Business Owner Mentors Veterans

BJ Johnson has been involved with Porsche for practically his entire life.  His company specializes in the restoration of classic Porsche automobiles, and has dozens of Porsche 911 for sale and Porsche 911RS for sale.

BJ served his country in the US Army during the Vietnam war, where he served three tours and saw combat on numerous occasions.  After Vietnam, BJ was stationed in Germany, where he was introduced to (and fell in love with) Porsche.

When his enlistment in the Army was completed, instead of returning to the US, BJ decided to remain in Germany and spent 3 years working for Porsche at its factory in Stuttgart.  Here BJ learned not only the Porsche engine and suspension systems, but also bodywork and other mechanics.  In a short time, BJ had become one of the most knowledgeable mechanics on the line.

BJ returned to the United States shortly thereafter and became a regional representative for Porsche – his territory included the American Southwest and California.  He spent the next thirty years promoting the Porsche brand across his territory, and eventually opened a Porsche dealership in Los Angeles.

While the new Porsche models of the 1990s and 2000s were wonderful in their own way, BJ never lost his passionate love for the Porsche of the 1960s and 1970s.  He eventually sold off his dealership and opened a new facility in rural California, which would deal exclusively in the restoration to factory specifications of old, classic Porsche 911s and 356s.

The new business took off, and now BJ’s small business has become one of the most trusted companies for classic Porsche collectors and enthusiasts all across the world.

In spite of his hectic schedule and advancing years, BJ focuses his effort on veteran outreach.  "As a war veteran myself, I know how difficult it can be to make the transition from military life to civilian life.  I want to do what I can to help ease that transition for our men and women coming home from overseas."  BJ makes a point to hire veterans for his business.  "I know that a veteran understands simple things like getting to work on time, putting in a full day’s work, and taking pride in your work.  I don’t care if you don’t know the first thing about cars – I can teach you how to fix a car… what I can’t teach is work ethic, and veterans have that in spades."

In addition to actively recruiting newly separated veterans, BJ offers business startup advice and mentoring to those veterans who are thinking of starting a business.  "Starting a business, especially in this economy, is a dangerous prospect.  One misstep can put you back years, or bankrupt you.  I’ve been running businesses for over thirty years – I’ve made every mistake you can imagine.  If I can help one fellow veteran avoid the mistakes I’ve made, well that makes me a happy man."

Asked when he plans to retire, BJ confides, "I don’t think I’ll ever retire.  As long as there are cars to fix and vets to mentor, I don’t see myself ever slowing down."

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