Love in the Moving Business

Love can grow just about anywhere. You need look no further than the moving business to confirm that that’s true! Local moving agencies are often family-owned small businesses, which means that you’ll often find multiple members of the same family working in the office or on the crew, including husbands and wives. How do they keep love alive through the strain of their daily work?

This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating the love of a few of our husband-and-wife agency teams. These power couples consistently deliver excellent customer service while navigating the sometimes blissful, sometimes challenging experience of working alongside their spouse. Here are two of our favorite love stories!

 

Chris & Gene at the Global Van Lines Agents Convention in 1998.

CHRIS & GENE
Chris and Gene Doeneka are the owners of ITS Global Relocation Services in Portland, Ore., a Bekins agent.

How did you meet?

Chris: Our first year in college at a street dance; we didn’t start dating until our junior year, way back in 1974!

How long have you been married?
Chris: 40 years.

What brought each of you to the moving business?
Chris: I was drafted by my husband when we bought the company in 1998.

What do you like about working with your spouse?
Chris: Appreciating each of our strengths and weaknesses; admiration for Gene’s ability to get us through the dark days of the recession with strategic financial planning and focus on cash flow.

Gene & Chris at their wedding.

What are some of the challenges of working with your spouse? 
Chris: Keeping the conversation professional when we don’t see things the same way.
Gene: Working with your spouse daily is hard. If you don’t believe that then try it sometime. I admire Christy’s tireless work ethic, excellent customer service ethic, and social skills. Showing appreciation for each other’s strengths and staying out of each other’s way for best productivity is a daily challenge! We try our best NOT to discuss work issues at home!

How do you keep the spark alive – personally and professionally – especially on difficult days in the office?
Chris: Gene does a great job of planning special trips, vacations and dates where we can focus on each other in a non-work environment.

Do you have Valentine’s Day plans, and if so, what are they?
Chris: We are going out to dinner… Gene planned it, lucky me.

 

Stephanie & Kyle on their wedding day.

STEPHANIE & KYLE
Stephanie and Kyle Pryor work together at Brandon Moving & Storage, a Bekins agent in North Little Rock, Ark.

How did you meet?
Stephanie: We met my freshman (his sophomore) year at the University of Arkansas through mutual friends. This was in the fall of 2001.

How long have you been married?
Stephanie: This past November was our 10-year anniversary.

What brought each of you to the moving business?
Stephanie: We were living in Kansas City at the time of our wedding. The previous owner of Brandon Moving & Storage, Chris Ray, came to our wedding. Kyle & Chris were talking and the topic of how homesick I was came up in the conversation. Chris offered Kyle a job as local dispatcher in 2008 to help get us home. In the beginning of 2014, Chris decided he was ready to retire and sell the company to Kyle and Don. They closed on the sale in November 2014. I had spent the past 10 years as an Intensive Care Nurse but was getting burned out in the healthcare industry, so we decided it was best for our family if I changed careers and came to work at Brandon Moving.

Stephanie & Kyle, ready to save the day.

What do you like about working with your spouse?
Stephanie: I like watching him work. He’s so intelligent and the way he communicates with people is amazing. He forms great relationships with everyone he talks to. He really tries to look out for everyone’s best interest; the van line, our company, our drivers/employees, and our customers.
Kyle: Most people cringe when the thought of working with your spouse is mentioned… fortunately, Stephanie and I have found it to be beneficial both in the workplace and at home.  Granted, there is the occasional disagreement that comes up due to something work-related but overall we’ve found it to be a very positive situation. Stephanie recently switched positions within the company from Revenue Accounting to Customer Service. She is excelling in this new role. She has a direct and friendly approach that our customers appreciate and can relate to with ease.

What are some of the challenges of working with your spouse?
Stephanie: Kyle is annoyingly OCD and I’m the complete opposite. It can make the other one a little crazy.
Kyle: I’m not sure “annoying” is the word I would choose… maybe overbearing, demanding, and having exceedingly high expectations!

How do you keep the spark alive – personally and professionally – especially on difficult days in the office?
Stephanie: I think we do a good job of not bringing the day home with us and we make time for us and our family. Our marriage and children are our top priority.

Do you have Valentine’s Day plans, and if so, what are they?
Stephanie: Yes, we do. This weekend we are going away for the night (first time away from the baby). We also have reservations on Wednesday night to a dinner at a local distillery.

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