“After a while that made it clear to me where my heart was,” he recalled.
His heart, it turns out, wanted to serve his community. So Jarvis, not wanting to do either job half-heartedly, decided to retire from Northrop Grumman, where he had worked for more than two decades as a computer engineer and mission assurance manager.
Jarvis was first exposed to computers while in the U.S. Air Force. Trained to maintain missiles for fighter aircraft using computers, he was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, and Kunsan Air Base in Korea.
A three-time graduate of Wright State, Jarvis was appointed to the Beavercreek Council in 2009 to fill a vacancy. He has since been elected to two four-year terms and is serving the first two years of his final term as the city’s mayor.
“As a councilperson, we have the ability to make a difference, more than just what we do on council,” Jarvis said. “We get a chance to reach out and touch people and make a difference—and that is important.”
As mayor, he can be found all around the community, meeting with residents, attending special events, and spending time at local schools and businesses. He also has represented Beavercreek on the Greene County Family and Children First Council and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and currently serves on the Greene County Law Library Resources Board.
In 2014, he was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, which recognizes veterans for outstanding community service.
Jarvis graduated from Stebbins High School in Riverside, Ohio, and received bachelor’s degrees in computer science and environmental science and a master’s degree in computer science from Wright State.
He is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, hosted Wright State’s On the Road in Raider Country event for Greene County alumni, and often returns to campus to attend university events, including ROTC ceremonies and graduations.
“Representing Beavercreek and being a Wright State graduate, I try to make myself available to any organization I support. Wright State is a big one,” he said. “I try to be very supportive of things that are occurring in our region, with a focus on supporting Greene County and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.”
After graduating with a computer science degree, Jarvis worked for four years for a Virginia defense contractor developing software for the U.S. Navy before returning to this area in 1986. He spent the rest of his career at TRW, which eventually was acquired by Northrop Grumman.
Jarvis grew up in an Air Force family. His father, three brothers, and sister have all served in the Air Force. “Where some of my friends followed their parents working at GM or NCR, I followed my father and siblings to the Air Force,” he said.
Giving back to the community is important to Jarvis. He points out that Beavercreek has many hundreds of volunteers who get involved in the city’s parks, special events, and many city boards and commissions.
“I look at myself as just one of those volunteers who does things that help make the city better,” he said.