Meet Mr. Drover - Jeffrey Garland
Founder of Drover Rideshare
Jeff was born in Franklin, TN and grew up on the family farm in Thompsons Station, TN. As a child, Jeff was very passionate about playing basketball (and still is!).
“My brother was all into video games… we were kids when the first Nintendo came out. I on the other hand just wanted to play ball”
Jeff then attended Battle Ground Academy for high school, one of the oldest high schools in the state of Tennessee. After graduating high school, Jeff earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Phoenix.
One the most formative influences in his life was his father, who coached Jeff’s basketball team and his sister’s softball team.
“One of the great things I learned from my dad was to believe in myself... he was very good at making you feel you were the best… that you could be anything you wanted to be. If you asked me a question like ‘who is the best basketball player of all time’, I would say ‘I am Dad’, and the reason I would say something like that is because he gave me the confidence to believe I was. His leadership style was very optimistic and supportive, in that you could be anything you wanted to be, if you worked for it”
This philosophy definitely rings true in Jeff’s leadership on the Drover team; he always pushes the team to be the best they can be through hard work and dedication.
“I guess, from my dad teaching me to believe in myself, I had so much confidence from childhood that it has continued with me today. I’ve experienced some pretty amazing things… I’ve risked a lot, and I’ve had mixed results, but it’s always been a great ride. I’ve had failures in life, but I learned early on that when that happens, you just get back up and try it again.”
Jeff joined the Navy in 2001, a few months prior to the 9/11 attacks.
“I basically joined the navy at first because of Top Gun. I love airplanes and I always wanted to fly them. After 9/11, however, I wised up to the seriousness of it, and realized that I needed to give my all to serving and defending my country. In my 10 years of service, 5 active and 5 reserve, I was a Naval Air Crewman.”
After Google’s IPO in 2004, Jeff became captivated by the stock market. After a couple of months of research, he started diving in with investments.
“My friend really did well from investing in Google, so I figured I would give stock trends a shot too. It was a good time to get involved, all the big online brokerage house were just emerging and it was an exciting time to be in the market.. My in-depth research throughout the years for the purpose of investing has given me tons of knowledge about a bunch of different companies, and that has been a really cool thing to draw from”.
According to Jeff, if it wasn’t from his connection with the stock market, he never would have discovered the rideshare industry. After first learning about ridesharing in 2012, Jeff got on board as a driver when Uber and Lyft became available in Tennessee. He started in August 2015, and since then has completed over 1,000 rides for Uber and Lyft combined.
“I had a great experience driving with Uber and Lyft. There are many positive things to take from their business model and disruptive technology. With that said, I feel there are also many things they do that can be improved. I came up with the idea for Drover because I wanted to make a rideshare service more focused on the Driver, on passenger safety and happiness, and on eco-friendly transportation.”
Finally, Jeff has always had a passion for philanthropy and giving back to the community.
“I am really excited to get Drover going in communities across the United States so that Drover fares can start benefiting charities in those cities. I feel very strongly about giving back to the community, and I am proud to announce that 2% of all Drover rides will benefit charities in the areas we operate.”
In Jeff's words, he started Drover in order to change the world one "Drove" at a time. He hopes to accomplish this goal through Drover's unique features and values, including support of electric cars and donations to charity.
Jeff married Scarlett Garland in November of 2015. Jeff started driving with Uber and Lyft circa August 2015, and actually paid for their honeymoon with his earnings from Uber and Lyft rides. Scarlett is Jeff's number one supporter, a nurse extraordinaire, and an all-around incredible advocate and source of support for Jeff and the rest of the family here at Drover!
Patrizio Murdocca is Chief Web Developer at Drover Rideshare, a student at Vanderbilt University, and President of Interfaced Ministries.