We heart movers. Especially the reputable, trustworthy and all around good guys and gals of moving. Being new to the industry, what better way for us to learn the ropes than chatting with some of the real movers and shakers in the biz?
Every month we’ll feature a different mover in our Truck Talks series. We present you with our inaugural Q & A with Gloria Pugh, CEO of AMWAT Moving Warehousing & Storage. AMWAT is a certified ProMover based in Tallahassee, FL and was this year’s recipient of Move For Hunger’s national Mover of the Year Award.
MCR: How long have you been in the business?
Gloria: AMWAT Moving Warehousing Storage has been in business since 1997. Dean Pugh founded the company as “A Man With A Truck.” AMWAT is the acronym for A Man With A Truck. In 2005, I joined the company as its CEO.
MCR: When did you make the change to AMWAT and what facilitated the rebrand?
Gloria: We rebranded in 2008 due to growth and the original company name was selling the company short of the services it was able to provide. The company grew and diversified its lines of business to include worldwide household goods relocations, commercial moving, storage, warehousing and logistics management.
MCR: How did you get into the moving business?
Gloria: Like most young men, Dean Pugh had a pick-up truck and friends would often ask me if they could borrow my “man with a truck.” Dean had a knack for moving all kinds of items so the profession sort of moved into our life.
MCR: What are some of the hardest moving jobs you’ve had to do?
Gloria: Curiously, the hardest moving jobs have not been the physically challenging but the emotionally challenging. There have been numerous times wherein we have had to move elderly folks out of their lifetime homes (50+ years of lifetime memories) to an assisted living facility. Often, it’s the family members who are making these life-altering decisions on behalf of the elderly family member because they are no longer capable of taking care of themselves.
Also, divorces can also be challenging specifically when both individuals are present and very emotional. At AMWAT, we train on a regular basis not just on moving techniques and customer service but also on empathy, compassion, understanding and patience. Hence, we do not hire day labor because we want to ensure every employee who meets with any of our clients are properly trained to AMWAT’s expectations.
MCR: What are your favorite types of moves?
Gloria: Repeat customers are always fun! Everyone knows and feels comfortable with each other. Fortunately, we have a lot of repeat business.
MCR: What is the most interesting or odd thing you’ve been asked to move?
Gloria: Art work, antiquities, scientific equipment, specialty/unique items are always interesting to move. At AMWAT, our team enjoys the logistical planning aspect, implementing, executing and of course, impressing our clients with our professionalism, efficiency and expertise.
Throughout the years, we have handled some very interesting exhibits. For instance, we received and handled Baroque paintings from the Pinacoteca di Brera museum in Milan that had not been seen in centuries (the experience was surreal); Human Bodies exhibit (very interesting, we actually had our warehouse blessed by Tibetan Monks after we handled this shipment). Receiving and delivering the Fallen Officer statute to Florida’s Capitol was also an honor for us.
MCR: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see when you arrive at a move job and how can these be prevented?
Gloria: Consumers underestimating all of the details, work, resources and time necessary to pack, load/unload and transport their belongings. Moving companies like us offer a variety of services; those consumers who can retain a reputable moving company to handle the entire move from packing to transporting have a much easier experience.
However, it is very costly to retain packing and moving services so most folks only retain moving services that involve the transportation of their household goods to a new destination. Frequently, one of the biggest concerns we have experienced is improper packing of goods.
MCR: What is the one piece of advice you’d give a new moving customer to ensure they could have the best move possible?
Gloria: Hire the services of a reputable professional moving company. It will make the task of moving efficient and ease much of the stress associated with your move. Finding a reputable, professional moving company is not as hard as you think (yes it takes a little bit of effort but well worth it on moving day). The best method is word of mouth; we live in a very transient society and surely someone within your family, neighborhood, church, office, etc., has moved and can offer some advice. Also, social media is a great way to get referrals.
Lastly, if you are going to retain the services of a moving company, hire someone who is trustworthy. Do not base your decision on price alone. It amazes us every day to see consumers trust all their valuables to just anyone.
Ask yourself, who else in your circle of confidants have you trusted into your home and given them complete access to every inch of your home? What’s more, these folks know what you have and where you live. There is a reason the moving industry has an issue with criminal activity; it’s because consumers make it so easy to be victimized. Please do not just hire anyone, hire someone reputable.
Kudos to Gloria and the AMWAT team for the great business you guys are running! We couldn’t agree more that behind every smooth move is a great mover. That’s a huge part of why we started MCR, to make it easy for everyone to find trustworthy movers and enter move day with confidence.
Stay tuned for more from Gloria and AMWAT’s insider packing tips in a future post, as well as meet our next featured mover in July.
Have questions you’d love to see in a future Truck Talks? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!