Category Archives: Bekins Events and Appearances

Marsha and Rece

Breast Cancer Awareness Survivor Story: Marsha Davis

On a sunny, beautiful Monday in early March 2013, Marsha Davis, sat in her doctor’s office. Davis, Director of Revenue Accounting at Bekins Van Lines, found a lump in her breast and her doctor was performing a biopsy. Her doctor was not optimistic the lump was benign, but Davis still had hope the doctor was wrong.

After the longest four days of Davis’ life, the doctor confirmed what she had been dreading. It was breast cancer.

Davis sat at work stunned, speechless with tears rolling down her face.

“When you get that kind of news, so many things go through your mind: ‘Am I going to die?’ ‘I’m not ready to die.’ ‘I won’t be able to see my grandson grow up.’ ‘How do I tell my husband, my son, my mom?’ My life as I knew it changed forever in a single moment.”

No one in Davis’ family had breast cancer, nor did she know anyone that had it, so she had no idea what she was about to endure. Davis had a long battle in front of her — a lumpectomy followed by 10 rounds of chemotherapy and 36 radiation treatments that lasted a year.
Despite the adversity, Davis found strength through the people around her.

“My husband was my ROCK!” She exclaimed. “I also had several great friends, family members and co-workers who gave me such encouragement, inspiration and support. Of course, my grandson Rece (who was four at the time), provided humor to my life at a time when I truly needed it.”

Davis continued tMarsha and Kareno work at Bekins during her treatments.
“They (Bekins) allowed me to continue working and contributing through my treatments. They allowed me to work from home when I didn’t have the strength to make it to the office,” she said. “Most importantly they provided me with such unconditional, astonishing, unbelievable friendship, kindness and support through the entire process of kicking cancer’s butt!”

Davis is forever grateful for the Bekins family that made kind gestures and sacrifices for her. Giving up paid time off, many employees took Davis to and from her four-hour chemotherapy treatments. Olivia Davis, the van line’s Sales Administrative Assistant, also formed a race team in Davis’ honor for the Susan G. Komen® Central Indiana Race for the Cure in April 2013. The team, “Davis’s Daisies,” raised more than $7,000 and was the fourth largest fundraiser in the state of the Indiana.

“The Bekins organization is not only a top-class act in moving, but they truly care about their employees,” Davis said. “I have witnessed several gestures of their generosity to many of my colleagues over the past 14 years. Never would I have imagined I would be one of the recipients of such outward compassion.”

With all of the support, Davis had her last chemo treatment on June 28, 2013, but had to continue with one of three drugs for a full year which ended this past April. She continues to have follow-up appointments every three month and takes a pill to slow the cancer cells from growing in her body every day for the next five-to-ten years.

After all Davis has gone through the past two years, she has been kind and brave enough to offer some inspirational wisdom for those who are fighting cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

“I would tell them it’s quite normal to mourn the loss of their health for a short time and that tears are appropriate,” She continued. “Cancer is beatable. The medical field has become much more educated with good information that can alleviate the fear.”

She added that the best resource is your doctor.

“There are a lot of reputable websites out there that provide great information, but there are a lot that are just full of garbage. Don’t believe everything you read,” she cautioned.

She also stated “Do not try to be super woman and allow others to help.”

Bekins is privileged to have Davis on its team and honors her as well as all of the other breast cancer survivors during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Please visit the Susan G. Komen site for more information about breast cancer and Breast Cancer Awareness Month and how you can help.

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A Personal Customer Experience Leads to Increased Customer Engagement at Bekins

By Stephanie Linville, Director of Market Research & Pricing

The customer experience (CX) is no longer a series of independent interactions customers have with the various touch points in our organization; it’s an ongoing dialogue between Bekins and our customers.

This journey begins when customers are deciding which van line to choose for their interstate move. While some might view the customer relationship ending when the move is complete, the reality is the dialogue continues in the form of our customer surveys, referrals of our company to family and friends (which, by the way, happens to be our biggest source of new customers), repeat business with former customers and online LovemyCustomerSign_Bekinsreviews posted to social media.

Engaged customers are those who continue this dialogue with us. They are loyal enough to refer us to others and/or continue to use us for their future moves. If these customer behaviors are our end goal, then how can we get our customers engaged with Bekins?

Providing a personal customer experience is the key to engaging our customers. That said, we are fortunate this challenge should be easier to accomplish in the moving and storage business than in other industries, since our service is a highly personal one. We are in our customers’ homes, handling their belongings and interacting with members of their family, including their children and pets.

In addition, generally speaking, most people do not make multiple interstate moves during their lifetime, but when they do, the experience is a major life event due to the significant expense and stress. Because of these factors, when Bekins does an excellent or poor job, customers feel strongly enough about our performance to let us know. This is one of the reasons why we have such a great response rate to our customer surveys – currently 55% for our electronic surveys.

What does this mean? Well, simply by the nature of our business, all of our customers have the potential to be highly engaged. And if the Bekins customer experience is affected by every touch point in the organization, then all of our employees, agents, drivers and crew members impact CX in some way.

Tuesday, October 7th, marks the second annual CX Day, and Bekins we are celebrating our customers during the entire week of October 6 – 10! Just like we showed gratitude for our drivers during Driver Appreciation Week, we will continue this successful marketing campaign and show appreciation for our customers by having our agents, drivers and employees take pictures of themselves (and customers, if possible) holding “I ‘heart’ customers” signs and upload these images to our social media sites. We look forward to a fun and memorable CX Day!

 

Photos from some CX Day events:

Bekins employees helped create a poster with their hand prints to signify all hands are involved every move.

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The Importance of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Bekins Van Lines corporate office accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, Aug. 20 to raise awareness for ALS as well as donate to ALS Association.

Bekins challenged all of its agents to do the same. Before dumping ice water on yourself, here are some things you should know about ALS from alsa.org.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
  • ALS is not contagious.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually.
  • Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more.  More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
  • About twenty percent of people with ALS live five years or more and up to ten percent will survive more than ten years and five percent will live 20 years. There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.
  • ALS occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
  • ALS can strike anyone.
  • The onset of ALS is insidious with muscle weakness or stiffness as early symptoms. Progression of weakness, wasting and paralysis of the muscles of the limbs and trunk as well as those that control vital functions such as speech, swallowing and later breathing generally follows.
  • There can be significant costs for medical care, equipment and home health care giving later in the disease.  It is important to be knowledgeable about your health plan coverage and other programs for which your may be eligible, including SSA, Medicare, Medical and Veteran Affairs benefits.
  • ALS Association has raised 41.8 million from the Ice Bucket Challenge Donations. Donations can be made here.

Below are the videos and photos from yesterday’s challenge!

Watch the video here on our new YouTube Channel.

 

 

 

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World Humanitarian Day and Bekins

Today is World Humanitarian Day, which is a dedicated day to raise public awareness of the work undertaken by humanitarian organizations. We not only specialize in moving your household goods, but giving back is embedded in our corporate culture at Bekins Van Lines. For today’s blog, we are shining the spotlight on the organizations with which we work that are dedicated to making the world a better place.

Give Kids The World Village

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Bekins is a major sponsor of Give Kids The World Village near Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as well as the main sponsor for Keaton’s Korral located in the village. Give Kids The World Village is an organization that provides memorable, magical, cost-free experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The village is a 70-acre resort that has welcomed more than 130,000 families from all 50 states and more than 75 countries.

A wall of letters from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village found in the Bekins corporate office.

A wall of letters at the Bekins corporate office from children that have experienced Give Kids The World Village.

Keaton’s Korral
At Keaton’s Korral, more than 7,300 families each year have been able to experience the fun of horse and pony rides, while wearing cowboy hats and living out their cowboy dreams. Keaton’s Korral was named for Keaton White, an alumni wish child who spoke at the 2003 Wheaton | Bekins conference shortly before he lost his battle with cancer. His story touched so many of the agents and employees, as he told of his dream to ensure every child got to experience the joy he felt during his time at the Village.

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton's Korral at Give Kids The World Village

Bekins Chairman, Stephen Burns with Keaton White, who inspired Keaton’s Korral at Give Kids The World Village

“Give Kids The World was one of the happiest times of my life,” White said. “I just want to be sure that someday another little boy or girl and their family are loved just as much as me and my family were loved.”

The 60th Annual Wheaton|Bekins Conference from November 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz., will be hosting a silent auction to raise money for Keaton’s Korral. You can also click here to donate to Keaton’s Korral and Give Kids The World Village.

Move for Hunger:

Move For HungerMove for Hunger is a nonprofit organization that works with relocation companies to collect unwanted food from people who are relocating and deliver it to food banks all across North America.

Bekins Van Lines currently has 34 agents participating and has collected 55,812 lbs., of food all-time and 29,138 lbs., of food in 2014 alone. It’s a win-win for all parties – food banks get a much needed boost all year long, customers feel good about the donation (and may even offset some of the cost of their move by reducing the weight of heavier canned goods), and Bekins participates in a nationwide initiative to combat hunger.

To learn more about Move For Hunger and how you can help, visit MoveForHunger.org.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center – The Tissue Bank collects blood and tissue samples from donors and makes the samples available to Susan G Koman Tissue Bankresearchers across the globe who are seeking to find a cure for breast cancer. Since 2008, Bekins has transported equipment for the Tissue Bank to collection events across the country. Visit KomenTissueBank.IU.edu to learn more about the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

Meet new neighbors after a relocation by shopping for groceries with your dog

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.


Relocating from Oklahoma to Indiana was a stressful experience for me and my family. Our relocation was prompted by my husband’s job transfer. Essentials had been packed and taken with us on our drive to get us through a few days until the professional relocation company delivered our furniture. We arrived in Indiana to an empty house. The first few days were a little like camping. After a long car ride and sitting in an empty house, the family was starting to get a little stir crazy.

New to the city and neighborhood, we decided to get out and about. So, we leashed up our dog, Ripley, and went to the local farmers market. It was a great experience! We met lots of locals and several of our neighbors as well as many local farmers. I even met a local rancher and purchased some meats to grill that evening. Our dog enjoyed exploring and meeting new canine friends, too. Many people stopped to chat with us because Ripley helped break the ice. It was a win-win and made us feel at home more quickly.

If you just moved to a new community, get out and explore by taking a trip to the local farmers market. The markets are free to roam, many have live entertainment and most have some prepared foods and snacks, which are perfect if your appliances haven’t arrived yet. Just being outside around other local people and the fresh, brightly colored fruits and veggies makes you feel more welcome.

Our family has gone to the local farmers market every Saturday it’s open. I love having the option to take my dog shopping for groceries!

Click here for a list of farmers markets in your area.

Post Trade Show Thoughts: SHRM 2013

SHRM 2013

Having recently returned from the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Annual Conference in Chicago, our Sales team was abuzz with new and exciting ideas.  This annual conference, the largest of its kind in the world, brings together HR professionals as well as Insurance, Professional Development, Talent Management and Corporate Relocation professionals… just to name a few.SHRM Toy Trucks

Wheaton’s Sales Administrator, Heather Stafford, recapped her experience in the Windy City and filled us in on some of her favorite and most memorable happenings of the week.

What’s new

I’ve been going to SHRM’s Annual Conference for four years, so I wouldn’t call myself a novice, but I find that I continue to learn new things every year that I attend.  The biggest change I noticed this year was the presence of social media.  The amount of time spent on social media seems to increase every year and I find that fascinating.  I was amazed not only by the use of Twitter during the conference, but also at the amount of promotion that happened even before we walked through the doors of McCormick Place. The blogs (such as the one we wrote!), infographics and Tweets that I read for weeks leading up to the conference renewed my excitement to attend.

What’s not new

Long days.  You can always expect to be tired after a day at the SHRM conference, but the days are fun and full of conversations and networking.  I particularly enjoyed Sunday evening as the opening reception always draws a large crowd.Bekins booth at SHRM

Impressive keynote speakers are also a SHRM staple.  This year topped the list with names like Gabby Giffords, Hillary Clinton and Blake Mycoskie.  SHRM brings the best of the best to their conference every year and you can always expect to learn a lot.

Favorite part?

That’s a tough one. Of course, I love representing Bekins and talking about our top notch corporate relocation program.  It was also great to see new faces and reconnect with old friends. We raffled a Kindle Fire and Deana Moylan from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was our big winner. I would have to say, though, that my favorite part of the conference was the Kelly Clarkson concert.  There was so much positive energy in the room, Kelly put on an amazing show and everyone had a great time.SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition Logo

Final Thoughts

I always enjoy attending SHRM’s Annual Conference. I know that I’m going to have the opportunity to showcase our corporate relocation program and walk away with a solid list of potential clients.  The conference is always well-run, effectively scheduled and organized.  With an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, attendees and entertainment, it’s a conference that can’t be missed.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for SHRM14 in Orlando!

Heather Stafford is the Sales Administrator  for Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines.  You can connect with Heather on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about her experiences at SHRM and the Bekins corporate relocation program.

Everything You Need To Know About Bekins & #SHRM13

On June 16th, Bekins Van Lines will be heading to the Windy City for a 4-day conference presented by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

What is it?

The SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exposition is the world’s largest HR marketplace featuring information about all sorts of human resource topics such as employee compensation, health and wellness programs, and training… just to name a few.

You might be wondering why a moving company like Bekins would find it necessary or even beneficial to attend this conference.  The answer is two words: Corporate Relocation.

The van line performs hundreds of corporate moves every year, so it makes perfect sense to have a strong presence at a conference that so many key players attend.

Bekins’ Corporate Relocation Services

Bekins Van Lines will be present at the conference, informing attendees about the benefits of utilizing our moving services for corporate relocations.  These benefits, such as precise pick-up and delivery dates, valuation protection and competitive pricing have made us a preferred selection for many of the nation’s top businesses, universities and health care systems.

Work Hard, Play Hard

In addition to providing valuable information on our moving services, Bekins also wants to have a little fun.  With an abundance of raffles and giveaways, it should be on every attendee’s priority list to stop by the Bekins booth (#1928) for a chance to win a Kindle Fire, along with many other prizes.

Bekins Van Lines is very excited to head to Chicago to learn and interact with the best the human resource industry has to offer.  Is anyone else headed to #SHRM13? If so, let us know.  Leave us a comment or Tweet us using the provided hashtag.

SHRM 2013 Annual Conference & Exhibition Logo