Jim Darling: Daily Earnings
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
MOUNTAIN VIEW — With an educational background in horticulture, Jim Darling originally planned to pursue a career in the landscaping industry. Little did he know, that was merely a stepping stone to a bigger professional opportunity. “My brother-in-law, Jim Meredith, started J & M Termite Control, Inc. in 1973,” he says. “Soon after, he talked to me about coming to work for him, but I was more interested in developing my landscaping career. Later, the landscape business partnership I was in wasn’t working out very well, so I decided to take him up on his offer. Eventually, he put me in charge of the office, and when he retired in 2005, I bought the company from him.”
Today, as owner of J & M Termite Control, Jim says the one aspect of his job he enjoys more than dealing with termites is dealing with people. “I like the social interaction of going to people’s homes and meeting them. A lot of our business is real estate inspections, so it’s always interesting to talk to people about their circumstances.”
A lifetime resident of the Bay Area, Jim lives in Pleasanton with his wife, Donna, where he appreciates the temperate climate. “Here on the Peninsula, we have some of the best weather in the world,” he says. “When I was in the Army, I had the opportunity to see a lot of the United States, which convinced me that where I came from was one of the best places to live.”
Outside of work, Jim engages in a variety of pastimes, particularly ones that take place outdoors. “We have a cabin in the mountains where we go to relax and kayak,” he says. “I also enjoy gardening at home, which goes back to my horticultural background.” Additionally, Jim likes spending time with his grown sons, Kevin and Scott. “My older son, Kevin, is a deputy sheriff in Sacramento County and has two sons, so we enjoy getting together with them as often as we can. My younger son, Scott, works in the pest control industry. He worked here at J & M for about 20 years, and he’s currently working in the Los Angeles area.”
In his professional career, Jim espouses the importance of professional integrity. “I believe in doing the best job you can and being honest and straightforward with people,” he says. “After more than 40 years in business, this company has earned a very good reputation, but we have to keep earning it every day.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jim says he’d hit the open road. “We have a big SUV that doesn’t have a whole lot of miles on it, and I think it’d be fun to take it for a road trip. I’ve always wanted to go to Glacier National Park, so I’d probably drive there.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
A: I like brew pubs and pub food, so two of my favorites are Main Street Brewery and Redcoats, both of which are located in Pleasanton.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Read or work on whatever home improvement project I have going.
Q: If you could live in the city or the country, which would you choose?
A: The country.
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: I collect different types of weather thermometers. Ever since I was a pilot in the military, weather has been a hobby of mine.
Q: Pancakes or waffles?
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A: Pancakes. We always make them when we’re up at our cabin.