HARLINGEN — Jacob Boggus says business has always been his passion, even as a kid.
Growing up, his favorite board game was Monopoly. But there was another game he played a lot.
“My brother and I devised a homemade game we called Life. I was the banker, tax assessor and collector, and issued debt to my brother’s ‘used car dealership,’” he said with a laugh.
“We played that for days at a time.”
Sometimes, he says, he feels his interest in business and entrepreneurship is almost genetic.
Jacob, 28, is one of Harlingen’s young, up and coming leaders. He is director of Internet sales and business development for Boggus Ford Harlingen, a dealership started by his great grandfather in 1933.
He comes from a family that has been something of an institution in Harlingen for three generations before him.
The city’s high school football teams play in a stadium named after his great grandfather, J. Lewis Boggus Sr. For generations, the family has been synonymous with community service and leadership, with involvement in a long list of community organizations.
Jacob is carrying on that tradition.
Outside of work, he serves on the board of the Family Crisis Center and the Valley Zoological Society. His wife, Erica, is board president for the Crisis Center.
He says it was his grandfather, Frank Boggus, one of his childhood heroes and role models, who introduced him to volunteer work by inviting him to join in ringing the bell for the Salvation Army during the holidays.
“Community service is a component of my life I feel is essential. As I continue to grow and seek opportunities to serve in different capacities, community service will always remain a part of who I am,” he said.
“Serving others directly or indirectly is what I looked up to my grandfather for, and like anyone, we all want to be like our heroes. It is my duty in life to serve others.”
He says he joined the family’s auto dealership because it fit with his passion for business. He was in the fourth grade the first time he began working there.
“I was performing tasks a fourth-grader can do, such as organizing car brochures and making labels for files,” he said. “As the years progressed, I worked delivering water to customers on the car lot, making popcorn, cleaning cars and doing odd jobs.”
He would go off to college, but then rejoined the business full time in 2011.
“I was told I’d have to work in each department before I could move into a management position,” he said. “So I’ve worked as a salesman, service advisor, parts counterperson and customer relations representative.”
The business, he says, is “the core of our family, I think, and I’m honored to carry that on.”
He also feels honored to come from a long line of community leaders, “men of Christ who selflessly devote their time and resources in the name of Jesus Christ.”
“When it comes to following in their footsteps, I naturally hope to continue the legacy of the Boggus family in the Valley,” he said. “We’ve been here for three generations and I plan to continue that in the future.”
Born and raised in Harlingen
Bachelor of Science in Finance from Missouri State University
Currently enrolled as an MBA student at UTRGV
Great Grandfather: James Lewis Boggus, Sr.
Grandfather: Frank N. Boggus
Father: Jack Boggus
Mother: Jo Ann Boggus
Wife: Erica Boggus, 5 years of marriage
Children: Emma Rose Boggus, 1 year old
Ultimate goal in life
“To be a family man like my father and grandfather were; loved by their children and grandchildren.”
What advice would you give someone who hopes to attain the success you have?
“I am not sure what the definition of success is, but my advice is for one to be true to themselves, take responsibility for their actions, make something of their circumstances, and live each day in pursuit of their dreams. One day those dreams will become a reality.”