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Key Idea: Look Forward

Jet-A-Way has been serving customers since 1959.  Darlene says they have stayed in business by always looking forward.

Key Question:


Darlene believes that money, time and talent  is what we need to prepare for the future.   She has learned that every change, every adoption of a new technology, every new service, every new piece of equipment takes money, time and talent to implement.

She looks forward by staying informed and she does this by reading, talking to others in her industry and by staying close to customers.  She maintains banking relationships so there is money when she needs it and she has very low employee turnover.

Think about it

What will you be selling two to three years from now? What does your future hold?  Who on your  team needs additional training?  What technology or equipment do you need to buy?

Clip from: Jet-a-way

Host-producer, Hattie Bryant, with Jesse Jeter, the son of the founders

Boston: In this episode of the show we take you inside Jet-A-Way, a recycling company for construction and demolition waste, commercial waste, and recycled paper. They are also a transportation company to pick it all up and, then when it is all sorted, to bring it to refinement centers and sanitary landfills.  You'll meet Darlene Jeter and her family. 

Darlene and her husband have been recognized by their community and by the nation for their achievements.

With over $10 million in sales and 50 employees, this business has been in  operation since 1969.  Darlene has endured enormous setbacks -- the death of the love of her life,  her husband and business partner -- and major swings in the construction business in Boston. It is a dusty, tough industry. There is a lot of heavy metal -- trucks, tractors, and front-end loaders. Darlene not only survives, she thrives with grace and dignity.

Darlene Jeter has tenacity. No moaning, blubbering, sniveling, whimpering or whining; she gets the job done and then gives back to her community.

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Jet-A-Way, Inc.

Darlene Jeter, CEO

47 Kemble Street
Roxbury, MA 02119

Visit our web site:

Business Classification:
transportation, waste management, recycling

Year Founded: 1968

Look Forward

HATTIE: (Voiceover) With 56 employees and $10 million in sales, Jet-A-Way is positioned for growth.

DARLENE: It's like anything else. Modern technology just keeps changing, and if you want to grow, you have to take more risk. You need more support.

Unidentified Man #2: Probably about 20 PCs.

HATTIE: All right.

Man #2: And it's all connected to Darius 6000. It's a high-performance PC. It's very flexible. It has room for expansion.

DARLENE: We're always looking for change. We're always looking to do things differently, but not only different but better.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) John Kelso is executive vice president.

JOHN KELSO (Executive Vice President, Jet-A-Way): Well, we're in the process of investing in ways to improve the process. Right now we get about 55 percent of the material that comes in the door diverted away from being land filled as trash. So what we think we need to do is to get as close to 100 percent redirected, whether it's back to the crushed materials or road fill or whether it's boiler fuels to create energy, or whatever it is, we believe that we need to get to 100 percent. So we're looking at ways to improve the process, adding machinery, whatever is necessary.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Pat Kody is operations manager.

PAT KODY (Operations Manager, Jet-A-Way): The next thing we're studying is wood. Wood is certainly a material that makes up a high percentage of the construction and demolition waste stream, and with modernization of equipment, we should be able to get it out of the waste stream cost effectively.

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