By Angie Kay Dilmore
Have you ever marveled at those individuals who seem to squeeze more minutes out of a 24-hour period than the average person? When most people “call it a day,” these people are still working — and they seem to enjoy it. They are masters at managing their time, multitasking, setting priorities, meeting deadlines — and they still make time for family and relaxation.
All of those abilities describe Jody Guidry. This 43-year-old Lake Charles resident works full-time as a major in the Louisiana National Guard. His job requires him to stay at Jackson Barracks near New Orleans each week, from Monday night until Friday evening.
One full-time job would be enough for most people. Not so for Guidry. In addition to his military service, this go-getter owns several small businesses. He’s a real estate broker, selling property through his company, Guidry Realty Group. He’s a residential and commercial licensed general contractor, and builds property through JG Development and Construction. He rents property through another company, Guidry Property Development.
Guidry attends to these businesses in the evenings from New Orleans, and he’s in his Lake Charles office all day on Mondays.
Guidry is also civic-minded, and volunteers for several business, political and social organizations. He’s a member of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana Real Estate Association and American Legion Post 1. He and his wife, Virginia, belong to the Mardi Gras Krewe La Famille. He strives to devote most of his weekend time to Virginia and his two daughters, Elena, age nine, and Cristina, age 6. He also has a 19-year-old son, Cade, who recently joined the Marine Corps.
A Juggling Act
How does Guidry successfully keep all these balls in the air?
“It’s a juggling act between military life, my small businesses, and my family,” he says. “I stay busy all the time.”
Guidry credits his ability to maintain so many ventures to his military training. “My military service has helped develop me into the business leader I am today,” he says. “As an officer, I was trained to multitask and to manage time well. I was taught to accomplish the mission at all costs. Anything I do, I want to do to the best of my ability. I want to succeed. At times, it’s challenging and stressful.”
Guidry has developed strategies to help him stay organized and on top of the game. He sets both short- and long-term goals. He assigns priorities to his goals, and tackles them one at a time. “In any given week, I know the projects going on and what needs to happen,” he says. “It’s about setting priorities and following through. If I don’t get all the tasks done in one week, they roll over onto the top of the list the next week. I just keep things rolling.”
A Past, Present And Future Steeped In Service
Guidry was born and raised in Lacassine, La., and graduated from University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana-Lafayette). He earned a general studies degree, focusing on behavioral science, military science and criminal justice, and participated in ROTC. He’s worked in construction all of his life, as did his father and grandfather. He became involved with real estate eight years ago.
As a member of the National Guard, he served two tours in Iraq, in 2004 and 2010, and has served in the military for 18 years. Guidry plans to continue to serve, both his country and his community. “When I do leave the military at some point in my life, I will continue to serve,” he says. “I look ahead to the future, set goals, and would like to run for political office in Southwest Louisiana.”
Maintaining Sanity Amidst The Stress
Guidry credits his family with keeping him sane, despite the stress of being pulled in many directions. “I have an excellent support structure at home. My wife and my mother do all my bookkeeping. My father is in construction. He picks up the slack and oversees some of the projects for me.”
Family life is vitally important to Guidry. “You have to have time for yourself and your family,” he says. “Sometimes I bring my wife and kids with me to work. If I’m cleaning an apartment, getting it ready to rent, I’ll teach my kids and pay them to help us clean. Sometimes it’s a family affair. I want to teach my kids responsibility and the value of hard work.”
Guidry also realizes the importance of relaxing and fostering recreation. He and Virginia recently bought a recreational vehicle, and look forward to family camping. He also enjoys hunting.
Because of his busy schedule, it may be hard to spot Jody Guidry as he traverses the I-10 corridor twice a week and attends to his businesses and family. But Southwest Louisiana can expect to see much more of this dynamic servant and businessman in the future.