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James and Sarah Cammilleri Discuss the Positives and Challenges 2020 Brought With It



James and Sarah Cammilleri are the owners and CEOs of JSC Management Group, which owns and operates approximately 60 Burger King locations in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. James entered the business world at a young age working in his uncle’s restaurants, and later, with his father at the family Burger King franchise.

In the past seven years, James and Sarah expanded the JSC Management Group Burger King franchise ownership from two restaurants to 60 (and growing!). James attributes his business success to God, doing the right thing, and good planning!

James and Sarah are committed to giving back and serving others through their ministry in Haiti, Elevating Christian Ministries (ECM). Currently, ECM feeds 30,000 children per day in over 145 school programs. ECM focuses on facilitating sustainable development in Haitian communities through local business development and leadership training.

In 2021, James and Sarah’s goal for ECM is to walk through every open door available to them with the intention of continuing to serve and bless others.

How has your industry been impacted regarding COVID-19?

We are fortunate as our business is already set up with drive-through, delivery, and takeout services.  While the full-service restaurants are suffering, we are picking up more business.  This will alter the service industry going forward. Many businesses have had to be creative in abiding by COVID guidelines.

We were concerned that COVID-19 would negatively impact our ministry, Elevating Christian Ministries (ECM), as travel to Haiti enables us to continue to make progress. Fortunately, we are currently planning for many future trips to compensate for that!

What keeps you motivated during this time at home?

I do work from home, but I still need to travel frequently to manage our Burger King franchise.

How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?

My wife Sarah makes me slow down and keeps me in check.  If I had it my way, I would work 24 hours a day, because I do not really consider it work.  My work is my passion and what I love to do! Our ministry through ECM helps me slow down, also.  When I focus on serving others, my mind is less concentrated on work.

Suggestions of good ways others can cope during this time.

The full-service restaurants are getting destroyed, but our business is thriving.  It is a hard question to answer because it is so industry-specific.  I would suggest evaluating the abundance of opportunities which capitalize on the demands created from the pandemic.

What does your typical day look like now versus prior to social isolation?

My typical business day has not changed significantly.  However, I have been affected by not being able to travel to Haiti for our ministry.  Though COVID-19 has not impacted Haiti as heavily as most countries, they are still experiencing lockdowns.

How does working remotely change how businesses can support their customers?

We do not have more people working remotely as it is not feasible in our business.  Nothing has changed for us except for adhering to COVID-19 rules and regulations.

What are some things outside of finding work that you are doing now to stay busy?

I have two children.  I love to fish, and my wife and I enjoy golfing.  Outside of work, my main focus is the ministry, teaching about leadership, and inspiring others to become leaders.

Do you think a work and life balance is important and how difficult is it in these circumstances?

I would definitely say we are working more right now.  In the first few months of COVID we were not working as hard, but now it has been busy and back to normal for us.

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