As the holiday season begins, we would like to take a moment to thank our Gentle Giant movers and coworkers for being a wonderful group of creative, adventurous, giving individuals. With a flexible calendar system, focus on health and wellness, and a desire to think outside the box, Gentle Giant attracts a work force that is similarly flexible, fit, and unique. This makes for an environment full of interesting conversations, fulfilling experiences, and inspiring stories.
From music producers and DJs, to ultra-marathon runners, artists and small business owners, to parkour enthusiasts, our staff runs the gamut of interests and extracurricular activities. One such employee just returned from a sabbatical spent fulfilling a goal to bike the entire length of the Mississippi River. Monique Gallant embodies the diverse interest, mental grit, and sense of adventure so common among Gentle Giant employees, and we are thankful to work with so many people like her.
During the summer of 2013, Monique lead a bike tour of teenagers across the country. When they first “experienced the Mississippi river,” as Monique put it, the seed was planted. She spent miles of her cross-country ride thinking about the importance of that particular water way, how vital it was to opening the country and developing the economy and culture of middle America. She had biked the country from east to west; next was to bike the country from north to south, traveling the length of the great Mississippi.
Five years later, Monique had risen to the role of Quality Control Manager at Gentle Giant but continued to dream of another great bike tour. In 2017, with the support of company management and many enthusiastic coworkers, Monique set a deadline to the trip. She declared that no matter what else was happening in her life, 2018 would be the year of the Mississippi.
Forty days, 10 states, and 2,306 miles of biking later, Monique is back and enjoying the comforts of warm showers and a real bed. She returns with stories of food poisoning in Missouri, Cypress trees and gas station fried chicken, a day of epically blinding rain, and countless moments of generosity and kindness from total strangers. That, she says, is why she bike tours—it is a great reminder of the beauty of humanity and the goodness of people helping people.
Proving our favorite mantra “once a Giant, always a Giant,” Monique unexpectedly met a former Giant out on the road. It was one of those restoring encounters—two strong, independent women of Gentle Giant randomly finding each other in the middle of the country. They were strangers but laughed over stories of Gentle Giant lore. Kate Gluckman worked on the trucks for several summers before joining the Sunflower County Freedom Project, a nonprofit focused on developing youth leadership in the Mississippi Delta region. It is a prime example of the small Gentle Giant network and the spirit of service doing great things around the country.
We are all thankful for Monique, her spirit of adventure, and the great lessons she brings from her bike saddle into the office. Working at Gentle Giant, you are fortunate enough to work with the type of people who would choose to bike all those miles alone for six weeks. It is a unique group of people sharing a common passion. “The adventurous spirit is very much alive at Gentle Giant. You are surrounded by adventurers and athletes, it is celebrated and encouraged, people love hearing about other people’s experiences” said Monique.
She leaves us all with just one piece of advice: “No day is guaranteed. You don’t know what is around the corner. Don’t wait. The big thing you want to do, just don’t wait. Do it now.”
Thanks to Monique and every other unique, incredible coworker who brings their creativity, passion, and adventure to Gentle Giant.