Communities across the country come together to support moms in need

Written by Jessy Howe

Each spring, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® locations across the country work to support moms in need by collecting essential care items be delivered just in time for Mother’s Day. Mothers who have been impacted by domestic violence and homelessness often turn to women’s and family shelters during this time of need for support. The harsh reality is these essential care items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, blankets, and socks are often in short supply to these women and their children.

We believe every mom deserves to feel supported, loved, and special regardless of their circumstance. This national program called Movers for Moms® has swept over 39 states and supports hundreds of shelters each year. In 2015, Movers for Moms® collected more than 230,000 essential care items and the 2016 program is wrapping up, as the goal this year was to collect 300,000 items! These generous gifts are collected through community partnerships with schools, banks, and other local businesses. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® teams then pick up and deliver the items to partnering shelters just before Mother’s Day in hopes of making the day special for moms in our local communities.

With more than 330 franchises participating in Movers for Moms®, communities across the country are being positively impacted by the efforts to support moms in need.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas has participated in Movers for Moms® for eight years now and reached their highest collection year to date, delivering more than 7,100 donated items to Safe Nest Shelter. This impressive number is one the veteran participant is proud of as they understand the difference these donations make.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Movers for Moms® donations

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas picks up Movers for Moms® donations from community partner, OneTrust Home Loans!

“Domestic violence is on the rise in Las Vegas. It is something that the community sees in the news almost every day,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Las Vegas Marketing Coordinator Ashlee Wright. “Because of this, individuals and businesses in the community were thrilled to be a part of such an awesome campaign.”

Movers for Moms® would have been hard to miss in Cleveland, Ohio as the program spanned across 16 different cities in the area with donation boxes set up in 30 businesses. Between them, 3,000 items were collected and delivered to WomenSafe, the local Ohio shelter who received the goods.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland prepares to deliver more than 60 boxes of essential items to moms in need!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland prepares to deliver more than 60 boxes of essential care items to moms in need!

“We were able to help women who are survivors of domestic violence throughout Northeast Ohio and make others in the community aware that help is available for those in need,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Cleveland Marketing and Recruiting Manager Amy Gladieux. “I was overwhelmed with the amount of items each business had collected. It was a great feeling and provides a sense of teamwork throughout the community.”

A common theme throughout cities hosting Movers for Moms® is community. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville Marketing Director Jenni Hargrove has seen this firsthand hosting Movers for Moms®.

“The best part for me is the feeling of a whole community coming together to love these moms and their families,” Hargrove says of running the Movers for Moms® campaign. “So many partners went above and beyond what I was asking. I had salons and fitness centers asking me if they could host Movers for Moms® events, offering a percentage of their product sales to Safe Haven, connecting me to their friends who were business owners and would want to help … it was such an awesome outpouring of support.”

The outpouring of support exceeded Nashville’s initial goal of collecting 2,000 items and resulted in nearly 3,800 donations for moms and their families living at Safe Haven this Mother’s Day.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville jumps for joy with their Movers for Moms® recipient!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Nashville jumps for joy with their Movers for Moms® recipient!

Movers for Moms® is very important to us specifically because Middle Tennessee really lacks the ability to help the homeless FAMILIES in our region,” says Hargrove. “Safe Haven is the only shelter in Middle Tennessee that can accept entire families through its doors.”

Each year, the number of Movers for Moms® participants, community partners, donated goods, and moms being supported in communities across the country continue to grow. We would like to extend our sincerest thanks to all those who played a part in making Mother’s Day brighter for women in need. It would not have been possible without your generosity.

To learn more about Movers for Moms®, please visit twomenandatruck.com/movers-for-moms and like us on Facebook to stay updated with current program happenings. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!

Balancing business and family, how franchisee duo makes it work

Written by Jessy Howe

Windemuller Family

Multi-unit franchisees Joe and Kate Windemuller are veterans in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system, having been with the company from nearly the beginning. Joe’s journey began when he accepted a part-time position as a mover in 1991, just three years after the first franchise had been awarded. With his continued dedication to the system and a series of career advancements, he and Kate excitedly took on the opportunity to become franchisees in North Carolina. The pair was a recipient of the Two Million Dollar Club Award at the 2016 TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Annual Meeting and recently was honored during the company’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Can you briefly explain your history with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?

Joe: During college, in 1991, I started as a part-time mover for the Holland, Mich., franchise. In 1995, I moved to Columbia, S.C., to help a friend start the franchise there. I started as a driver, then moving up to general manager as the business grew. After 18 years in Columbia, Kate and I heard that the Winston-Salem, N.C., location was for sale and we were ready to take on the challenge of owning our own business. In 2012, we purchased the location and moved with our one-year-old daughter to North Carolina. We then added a second location in 2014 in Mooresville, N.C. We hope to open a third location in the future.

Windemullers with Truckie

What do you most enjoy about being a franchisee with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®?  

Joe and Kate: We enjoy watching our franchises grow alongside other franchises in the system. It also gives us flexibility in life to enjoy our family and be financially sound.

What would you say is the best part of working with your significant other?  

Joe: We both have different skill sets which complement each other. Kate handles the bookkeeping, accounts payable, and marketing, while I handle operations, sales, and training.

Kate: It is great knowing you have someone you can truly trust to help make big key decisions in the business. The executives at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®/International, Inc., and other franchisees have been great examples that working with your spouse is possible, and can also be extremely beneficial.

How do you find balance between your work life and personal life?

Kate: We try to keep work at work, although it’s hard to do so all the time. Joe works full-time and is very involved in all aspects of the business. I work part-time while the kids are in preschool. We make sure to set aside quality time to be with our children, while having enough time to get our work completed.

As successful business owners, what do you hope to teach your children?

Joe and Kate: From a business perspective, we hope to instill a strong work ethic and ability to work well with others. Also, the importance to set goals in life and follow through on tasks to achieve said goals. To never give up and never stop dreaming.

Windemuller Family

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, can you tell us about your local Movers for Moms® efforts?

Joe and Kate: As parents we are honored to help moms in need and can’t think of anyone more deserving. We hope that our efforts will help struggling mothers to get back on their feet again and help care for their children and future.

In Winston Salem, our collection of donations will be given to Family Services. To collect donations we have partnered with several local retirement homes, storage facilities, and our customers. In Mooresville our donations will be given to My Sisters Place in Troutman, N.C., and to Family Guidance in Hickory, N.C. To collect donations we have partnered with a local church and elementary school as drop off sites.

Kate, how do you juggle being a wife, mother, and business owner?

Kate: I’ll be honest, it’s hard to find the perfect balance and some days I juggle life better than other days! My kids, ages two and five, are without a doubt my top priority so I wish I could be with them 24/7, but I also want to be involved in the business. It’s exciting to be a part of the growth that Joe’s achieved with our teams in Winston and Mooresville. We work with some great folks so that helps with the time away from the kids. We are blessed to have a wonderful nanny and involved grandparents that take care of the kids while we are both working or traveling for work. When I am at home I try my best to put the phone and laptop away, while they are awake, and just focus on our family. But when the kids go to sleep, we often have to chat about work or hop online to complete some tasks.

Are there any special plans this Mother’s Day?  

Kate: Hopefully a low key day outside somewhere with Joe and our kids … and dinner out (so I don’t have to cook or clean!)

 

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

Three generations of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® businesswomen

Written by Jessy Howe

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Macomb County, Mich.

Shayna, Lisa, and Connie of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich.

In 1991 Connie Howe made the decision to quit her day job and become a franchisee, opening the doors of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Macomb County, Mich. As she began to grow the location, it naturally evolved into a family-run business. Now with a fleet of 12 trucks and three generations later, the location is about to celebrate their 25th anniversary!

Connie’s daughter and now franchisee, Lisa Gaber, remembers helping her mother from the very beginning when she had decided to join the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system.

“I began by working at home, out of my basement, because I was raising two young daughters. The guys would start the day by coming to my home, where I would hand them the paperwork and ‘dispatch’ for the day! I have done pretty much every job there is to do from driving, moving, packing, marketing, bookkeeping, and managerial duties,” said Gaber. “After several years, my mom and I decided to venture out and open another franchise in Florida. We owned and operated the Fort Myers, Fla., franchise for 13 years until we sold the location to make it easier for Connie to retire.”

After deciding to sell the Fort Myers franchise, Connie’s son Dave became the newest family member to join the team. Most recently, they opened a secondary location within the Macomb County borders, even further expanding the brand and serving their community.

“Working with my mom allowed us to learn together how to run a business from the ground up,” said Gaber. “It helped us grow both as businesswomen and as a family entirely.”

Gaber’s daughter, Shayna, now has the same opportunity to learn what it takes. Shayna began six years ago as a customer service representative before working her way up to an in-home consultant. She currently works as the marketing manager handling a wide range of responsibilities including grassroots efforts, social media, and cause marketing campaigns.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®’s annual Movers for Moms® campaign is in full swing with more than 300 franchises collecting essential care items for moms in need. The items are then delivered to local women’s and family shelters just in time for Mother’s Day. With their 25 year history in the community, they are no stranger in helping support it.

“The past couple of years we have been working with two different shelters since we have such a large territory. The first is Turning Point, Inc., which is a shelter for women and children that have been victims of domestic violence. Our second shelter, which we started working with last year, is a non-profit that we are very involved in and actually do two moves weekly for. Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, or MCREST, is a traveling shelter that has local churches host them weekly with food, shelter, and transportation. Last year, we had incredible community and staff participation and were able to deliver TONS of boxes of amazing gifts to both shelters,” shares Gaber of their local Movers for Moms® efforts. “It holds a special place in our hearts to help mothers as we are in a business and franchise both started and run by women.”

While some find it hard to even imagine working with their family, the three women have proven how to successfully make it work.

“We’ve worked all these years together without an argument or even mild disagreement,” said Howe. “It has been a very great experience to work with my family.”

Like her mother, Gaber is appreciative that it has been relatively easy for the family to work together without much strife.

“We get along well and have found a good balance in our positions,” said Gaber. “One of the most difficult things about working with so much family is knowing when to ‘turn it off’ and stop talking about work and enjoy family time together.”

Lisa and Connie enjoy golfing and traveling, while Shayna and Lisa find fun in cooking and simply spending time together. As for Mother’s Day celebrations, you’ll find the trio eating brunch and spending a quiet afternoon relaxing in each other’s company.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

More than 300 franchises are working to make Mother’s Day special for those in need

Written by Jessy Howe

Did you know 60 percent of homeless women are mothers? We believe all moms should feel loved, regardless of their circumstances, each and every day, but especially on Mother’s Day. Our annual Movers for Moms® program works to support moms impacted by domestic violence and homelessness who may be living in women’s and family shelters. In 2015 more than 230,000 essential care items were collected and delivered to shelters providing joy and support to women in need.

Each spring, more than 300 franchises in 39 states participate and partner with local businesses and organizations to collect essential care items including soap, lotion, toothpaste, and more. Together with our generous donation partners, we hope to collect more than 250,000 items this year!

Right around the time of Mother’s Day, our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® teams will pick up the donated essential care items and deliver them to hundreds of local women’s and family shelters across the country, just in time for Mother’s Day.

“Protecting and supporting domestic violence victims is a community-wide responsibility,” said YWCA West Central Michigan CEO Carla Blinkhorn. “We were deeply touched and heartened by the generous outpouring that the Movers for Moms® campaign brought forth.”

“With the help of our dedicated community partners like TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and its Movers for Moms® program, our agency was able to continue our tradition of giving our clients a basket filled with personal care and cleaning supplies,” said Volunteer Coordinator Sherry Martens with the Center for Women in Transition based in Holland, Mich. “Receiving a basket full of products, we think of as staples, is like receiving luxuries to those on a limited budget. Each May Basket gives a sense of renewed hope … a feeling that their community cares for them.”

We’re proud to live out our core value of giving back to the community, not just during the Movers for Moms® program, but year round.

If you would like to learn how you can support moms in need in your local community, or find a donation drop off location, please visit twomenandatruck.com/movers-for-moms and like us on Facebook to stay updated with current program happenings!

My Mother, the Business Leader

Written by Kelly Rogers

Kelly Rogers, franchise development director

Kelly Rogers, franchise development director

I have the honor each and every day to wake up to a world where I have an adoring and supportive husband and family, three beautiful children, and an incredible workplace full of talented and kind colleagues. However, sometimes after waking up, the reality of juggling this full life hits me faster than a double shot of espresso (which I put in my travel mug before leaving for work each day!). Furthermore, being in franchise development takes me on frequent travel. While I love the adventure of new places and faces in support of this company’s growth, it means I must say goodbye to the sweet faces at home.

No matter where you stand on the working mother debate, we all struggle with finding balance at times between who we are as individuals and as mothers. On this note, I reached out to another working mom and Atlanta, Ga., franchisee in our system, Erin Whitty, to get her perspective on the topic. I was touched by her responses below.

How do you balance being a mother and now owning a growing franchise?  

All mothers share the responsibility of maintaining balance. Whether you’re balancing kid-time versus spouse-time, spending equal time with multiple children, balancing the oh-so-busy after school schedule, or the never ending balance of work versus home, it’s my opinion that you can only maintain a sense of balance in any of these areas with help from others.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a supportive family (like I do!), we’re talking spouse, parents, etc., they will help you achieve and maintain a sense of balance but you have to empower yourself to ask for their help. It’s the only way I’ve survived “balancing” a growing business and the most important job in the world, being a mother!

What do you hope your children learn from you both as a mother and a business woman? 

Erin Whitty, franchisee

Erin Whitty, franchisee

One of the gifts of humanity is legacy. Each of us is given the opportunity to influence the lives of the people that we encounter and, most significantly, our children. My hope and dream is that, as a mother and a business woman, I model to my children a spirit of determination and self-discipline balanced by compassion and honesty they will want to imitate.

Like Erin, I have an extended support team and a family-friendly work environment, and we somehow manage to make it work. As a result, I get to come to work daily with my team member, Noelle Burak, another hard working mom, to partner with people like Erin in growing our franchise system.

And just as Erin’s children get to learn from her qualities as a leader, my children get to watch my passion and business acumen in action as I share stories with them at dinner. I’ve worked hard to get here, and they know this. And no matter what they decide to do with their lives, I hope they carry a little pride and every once and a while think proudly, “That’s my mother, the business leader.”

I’ll always be their mom first, but I have this other piece of me to offer them, and I can see it is making a positive impact on their development.

For information on starting your own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise location and the performance information available to prospective owners, click here.

Franchising Mom Extraordinaire

Jenn Gondolfo

Photo by Young’s Studio

With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we want to feature one of our exceptional franchisees who also has another job – being a great and loving mother. Jennifer Gondolfo has owned the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Delaware South franchise for six years and she loves every minute of it!

Prior to owning the franchise, Jenn owned two doctors’ offices with her ex-husband. She found that everything relies on individual efforts in terms of new business. So when it was time for a change, she knew she wanted to find a concept which had a support system and was more turnkey. She learned a franchise system does this very well and so the researching process began.

For months Jenn researched franchising systems and came across TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. She learned all about the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system and how it is built on well-grounded morals and ethics. She also loved the fact that there was a support system of other franchisees and Home Office professionals who genuinely care and want to make sure each franchise is successful. She felt it was the perfect fit for her!

Jenn has five kids that keep her busy; Alex, Zak, Max, Sophia and Isabella. The Gondolfo family loves spending time together, and they have a special tradition called “big breakfast”. On Sundays when they are all home together, Jenn rises first and begins cooking breakfast. And when we say big breakfast, we mean big! It includes three different breakfast meats, eggs, pancakes, and fruit.  They eat together and usually play a game of 20 questions. The person thinks of a person, place or thing and the group tries to guess within 20 questions what it is. They have a blast!

The kids love Jen’s franchise and like participating in outside marketing events such as local parades, where they pass out candy. Jenn’s kids are all very proud of their mom and her success; however, they do not like riding around in the company minivan which is adorned with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® lettering.

Both Alex and Zak have been movers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and Alex is currently a full-time customer service representative at the office. Jen loves having Alex participate in the daily operations alongside her in addition to gaining great work experience. Maybe owning a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise of their own is in the boys’ future!

Mother’s Day Traditions

For the Gondolfo family, Mother’s Day is a time for them to be together. When they were younger, the kids would treat Jenn to breakfast in bed. But as they have gotten older, and do not all live under one roof, this changed to a family meal together at a nice restaurant.

When asked about her favorite Mother’s Day memory, she said it was last year.

“The older children, with their younger siblings in tow, bought me actual gifts from the store. It wasn’t the gifts as much as the fact that they had used their own money and time and had actually gone out as a group for me. Very special!”

The Best Gift

“Wow, the best gift I have ever gotten is probably not an actual material gift, but the gift of where I am right now today. I have five healthy kids, they are all growing up to be good kind people. I have a successful business, that I can be proud of. My franchise has an excellent reputation in my community, which I owe to two things: the brand and a great group of men and women who work for me and take excellent care of our customers. I have come a long way to get to this point and I am excited about where I am headed.”

Advice for Moms

When asked if she had any advice to give other moms who are looking into franchising, Jenn said:

“Franchising does two things very well, support and more support. Support in regards to set up, as you are opening a business that has already been created for you. Support in regards to bringing in new business. These two things alone can either stop a potential new business in its tracks from never opening or close its doors as there is little or no profit. If you take the franchise concept and marry it with being a mother, you can see the compatibility. I don’t have to create concepts they have already been created for me and when I arrive each day for work, there are at least three or more new leads (customers) in my TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® inbox.”