Putting Military at Ease MRIN.com Helps Those on the Move

By Daniels, Earl | The Florida Times Union, November 9, 1999 | Go to article overview

Putting Military at Ease MRIN.com Helps Those on the Move


Daniels, Earl, The Florida Times Union


********** CORRECTION (11/10/99)

Military Relocation Information Network has a total of 70 employees. Because of an editor's error, that number was incorrect in a photo caption on Page F-1 yesterday.

**********

When employees started spending their work days in unusual places, James Sherrill knew it was time to move his company into a larger office.

"We started putting them in the kitchen," said James Sherrill, CEO of Military Relocation Information Network Inc. of Jacksonville, which outgrew its office space after just four months.

Now, his 40-person local staff is moving into a Southside headquarters that is about nine times larger than the 2,400-square-foot office it once occupied. Sherrill expects the new space to be sufficient for at least 18 months.

In the meantime, Sherrill's rapidly growing company is focused on carving its niche on the Internet. The company uses its Web site to provide relocation information to military personnel who are pulling up stakes.

MRIN.com offers information on about 255 U.S. military bases and the surrounding communities. "This kind of information was not really out there on the Internet," Sherrill said.

Sherrill, who served in the U.S. Navy for 12 years, said he saw a need because the armed forces does not provide a lot of information to assist military personnel when they move from one base to the next.

Now, with a click of a computer mouse on MRIN.com, a member of the military who is relocating can get information and view pictures online of the area where they are moving.

"It is pretty much like a yellow page directory," said Steve Manolis, the company's vice president of marketing. He worked for American Online in Jacksonville before he joined Military Relocation Information Network.

Officials of the armed forces have given their support to Sherrill's company. The company's board of directors includes high-ranking officers who represent each branch of the military.

And Sherrill makes frequent visits to the Pentagon to talk with military officials about what he needs to do to keep the Web site updated.

"We are going to be the military Yahoo!," said Sherrill of his company's pursuit to mirror Yahoo!, an Internet portal that provides a host of information on a variety of topics.

In the next 30 days, MRIN.com is expected to have details that include the location of military and civilian golf courses, recreational vehicle camps, lodging and commissaries.

Sherrill said he wants the information to be as detailed as possible.

"We want people to be able to find out the cost of green fees at certain golf courses and even how many par 4's a course has," he said.

Then in the next 45 days or so, the company will add information about overseas military installations. …

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