Meet the Giants – Director of Human Resources David Lister

If you ask anybody at Gentle Giant Moving Company what the best part of working here is, they will almost immediately answer “the people”.

Director of Human Resources David Lister is largely responsible for this, as he is the person who has done the hiring over the past 15 years. “I believe it starts with hiring the best people and then providing a company culture and work environment that just makes it clear every day what this company is all about,” explains Lister. “New hires see what we are all about and just buy into it.  There is tremendous pride here in a job well done.  People either have that attitude in them when they are hired or soon develop it as they work with the people that came before them.  My hiring philosophy is simple, I hire people not movers.  Hire the right person and we can make them into a great mover, a true Gentle Giant who will give our customers a level of service second to none.”

Early in his career, Lister had always been hesitant to get into the business world because it seemed to him that the only thing that mattered was money.  “Obviously money is important if a business wants to succeed and grow, but at Gentle Giant I saw an attitude where PEOPLE really mattered. It was like a big family.”

Before David came to work at Gentle Giant, he was familiar with the company from early on because of his ties to Northeastern University’s rowing community, which Gentle Giant Founder Larry O’Toole is a part of. In fact, O’Toole built the company back in the 80′s by employing several of his crew mates as movers because of their strength, dedication, and enthusiasm. To this day, rowing and athletics is still at the core of the company.

When David joined the Gentle Giant team 17 years ago in 1995, he came on board to work in sales.  “I was older and had considerable job experience.  I was also still a very active athlete which fit well with the culture of GG.” David describes his first year as “fun, interesting, and rewarding,” deciding to make a career at Gentle Giant “when I knew I had found my niche. It was just a good fit. Gentle Giant has provided me an environment and a position that was a perfect fit for me; something I had spent half my professional career trying to find.”

“People get much more out of this job than they ever thought they would when they first came to work for us.  We hear it all the time from former employees who tell us what a great experience they had here and how well it prepared them for life and a future career.  This is what we want for our employees, even just the seasonal college kids that work here in the summer.  We want working at Gentle Giant to be an experience, not a job.”

Outside of Gentle Giant, David has been happily married for 43 years, has two children, 4 grandchildren, and great friends, many of whom are former rowers.  “The sport of rowing has helped shape my life and given me so much that is good.” David resides in Duxbury and starts his day erging with some friends including a college teammate from 45 years ago.




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