Gentle Giant at the Boston Marathon

I’m so happy that Gentle Giant is sponsoring the Marathon for the 13th year in a row. It is such a pleasure for us to take part in a Boston institution, whether it is loading up about a dozen of our purple trucks and bringing supplies down to the race course, or having a handful of our Giants running the actual race.
 
I’ll be down at the race keeping an eye out for exceptional athletes who might be able to join the Gentle Giant team.
 
I wish the best of luck to everybody, and to a successful event overall. Go Giants!

Delighted to be Honored at the Irish Echo 50

On April 15th I was an “Emerald Entrepreneur” honoree at the Irish Echo’s inaugural Top 50 Small Business Awards. I was blown away to be in the company of such prestigious members of the Irish business community.

Starting my life in Ireland, I quickly immersed myself in the rich, hardworking culture that Ireland breeds. This culture was important during the early days of Gentle Giant, when I was still wrapping my head around the potential of the business. All I knew back then was I liked working hard, and I was making myself and my customers happy.

When the company began to grow, I made the next most important business decision of my life: Surround myself with good people that cared about Gentle Giant as much as I did. I was smart enough to know that I needed help, and these talented individuals are still with me today. That is just as important to me as any number in a quarterly report.

It was a joy to be in New York City to attend the Irish Echo’s Irish Small Business 50, which honored “entrepreneurs and business leaders who form the backbone of the American economy: the doers and risk-takers who have ensured that, where businesses are being built and wealth created, there you will find the Irish. Our honorees are companies or individuals who have displayed entrepreneurial excellence and traditional Irish-American determination to make their businesses succeed.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

This is a huge honor for me, and I am so proud to represent my Irish background within the business community.

Boston Breakers soccer team Boston Broke the Speed of Sound

Better check yourself Manchester United, the Boston Breakers soccer team have a secret training weapon; the Gentle Giant Speed Stairs! I took the Stairs over to the Harvard Stadium after the Breakers practice to entice them with a training challenge. The challenge was to see who could blast up the stairs and down the slide five times the quickest. Even though these ladies were beat from their grueling practice, they still crushed the stairs. I love seeing the competitive nature of athletes. Despite being exhausted, they wanted to win! Congrats to Katie Schoepfer for winning the cash prize, and best of luck to the Breakers this season. They are already 1-0, and training on the Speed Stairs has all but insured a victory in their next game on April 17th at home against the Western New York Flash. Check out the rest of the sweet pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gentlegiantmovingcompany/sets/72157626365252913/detail/

Josh Jones: Not the Son of Marion Jones, But May As Well Be

This morning I took some of our newer Giants out to run the steps at the Harvard Stadium. This is something we like to do at Gentle Giant as a team-building exercise, and as an introduction to the hard work ahead of these new guys. I don’t necessarily look for the fastest individuals, but for the guys that push themselves to that extra level and refuse to give up. These are the characteristics that make them Giants.

 I will, however, congratulate Josh Jones on having the fastest time this morning, even beating me! Josh splits his time between working up in Wilmington in our custom crate workshop and on the trucks for moves. Great going Josh. Same time next week?

Gentle Giant Puts 4th & 5th Graders to Work… But Without Pay?

It’s probably best you hear this from me before the story gets blown out of proportion and the facts get skewed. Brace yourself.

 
Earlier this week, Gentle Giant teamed up with local charity organization CYCLE Kids to help 4th & 5th graders get out and active on brand new bicycles. For our part in this great event, 2 of our Giants went Monday to the Wheelworks of Somerville and Belmont warehouse to pick up 70 brand new, disassembled bikes that after the magic of community service got through with them, would wind up in the hands of excited youngsters throughout Cambridge.

On Tuesday morning, the Giants brought the still in box bikes to the Kennedy-Longfellow School in Cambridge, who have previously been the recipients of CYCLE Kids’ generosity. Before long, the kids and community volunteers were tearing through the boxes and putting together the bikes. Wheelworks mechanics would then go through the bikes to ensure their safety while the Cambridge Police Bike Patrol Unit talked to the kids about safe riding and responsibility.

After all the bikes were assembled properly and the kids celebrated their success by running around thanking everyone, we loaded the bikes back into our big purple trucks for the final step of the process.

Wednesday morning started nice and early as our Giants set out to deliver the bikes to seven different Cambridge schools. I know by the looks the kids faces at the Amigos School, Baldwin School, Cambridgeport School, Fletcher-Maynard School, Grahamand Parks School, Peabody School, and Tobin School that they can’t wait to ride.

We are proud to support organizations like CYCLE Kids and if you know of any other causes that could benefit from Gentle Giant’s services, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Gentle Giant Speed Stairs Do Their Part to Help Win War in Afghanistan

On Tuesday morning I took our Gentle Giant Speed Stairs down to Rhode Island to help a National Guard Troop train at Camp Fogerty. These Troopers blasted up our stairs with such an intensity I thought they had been assigned to sprint over to Afghanistan that afternoon. Let’s just hope the Afghani rebels don’t get any ideas and start building their own Speed Stairs… All kidding aside, these Troopers are some of the most upstanding folks I’ve ever met and their bravery is inspiring. I was so proud to be able to help them train and I look forward to bringing our Speed Stairs to future events, like the Air Show in June and the Jump Show later in the summer. Stay posted for more details.

Award-Winning Service

I am so excited to announce that Gentle Giant is once again the recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award in our Charlotte, DC, and Boston locations. This honor is bestowed annually on approximately five percent of all the companies rated on the Angie’s List.
 
“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

Brrr! It’s cold in New England!

It’s a chilly 12°F today in Somerville, MA, the location of Gentle Giant Moving Company headquarters. With winter in full swing, we are taking all necessary precautions to make sure every move is safe and efficient.

Here are some great winter moving tips:

*Slow down–Our moving trucks do not move as fast as cars and we are certain to be extra careful in the winter months. With school back in session and plenty of weather challenges, we make sure to allow for extra time on the road.

*Be Prepared–We carry shovels and other ice and snow removal tools. This allows us to clear a safe and ice-free path when moving your most precious items.

*Protect Your Floors–The slush of winter can create quite the mess. We are sure to cover floors and carpets to avoid tracking in snow.

*Keep Warm Things Warm–Consider which of your belongings are sensitive to temperature. Plants, food, and materials that expand or contract with extreme temperature shifts should not be stored overnight in a moving truck. We recommend transporting these items in your own vehicle or enlisting Gentle Giant Storage for your climate control needs.

*Be Flexible–Although many moving companies are seasonal, Gentle Giant operates year round. With fewer customers moving in the winter months, the more flexible you are with your date of move, the more likely you are to get a better deal.

Stay warm out there!

Celebrating Milestones this Holiday Season

It is always exciting to get the whole company together, along with friends and families, to toast to our hard work and fantastic employees. At this year’s Gentle Giant holiday party, there was much to celebrate! Not only is it our 30th year in business, I was surprised with this incredible birthday cake for my 60th birthday.

The night was filled with great food and dancing. We even had a photo booth. We were able to put together a collection of party attendees using the photos from the booth, a great way to capture the event. Check out these great photos:

 
 

New York Times article on Gentle Giant’s recent pro-bono work

This week the New York Times released on article on small businesses that are still finding ways to give despite the poor economy. Gentle Giant was featured in the article which included an interview and photo of myself as well as a summery of our efforts to help out those in Haiti who have fallen on hard times due to the earthquake. Finding ways to continue giving is important part of our company culture and we pride ourselves on being able to maintain those efforts. Click on the link below to check it out!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/16/business/smallbusiness/16sbiz.html?_r=1&ref=business