Accomplish your goals where there is meaning for everyone, not just for yourself.
Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, James Cammilleri has been a successful restaurant owner for over twenty years. He became involved with the Burger King business in 1989 while working in his father’s restaurants. By 2000, James Cammilleri launched JSC Management Group by purchasing his father’s two restaurants. This purchase initiated the path to a thriving business. Over the years James and his wife Sarah have continued to grow their business. They currently own twelve restaurants in the state of New York. The Cammilleri’s plan to proceed with their business expansion in the future.
James and Sarah Cammilleri take pride in the business they have built. However, James considers the greatest accomplishment of his life to have started three years ago. The couple began to follow their passion and pursue their Christian humanitarian efforts.
They founded Elevated Christian Ministries. The organization was created to assist in the hunger crisis for the children of Haiti. The benevolent efforts of Elevated Christian Ministries currently feed over ten-thousand children, serving eighty-five schools per day. They continue to elevate communities by expanding their efforts to serve additional schools each month.
James and Sarah Cammilleri are the proud parents of Gabriel and Nichole. The family is enjoying life in Florida and letting God guide life.
Where did the idea for JSC Management Group come from?
JSC Management Group has over 350 employees, 12 restaurants, 12 properties, and two management companies.
The non-profit is called Elevated Christian Ministries. The name was inspired by a band that we love called Elevation Worship. When we were talking about creating our non-profit the idea was to elevate people. We wanted to empower people to self-care. The world is always talking about negative things. We want to be positive. We are proud to be Christian. We were told not to “be Christian” if we wanted to get funding from businesses. That reasoning from others only served to impassion the desire for a Christian Ministry. I didn’t want money from people. I let God and let go.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I no longer work on the day to day operations of the restaurant. My typical day is spent analyzing where our company is going to be in the next year to four years. I must take care of my employees. I am mapping out a plan to achieve specific goals. I am working on a development strategy and on a leadership program. We have a motto in our company, it is called “People Over Profits.” I believe if you take care of your people your profits will come. I make sure that management focuses on my people, and that their needs are being met. Many businesses only focus on the customer. I focus on my employees. I know if I focus on my employees, they will do a good job for me.
There are a lot of things going on with the ministry. When you’re leading another group of 65 people in Haiti you must constantly be ahead of it. You must consistently strive to be better and more efficient. Efficiency is an issue in Haiti. There isn’t a Lowes around the corner. To meet our challenges, I must project a year or two into the future to make plans.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We bring ideas together collectively. We analyze and discuss our ideas. When we come up with the plan and the solution, we implement the plans collectively. It is usually not just one person’s idea.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Technology has made things better and more efficient and we have become stronger. When it comes to analyzing things like employee performance, customer interaction, and communications from Haiti. Technology has just advanced our ability to become so much more efficient. We have invested in technology all over in our business.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am very organized. If I get disorganized, we all get disorganized.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to slow down a little bit. Enjoy the journey. Be more patient. Let God lead the way. Accomplish your goals where there is meaning for everyone, not just for yourself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
When people first meet me, they think that I am a tough person. At least until they get to know me. They see me as stern and straight forward and perhaps to honest. Then, I think that they understand that I am fair.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Value people, uplift people, it doesn’t matter who it works, family or friends. People Elevate people.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The number one strategy that I would recommend if you want to be successful is to study your competition. Know what they are doing and the assets that they have. knowledge will help you set up your business and to grow your business. Study your competitors and gain your advantage.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I lost one restaurant because I got too greedy. Everything I had done up until that point had been successful. I lost it because I did not use my business intelligence. I lost it because I bid on it out of pure greed. I overcame it by taking the loss on that business. I learned from that experience. I will never go back to that. You don’t make money because you want money, you make money because you’re gifted at something.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would highly recommend that people choose to have a franchise over any other business. It has a higher success rate. It is much easier to research, to study the business model, and ROI. It can be a good investment. It is better than taking a shot in the dark.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I was at the grocery store the other day and they were collecting money for the homeless. They asked for $6.75 and I gave them $100.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use excel for everything. I am always analyzing everything. I rely on excel as my go-to software daily.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend any books written by John C. Maxwell. Intentional Living is one of his best.
What is your favorite quote?
Given and it shall be given
• Study your competitors and gain your advantage.
• Slow down a little bit. Enjoy the journey. Be more patient. Let God lead the way.
• Accomplish your goals where there is meaning for everyone, not just for yourself.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.