Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – John Quill

Congratulations to former Gentle Giant all star John Quill on his selection to the US Eagles Rugby squad to play a number of international games this fall.

From USARUGBY.ORG

BOULDER, Colo. – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has selected 35 players to be available for at least one of the team’s four matches in the month of November, including the historic match to take place Nov. 1 against the New Zealand All Blacks.

The Eagles will begin the November Tour against the All Blacks at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., before heading to Europe. Romania will host the first match of the European leg at Stadionul National Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest Nov. 8. Tonga awaits the Eagles in their next match at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, England, Nov. 15, before they head to Stade de la Rabine in France for a match against Fiji Nov. 22.

Though the match at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill., is not scheduled within the IRB’s end-of-year-test window, USA Rugby and Premiership Rugby reached an agreement for the release of Eagles playing in the Aviva Premiership. Tolkin will welcome Northampton Saints Cameron Dolan and Samu Manoa, Newcastle’s Eric Fry, Leicester Tiger Blaine Scully, and Saracens’ Hayden Smith and Chris Wyles in Chicago. The six Premiership players will return to their clubs following the historic match.

Thretton Palamo, also with Saracens, will be available for selection for the Eagles’ matches against Tonga and Fiji.

Other capped, overseas Eagles playing in the British Isles selected for the November Tour include Tim Maupin – who had been training with Trinity College prior to joining the Eagles Select XV at the 2014 IRB Americas Rugby Championship earlier this month – John Quill, Brett Thompson, and Tai Tuisamoa.

Scott LaValla will be available for three of the Eagles’ four matches, including the final match in France, where the lock plays for Stade Francais. The French contingent on the team will also be bolstered by the return of Taku Ngwenya, who has not suited up for the Eagles since the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier series against Canada in August 2013. Ngwenya’s Biarritz was relegated from the Top 14 last season.

“Taku is always a threat when he’s on the field,” Tolkin said. “He rejoins the squad and a good group of back-three players. I think he’s really excited about it and enthusiastic so he’ll have a lot of energy.”

Another capped Eagle who will make a return to the team following a lengthy spell away is Mate Moeakiola, who plays for Castenet in France. The prop made his Eagles debut in the team’s opening night loss to England at IRB Rugby World Cup 2007, during which he scored a try. Moeakiola’s 26 caps also encompass three matches at the World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.

“We had intended to bring [Mate] on to other trips over the last two years and, both times, he got injured before he come on to the tour,” Tolkin said. “This is kind of a chance for us to see what his form is like. With Titi [Lamositele] being out, losing Eric [after the All Blacks match], and Shawn Pittman retiring, it definitely left a little hole at prop. It’s an opportunity for a veteran who’s a good prop to work with some of the young guys, as well.”

Olive Kilifi and Nick Wallace, who started all three matches at the ARC in October outside of hooker Phil Thiel, are available for the full tour. Davenport University’s Angus MacLellan will travel to Europe with the Eagles, while Ben Tarr will stay with the squad throughout the assembly. Both young front rowers saw playing time in Canada and will hope to stake a claim for a Rugby World Cup spot with impressive November performances.

“We took five props on this tour, including Eric against the All Blacks, so we can give them four weeks of good training time with the Eagles at this level of rugby,” Tolkin said. “It will be great for them. We’ll see how they develop and what kind of progress they’ve made, and we’ll see if they’re guys we want to keep in the system.

“It’s not going to be short-term with them, but this will be a great month of evaluation and growing.”

A first cap could be handed to Greg Peterson, who, at just 23 years of age, has one cap with NSW Waratahs in Super Rugby and will be with the team for the three matches in Europe. The lock represented Australia at the 2011 IRB Junior World Championships but has expressed his interest to play senior-level test rugby for the United States.

Peterson’s father Kevin played American football for Northwestern University and the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys, while his grandfather was a rugger.

“Greg and the Eagles have been speaking for a while and we’ve had a couple of attempts to have him at camps that weren’t able to come off because of his contract obligations,” Tolkin said. “We finally have a chance to bring him on board and have a look at him heading into the World Cup year.”

In all, 16 players called for the November Tour played together at the ARC, where the Eagles Select XV defeated Canada ‘A’ and Uruguay to finish second for a second consecutive year. Tim Stanfill scored four tries on the wing in two starts, while Troy Hall provided cover at full back in all three matches.

“The guys grew a lot between each game,” Tolkin said of the ARC. “I thought that they learned from the previous game and brought a better performance each time they played.”

In Tolkin’s first 16 months as head coach, the Eagles played Fiji, Romania, and Tonga at least once. Tonga defeated the Eagles in November 2012 before Tolkin’s side earned a 2-1 tour record with a defeat of Romania a week later. Tonga also visited StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., last year during the 2013 IRB Pacific Nations Cup. The loss at home was followed by a loss to Fiji in the same competition in Japan.

Ranked 12th, 16th, and 13th, respectively, Fiji, Romania, and Tonga will aid the Eagles’ World Cup preparations.

“Getting more familiar with the teams above us [in the rankings] always helps improve your performance,” Tolkin said. “We hope to take the lessons we learned in our last few games and bring them into these matches in November and build from that.”

The All Blacks are also ranked ahead of the Eagles, as well as every other union, at No. 1. The Rugby World Cup champions will bring their marquee brand and style of play to Soldier Field Nov. 1 to kick off the Eagles’ November Tour. The anticipated sell-out will be televised live in the United States on NBC. A pre-match show will air on Universal Sports at 2:00 P.M. CT before the live telecast on NBC begins at 2:30 P.M. CT. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 P.M. CT.

The Eagles have not played New Zealand since the 1991 World Cup, and have only hosted a senior test side from the Land of the Long White Cloud since 1980.

“After you play a game like the All Blacks, it’s an emotional high,” Tolkin said. “The fall from that is always a concern. I am concerned about our guys keeping the focus and not dropping down too far emotionally, but what will help us naturally is that there will be a lot of guys getting an opportunity after the Premiership guys leave.

“That energy of guys trying to put their hand up and get a spot on the Eagles will help us a lot.”

Metropolis coach Nate Osborne, a member of the Eagles Select XV coaching staff at this year’s ARC, joins Tolkin’s staff for the November Tour as an assistant coach, replacing Billy Millard. Millard leaves his Eagles post to concentrate on his duties as USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans head coach and High Performance 15s manager.

“Billy came into the Eagles setup a year ago and slotted in very well, bringing great experience, expertise, and professionalism to the squad,” Tolkin said. “We have accomplished many positive things over that period, and Billy was a big part of it. The HP role is one that is vital if we want to continue to develop, and I know he will do a great job there. I look forward to continuing to work with Billy, albeit in a new capacity, to improve our standard of play in America.

“He’s a good rugby man, he works hard, and he’s a good addition to the squad,” Tolkin said of Osborne.

For more information on the match at Soldier Field, visit the USAvAllBlacks website, and get USA Rugby updates on Twitter and Facebook throughout the assembly.

Busy Weekend for the Gentle Giant New York Moving Team

This past weekend, Gentle Giant’s New York movers were busy assisting two wonderful organizations with their banner events of the season. Throughout the weekend, Gentle Giant moving crews went up to Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County to load and deliver materials for Saturday morning’s spooky Sleepy Hollow Halloween 10K and to mid town Manhattan to the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge to load up hundreds of boxes of supplies and collateral for Sunday’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Take a look at some of the great photos from both events!

Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – Tad McCrea

Dreams: A Year of Alpine Adventure

“To live the dream, sacrifices must be made and hardships overcome.” After suffering from a case of frostbite, Former Gentle Giant Seattle crew chief and current American Alpine Institute instructor and guide Tad McCrea took to the mountains for some recovery. This short video represents a year of adventures that helped McCrea live the dream.

 

Avoiding Heat Stroke during the Hot Summer Months

Obviously HEAT is a serious factor this summer.

Please remember to keep yourself well hydrated.

Do not wait until you feel thirsty.  It takes 24 to 48 hours to properly re-hydrate.

Take yourself out of a box run if you feel extreme fatigue.

Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

·  Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting

·  Weakness, and moist skin

·  Mood changes such as irritability or confusion (Note: this does not include dispatch)

·  Upset stomach or vomiting

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

·  Dry, hot skin with no sweating

·  Mental confusion or losing consciousness

·  Seizures or convulsions

Preventing Heat Stress

·  Know signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses; monitor yourself and your coworkers

·  Rest when possible

·  Drink lots of water.  About 1 cup every 15 minutes is recommended.

·  Wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothes

·   Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, or heavy meals

What to do for heat related illness

·   Call 911.

While waiting for help to arrive:

·   Move the worker to a cool shaded area.

·   Loosen or remove heavy clothing.

·   Provide cool drinking water

·   Fan and mist the person with water

Gentle Giant Moving Company Proudly Supports the LGBT Community, Participates in Several Pride Events

Gentle Giant Moving Company, the award winning local and long distance moving company based in Boston, will proudly participate in four Pride events across its New England to California footprint in continued support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

At Gentle Giant, pride is valued and acknowledged every day, and has been actively involved with the LGBT community for decades. For the past three years, Gentle Giant’s Boston moving team has been marching proudly in the Boston Pride Parade. The company’s involvement in the Parade was such a success with employees and the community that they began getting involved in Pride events in additional cities across the country in which they have regional offices.

“Gentle Giant Moving Company is invested in its commitment to diversity and we value the events and initiatives that matter to our employees and the customers we serve. In addition to being a sponsor of Pride nationally, we aim to be a full community partner and supporter of the LGBT community,” said Larry OToole, Gentle Giant’s Founder and President.

Upcoming Pride events Gentle Giant Moving Company will be involved in:

  •     39th Annual Capital Pride Parade Saturday June 7, 2014
  •     44th Annual Boston Pride Parade Saturday June 14, 2014
  •     Chicagos 45th Annual Gay Pride Parade Sunday June 29, 2014
  •     2014 San Francisco Pride Parade Sunday June 29, 2014

Gentle Giant employees, family and friends of employees, and volunteers will participate in the Pride events by marching in the parade next to the iconic purple Gentle Giant trucks, engaging the crowds and distributing giveaways.

To learn more about Gentle Giant Moving Company, where Strength in Service is guaranteed across the country, stop by one of their 20 offices, visit them at http://www.gentlegiant.com, find us on Facebook at @gentlegiantmovingcompany or on Twitter at @gentlegiantmove.

Seattle Moving Company Gentle Giant at the Windermere Cup

For the past four years, Gentle Giant Moving Company‘s Seattle team has been a Partner to the Windermere Cup Regatta, a fabulous rowing event founded 28 years ago by Windermere Real Estate. Gentle Giant provides logistics, manpower, vehicles, and miscellaneous assistance for the Regatta in exchange for exposure along the race course via a Gentle Giant branded VIP hospitality tent.

The picture gallery below is a quick snapshot of the life of a Giant during Windermere Cup week. We keep extremely busy preparing for the event, servicing customers on moves, and impressing University of Washington cheerleaders! Have a look:

Gentle Giant Moving Company Trucking it Across the Boston Marathon Finish Line!

As the Official Moving & Storage Partner of the 118th Boston Marathon, Gentle Giant Moving Company is responsible for bringing about 20 full trucks worth of supplies and equipment. Gentle Giant takes enormous pride in this event, and for us, there is nothing better than hearing the crowd cheer as all of our trucks convoy through the Finish Line on Boylston St.

Check out this awesome video of the Gentle Giant trucks in action!

Gentle Giant to Help Make #BostonStrong by Sponsoring Boston Marathon for 18th Year

For the past 17 years, Gentle Giant Moving Company has been the Official Moving & Storage Sponsor of the Boston Marathon, providing hundreds of man hours, dozens of trucks, and the logistical experience to expertly store, transport, and distribute supplies, food, beverage, signage, and athletic equipment for the 30,000+ participants and volunteers at the legendary road race.

This year’s 118th Boston Marathon on April 21st will be one of the most emotional and inspirational events in our city’s history as the Boston Strong will band together to remember the fallen, support the survivors, and celebrate our resilience and strength as a community. Gentle Giant could not be prouder to reclaim our regular spot at the Finish Line on race day, congratulating the fearless runners after their amazing 26.2 mile accomplishment.

We look forward to spending this truly special day with our friends, colleagues, community, and the world. Gentle Giant Moving Company has and always will be BOSTON STRONG!

Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – Kris Walker

Gabe Duquette and Kris Walker rep GG at New York's Mega Mixer 2006.

For this month’s Gentle Giant Alumni Bio, we will learn more about Kris Walker, Master Crew Chief extraordinaire and first New York regional manager.

## Life At GG

I first heard about Gentle Giant from some rowing friends the summer before I planned to move to Boston, and was looking for a job to get established there.

I started on September 10th, 2001, and my first move was on Sept 11th (the infamous 9/11). On Dec 29th, 2007, I left the New York branch to pursue a career in software.

I worked out of the Gentle Giant Moving Company Boston location through 2003, then the Needham location through 2004. From there, I started the New York regional location and worked there through 2007.

My favorite Giants to work with included Jeff Green, Harris Rappaport, Noah Duarte, Jake Zoller, and many more.

Kris and Tom O'Gorman at the Boston Marathon Finish Line

My favorite part of GG was the camaraderie between everyone working on the crews. We worked together, dined together, and played together.

My most challenging job was hoisting an armoire to a 3rd floor window in Charlestown. I’m sure there were many more jobs that were more challenging than that, but I only remember them from time to time. Honestly it’s been easiest to remember the great customers and coworkers I met.

## Life After GG

I’m a software engineer, and I build high scale web systems for some awesome clients including Warner Brothers *Lord of The Rings*, League of Legends, Samsung, Apple, and more. I work for a small, extremely talented company of close friends called MadGlory Interactive (madglory.com). We’re like the early Gentle Giant of web software :-)

Gentle Giant taught me the value of great teamwork, and what good management really is. It also taught me how great it is to have awesome customers. I’ve tried to build every business I’ve been a part of since GG as a business that is designed to find and work for great customers where we can do our best work.

Kris on top of the world

My second career is mountaineering, so I’ve been to a handful of really awesome places. I’ve climbed in Alaska, the North Cascades in Washington, British Columbia, The Rockies in Colorado, and a bunch here in the Northeast as well.

I grew up in Cortland, NY, attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY, and currently live in Poughkeepsie, NY (but moving to Saratoga Springs, NY  soon). I was married in 2004 (when we moved from Boston to NY), and had our first son in 2009. Our second son was born in 2012.

In addition to mountaineering I still row, and play golf in the summer.