In the 1980’s John Briscoe was a Navy veteran working for the City of Roanoke. Unable to meet bills for his family, Briscoe came upon an idea for a small family business that, with hard work, made all his dreams come true. He and his wife, Ann, had purchased an old Roanoke home with two fireplaces in desperate need of repair. Unable to find anyone competent to give him advice or fix his fireplaces, he decided to leave the City in 1988 and start his own chimney business. Building on his naval background, he researched and studied at night, took courses and passed exams to become licensed and qualify at the highest professional level for chimney work. SCORE counselors assisted the Briscoe’s in setting up their office, as they lacked basic business operation skills. Ann has served as office manager since they started, and is affectionately referred to as “Mother Goose”. Two sons are now in the business (which now has grown to six employees), providing an exit/succession plan for the senior Briscoe’s.