Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – Jeremy Abele

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.”

Gentle Giant Jeremy Abele

Jeremy Abele competing at the 2011 Henley Royal Rowing Regatta

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.

Gentle Giant Moving Company and Their Intense Warehouse Gym

At Gentle Giant Moving Company, health and fitness is a top priority, which is why the industry leader has dedicated space in their warehouse to build a full gym for Operations and Office staff.

Employees of the Boston moving company can work out with professional trainer John Zimmer to perfect form, increase strength, and maximize endurance, which is one way Gentle Giant decreases the chance of workplace injuries and promotes healthy living on and off the job.

This fun video gives you a peak inside Gentle Giant’s training center and how this incredible gym came to be at Gentle Giant Headquarters in Boston. Enjoy!

 

What Makes a Gentle Giant?

When I first started moving furniture back in 1980, I knew a few things. I knew that the moving industry was populated by lugs that didn’t give a broken lampshade about customer service. I knew people always had their guard up around movers, for they were expecting to be taken advantage of. I also knew from my time as a competitive athlete how important the values of teamwork, respect, and hustle were.

I took these few facts and started Gentle Giant, a moving company that I felt could turn the moving industry on its head by hiring well trained athletes who possessed the strength and endurance to give it 110% day in and day out, while also delivering high quality customer service. This formula worked, and with many years of incredibly hard work, word began to spread about Gentle Giant. 32 years later, we are a multi-award winning national moving company with 19 offices in 9 states.

The question remains though, how do we continue growing without losing quality. Better yet, how do we continue growing and increase quality? The answer, like back in the early days, is in the quality of Giants we hire, train, and put in front of our customers. I consider myself one of the luckiest CEO’s around because I don’t have to worry about any of the people Gentle Giant sends out on the trucks.

When we look to hire a Giant, we are not looking for a laborer, but rather a leader. Giants possess strength, integrity, and determination to be a highly contributing member of a fast moving team.

Many current movers at Gentle Giant have been with us for several years, citing workplace satisfaction as a top reason for staying on for so long. We provide a professional and challenging workplace, as well as a valuable set of skills for when an employee moves on to other endeavors.

I say it often, but once a Giant, always a Giant. Do you think you have what it takes to become a Giant? Apply for a job online!

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Before Hiring a Mover

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.

We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in one of our regions, including San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, Washington DC, Lorton, VA, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, then please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Hiring a Mover in New England

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.


We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in New England, please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.