Backed by more than 25 years of success, a Southeastern Michigan family signs on for additional territory
Connie Howe was first introduced to the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK moving company in 1991 when she read about the up-and-coming franchise while working as a certified public accountant at McDonnell Douglas. She then approached her daughter, Lisa Gaber, who had taken a hiatus from working to start her family, and suggested they team up to open a location together.
“I had a two -year-old and a six-year-old, but I was really interested in joining the workforce again,” Gaber said. “At the time, my mom expressed an interest in leaving her desk job for something that we could start for our families and leave to them one day. So when she presented the idea of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK to me, I leaped at the chance.”
This mother-daughter story isn’t too far off from the founding story behind TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. The brand was started by Mary Ellen Sheets, and her daughter Melanie Bergeron was the first franchisee. But 26 years ago, when Howe and Gaber joined the company, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK looked a lot different than it does today. When the mother-daughter duo first signed on, they were the 15th franchisees. But now, the brand has 244 franchisees and more than 200 people on the Home Office staff ready and willing to help franchisees at a moment’s notice. A Customer Relationship Center is also staffed to help serve the needs of customers, and the company continues to launch innovative programs and initiatives that allow franchisees to diversify their offerings and increase their bottom lines.
But, some things have certainly remained consistent with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK over the years, and that includes paying keen attention to detail, providing top-notch customer service, finding ongoing training and support from the Home Office staff and following established processes.
Howe and Gaber are now two of the numerous franchisees who are taking advantage of those competitive advantages. They ran the Macomb County, Michigan location together for 20 years, growing the business from their basement, equipped with a solitary moving truck and one phone. Today, the Macomb location has nearly 10 people working in the office and a team of more than 30 movers and drivers.
When Howe decided she was ready to retire from the day-to-day operations of running the business six years ago, she transitioned operations to Lisa and son, Dave. While Dave had previously not been heavily involved with the business, he officially came on board when Howe retired, bringing with him 20 years of experience managing commercial and industrial construction sites.
Now, the family is in the process of expanding their reach locally by taking over ownership of the Dearborn-area location in Michigan. Although the location is established, the Gaber family is now able to expand their territory across Southeastern Michigan through this transfer of ownership.
“My brother has been a huge asset to this business since he joined our team six years ago,” Gaber said. “With his construction background, Dave is a very hands-on worker. He understands this business, I respect his opinion and we all get along so well.”
Dave has taken it upon himself to oversee the Dearborn location alongside his son, while Lisa and her daughter work at the Macomb location.
“We all collaborate and set the morale and culture of the office,” Gaber said. “My brother and I have a great relationship, and we’re proud to be building something to pass on to our children one day.”