Dave James' son starts concrete business

Zoe Greszler • Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 12:43 AM

A Norwalk man has gone from a rock star with a guitar to a “Rockstar” with his own concrete business.

Jason James grew up playing guitar along side his father Dave James, of the popular local band Dave James and Twang Factor. The band opened for some big country music acts in the mid- to late 1990s, some of which Jason was able to accompany his father on. 

Now Jason James has started a new chapter in his life with a business venture — Rockstar Concrete Services, LLC. He began running the concrete business from his home in April and said he’s seen success and “enjoys” the work he’s doing. 

“My whole life I wanted to be a rock star,” James said.

“My grandpa played around the area for years and years and years. My dad played thousands of national acts. My growing up with music and getting up and playing with him sometimes did a lot. I even lived in Nashville for a period of time and got the chance to go on the road for a bit.”

He played with the Christian Kaiser Band. Eventually James said when he moved back to the area in search of a more stable job to support his family, workmates and friends started calling him “Rock Star.” 

“It just kind of stuck,” he said. “I figured if I can’t be a rock star with my guitar, I’d be a one with concrete.”

While performing has taken a back seat as he started the business and battled some health issues, James said he “would like to get back to playing.”

James was asked if music is something he would like to pursue full time. With past health issues and with a family of five children ranging in ages from 4 to 14, he said his priorities have changed.  

“This (working in concrete) is kind of making the mortgage, though,” he said with a laugh.

“It’s something I plan to keep on the side now. Anymore it’s a young man’s game. It’s a lot like playing the lottery — you can make a few extra bucks if you play at a bar every now and again. The need to play in front (of) thousands and travel all over the world, I’m kind of over it.”

Concrete work isn’t something that’s new to the Norwalk man. In fact, he said he’s worked for several companies in the field for the past 15 years. 

“I just decided I wanted to break out and do it on my own and a buddy of mine said he’d do it with me,” James said of Rockstar Concrete Services. “We take a lot of pride in what we do.”

For the past two months, business has been picking up and “going pretty well,” something James said he finds “encouraging.”

“We’ve had several phone calls everyday wanting estimates,” he said. “It’s encouraging because we had a pickup truck and a guy that said he’d do it with me, but no money. I’m getting more and more calls all the time though.

Rockstar works on anything from driveways and floors to curbs and decorative stamp concrete.

“There’s a variety of different finishes we can do with different stamps to choose from and different colors,” he said. “You can do some pretty neat stuff with concrete. We have a few stamps we use where you wouldn’t even know it’s concrete. It looks just like old barn door planks.”

James’ favorite aspect of his new career path is “leaving customers smiling.”

“I enjoy taking their vision and exceeding their expectations. It keeps me going,” he said. 

James also enjoys being able to incorporate his family values into his work life.

“I have five kids and family is kind of everything,” he said. “We’re all pretty close. My grandpa and dad both (are) musicians and I’m a musician. We’re all super close. We’ve just valued hard work and loyalty and try to show that.”

Rockstar plans to hire three to four more employees over the next month as the business continues to grow. Anyone wanting to get an estimate for their own project can call James at 419-706-0660 or visit the company’s Facebook page.

In other business happenings...

Firelands recognized for stroke care

SANDUSKY — Firelands Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll.

The award recognizes Firelands’ commitment and success ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

To receive the award, hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for at least 12 consecutive months. During the same period, hospitals must achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get measures. These quality measures are designed to help hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

Firelands has been certified as a primary stroke center since 2007. The stroke care provided at Firelands includes a rapid-response team to quickly evaluate patients and implement treatment consistent with best practices, emergency care including TeleStroke technology, a clinical team specializing in stroke care with neurologists and nurse practitioners available on site, and comprehensive rehabilitation and services to assist patients in recovery from stroke.

In other news, FRMC’s dialysis services has received a five-star rating for quality by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The clinic has received this rating three years in a row and is the only dialysis clinic in a 50-mile radius to receive a five-star rating.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services implemented a five-star quality rating system in January 2015, evaluating the quality of care provided by dialysis centers in an effort to provide patients, their families, and their caregivers the ability to compare centers and decide where they would prefer to receive their dialysis treatments.

To learn more about Firelands Regional Medical Center, visit firelands.com.


Blue Cross Blue Shield added to exchange plans

Area residents shopping for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange will find that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has a plan available beginning Monday. The plan will be accepted at Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk.

Eric Neal, Fisher-Titus executive director of revenue cycle, said this plan also will be accepted by the 44-member Fisher-Titus Medical Care physician group, executive urology specialists, and Bay Area Digestive Health physicians, providing the community access to local health care services through the ACA exchange.

Anthem joins CareSource Just4Me and Paramount Marketplace as plans accepted by Fisher-Titus in 2017. Residents in Huron, Erie, Sandusky and Seneca counties have access to Paramount Marketplace, which also serves other northwest Ohio counties.

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