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From Marines to Entrepreneurs: An Inspiring Tale of Resilience, Triumph and Service

Meet Jose Araya and Steve Carlile, two retired Marines who have proven that with determination and a "can do" spirit, anything is possible. Moving from Costa Rica to the United States at 15, Jose's story is about ambition and resilience. Facing extreme poverty and a language barrier, Jose's unwavering spirit to never give up led him to join the United States Marine Corps at 21, shaping him as an individual and laying the foundation for his future success.
 
Building a close friendship with fellow marine Steve Carlile, Jose and Steve co-founded a restoration company in San Diego with a mission to support the local community, especially the one they once belonged to as former marines who commendably served for over twenty years. When it came to the joint venture Jose and Steve started, the invaluable lessons of dedication, integrity, and resilience stayed with them as their business flourished. By staying grounded while working non-stop, their commitment to high-quality service shined through their numerous charitable acts. 
 
Inspired by his father's quick success, Juan Araya joined SERVPRO of North Vista/San Marcos, soon becoming the third leader of the franchise. Today, Jose, Juan, and Steve have serviced thousands of military families, leaving a trail of satisfied customers and touched hearts. For the "Wounded Warriors," they have provided mold remediation and restoration work, easing the burden of those who have sacrificed so much for their country. For a USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor away at sea, they offered free mudslide and rain cleanup, again displaying their passion for those serving our nation. For the San Diego Food Bank, the compnay has donated funds to support the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, providing weekend food packages to elementary school students at risk of hunger. 
 
Their journey as proud owners of a company that has experienced astounding growth, reaching a yearly revenue of 25 million dollars, employing over 100 individuals, and servicing thousands of military families is remarkable. Already recognized with numerous local and regional awards, in 2023, SERVPRO of North Vista/San Marcos earned the most prestigious award in the restoration industry - the "SERVPRO National Franchise of the Year" award. With 2000+ franchises competing for this honor at the National SERVPRO convention in Tampa, FL, the award is a true testament to their relentless pursuit of excellence and inspiring journey from Marines to successful entrepreneurs.
 
Now, as Jose, Juan, and Steve continue to inspire a generation of young entrepreneurs, they view this recognition as not an endpoint but a new beginning, aiming to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals. Our local heroes, Jose Araya, Juan Araya, and Steve Carlile, have shown that with perseverance and a military mindset, one can overcome humble beginnings and build a better life for themselves, their family, and their community.