on in my business, and this is a way I can give back,” he stated.