Written by Jennifer Toone Corrigan | Reposted from Patch.com with permission. | July 25, 2022
Vanguard Wildlife Solutions is a veteran-owned and operated business established in 2019 by James Frieling with his wife, Liz. The company provides strategic wildlife removal and repair solutions for homes and businesses with lasting results.
James is a veteran of the National Guard. He served in the infantry in Afghanistan in 2011-2012. After he returned, James received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
James and Liz grew up in neighboring towns in Massachusetts. They had been friends for more than a decade before they got married in 2017.
Liz received a degree in Journalism from Roger Williams University and has lived in Rhode Island ever since. She has written for Providence Business News, Providence Monthly, The Bay, and CHIPS magazine, among other publications.
Not long after they got together, James moved in with Liz in East Providence, where he started working for a national wildlife removal company. He loved the problem-solving aspect of wildlife removal, and he was constantly improving his skills to help people solve their wildlife problems.
At that time, Liz was a marketing and proposal coordinator at a local environmental consulting firm.
In 2018, a year after they got married, James and Liz quit their jobs and rode a motorcycle to California and back on a 2-month sojourn while they waited to embark on a Peace Corps mission the following January.
In a twist of fate, things fell through at the last minute. Paperwork submitted months before was lost so they couldn’t get final clearance in time to depart.
While riding together on the Kawasaki KLR, James mentioned how he would like to run a wildlife removal company someday.
James and Liz decided to make that seemingly distant dream a reality. They needed to make a strategic plan fast.
Liz designed the logo and the website and used her copy writing skills to build a web presence from scratch. Her past work experience helped build the administration from the ground-up.
The company name "vanguard" was chosen for its multiple meanings. A vanguard is a group of people leading the way in innovation or ideas. The vanguard is also the foremost part of an advancing army.
Vanguard Wildlife Solutions was created to provide comprehensive and humane solutions to people’s wildlife problems.
Before their first sale, the couple earned certification by the National Wildlife Control Operators Association (NWCOA). James learned new field skills and Liz absorbed all she could about running a wildlife removal business – from the best software to use, to how to grow and manage a team.
“We are constantly improving and building on our service offerings,” said James Frieling. “We value education for our entire team so they can provide long-lasting results for our customers.”
When they first started in 2019, James worked 7 days a week in the field. Liz was answering all incoming calls, handling the marketing, and regularly attending networking functions. She would also assist in the field when an extra set of hands was needed. They built relationships with referral partners around the state and continued to provide excellent service to their customers.
Within their first year they hired their first field technician. Vanguard Wildlife now employs six staff and continues to grow with the rising demand for wildlife removal solutions.
The team has several certified Advanced Wildlife Control Operators (AWCO).
“We understand the biology of the wildlife we work with. We also provide lasting repairs called ‘exclusion’ that keeps wildlife out and looks aesthetically pleasing and discreet on the home,” said Liz Frieling. “This is treatment and prevention, rather than a stop-gap solution.”