Looking back at the history of Gentle Giant’s employees, there are men and women that helped define what it is to be a Giant; athletic, intelligent, driven, and well, gigantic. Jeremy Abele is one of those individuals that made an impact on our company as a mover, a recruiter, and a salesperson. While Gentle Giant Moving Company considers itself lucky to have had Jeremy for the time we did, it was more than luck that introduced Jeremy to GG. “Growing up in the Boston area it was hard to miss the big purple trucks with giant feet driving around town. Although, I would say I learned more about the company itself through my contacts in the rowing community.”
Since opening in 1980, Gentle Giant has had strong ties to the rowing community and was well known as one of the top employers of rowers in the area. Jeremy submitted a job application after being encouraged by the positive things he heard from friends and teammates who had worked there in the past. He also felt confident that his experience rowing gave him the discipline, strong work ethic, and teamwork mentality to find success at GG.
Thinking back to his first summer as a mover, Jeremy felt it was “both challenging and at the same time extremely fulfilling. We worked hard each and every day, but we had fun doing it. Every day was different – a new customer, a new city, a new crew of Giants to work with.” For Jeremy, the people and company culture was his favorite part of working at Gentle Giant. “Everyone I worked with at GG had such a positive attitude. The company also had a strong sense of unity; it was truly a team environment.”
One person that had a large effect on Jeremy was former Branch Manager and current Regional Trainer Noah Duarte. “Noah had an unbelievable work ethic – he had high standards and expected nothing less than perfection from his crew. As a rookie mover trying to learn the ropes I recall a few situations where Noah pulled me aside to provide some ‘constructive criticism.’ I remember thinking… ‘I really don’t like this guy…and why does this matter?’ Looking back I can say I learned a lot working with Noah. There was always a method to his madness…always a lesson to be learned. On top of being a great teacher (and disciplinarian) – Noah had an undeniable passion for the job.”
Regularly working with top-notch Crew Chiefs like Noah properly prepared Jeremy for the challenging situations he would face on the trucks every day. One particularly difficult job that sticks out was a commercial moving job in Cambridge in the heat of the summer. “We were moving several large – extremely heavy pieces of machinery (including a 20ft steel girder) out of the 4th floor of a building,” Abele recalls. “The building was equipped with an elevator but none of the large pieces would fit. This was a crane/elevator sled job – and due to the size of the objects being moved the GG crew that day consisted of some of the true giants at GG (Steve Hart, Jake Zoller, Ritchie Varela, and Rooty…to name a few). The craning of the pieces was the easy part. The hard part was getting the heavy machinery to the window. Through a combination of dollies, straps, and half a dozen Giants, we were able to carefully roll the pieces to the window and crane them to the truck (the customer was very impressed). Needless to say it was a long, extremely challenging move, but in the end, successful.”
Like many other former Giants, Jeremy learned some valuable lessons during his tenure at Gentle Giant that helped him achieve success in his career post GG. “I had a unique work experience at Gentle Giant as I had the benefit of working in multiple departments; starting out on the trucks as a mover and then transitioning into an office position in recruiting and in sales. I had the opportunity to work with so many great people.” Jeremy also felt that “regardless of what department I worked in there was a common theme among my GG colleagues – a clear passion for the job and always going above and beyond to make sure the customer is happy. I carried this with me into my current career and have no doubt that it has been a key driver of my success.”
Jeremy is currently working as a broker/risk consultant for the largest risk management/reinsurance brokerage firm in the world. “Similar to GG, the company I work for has a ‘best in class’ reputation within the industry – and similar to GG’s customers – our clients have very high standards and expect us to deliver day in and day out. I can say without hesitation that the experiences/lessons I learned at GG helped prepare me for a successful career in the corporate world.”
Even though Jeremy is no longer an official recruiter for Gentle Giant, he still regularly recommends Gentle Giant as an excellent place to work. “Whether you are looking for a summer job, a career or just a stepping stone/launching pad to something else – Gentle Giant can provide you with invaluable experience that can be applied to just about any industry.” Jeremy also advises new Giants to “take full advantage of your time at GG. Whether you plan to pursue a career at GG or move on to something else, the lessons you learn and the experiences you have at GG will stay with you and can be applied to just about any industry.”
If this isn’t enough of a selling point, Jeremy tells potential Gentle Giants that there are often opportunities to “score” items on the job that customers no longer want. These scores can vary from treadmills to air conditioning units to fine furniture. The greatest thing Jeremy ever scored “had to be a solid cherry wood dining room table. I could not for the life of me figure out why the customer wanted to get rid of it, but I was happy to take it off of their hands. The table needed a little work so I took it over to Gentle Giant Restoration and together we turned it into a beautiful piece of work. The table stills sits in my dining room today – and I have received numerous compliments from friends and family.”
The table is with Jeremy in Philadelphia, where he lives with his lovely wife, two daughters, and two dogs. He enjoys spending time with family and friends. He is also still actively involved in the sport of rowing and competes in regattas throughout the northeast.