(Chicago) - northAmerican® Van Lines is proud to announce that George Moving & Storage of Freedom Pennsylvania has been named one of the Largest Pittsburgh-area Women-Owned Firms by the Pittsburgh Business Times. George Moving, operated by co-owner and President Rebecca George, ranked 29th of fifty firms featured on the 2022 annual list of top women-owned businesses in the Pittsburgh area.
George Moving & Storage has been operating as a family-owned business for 47 years, since Rebecca’s father, John E. George purchased the company from another northAmerican agent in 1975. Over the years the company moved to several locations, finally settling in Freedom, Pennsylvania in 2005. Ownership of the company was transferred to Rebecca and her brother Tom in 2015.
While women have been a major part of the workforce for 80+ years, women in moving are not nearly as common. Moving is still considered a primarily male dominated industry, and while we have several women-owned or co-owned agencies in the northAmerican network, woman-owned moving companies are still rare. So what drives a woman to get involved – and stay involved – in the moving industry? We caught up with Rebecca George for the answer to those questions:
nA: What does George Moving & Storage mean to you?
RG: Growing a business that has been in our family for nearly 50 years is incredibly rewarding. I think the part I get the most satisfaction from is watching employees bring their family members into the business. It just makes us stronger.
nA: How did you get involved in the moving industry?
RG: The moving business has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When my brothers and I were young, my father would take us to work with him on Saturdays to give my mom a break. My brothers cleaned trucks and swept the warehouse floors, and I used to dust the offices. While our roles changed, we continued working at the company throughout high school and college.
nA: How has your role in the company evolved over the years?
RG: I’ve held many jobs at the company over the years, including positions in telemarketing, accounting and outside sales and as a sales coordinator. In my early 30’s I started working in management. When my father passed away, I took a greater role in the accounting and operations side of the company. Doing so has aided our company’s growth and profitability.
nA: What has been your experience as a woman owner in the male-dominated moving industry?
RG: It’s been a positive experience. The northAmerican network is like a family. I can always call on other owners or our corporate management with any questions I have. We also have a number of women owners in our network which is also helpful, as is the encouragement we provide each other. Overall, I have learned a lot from my fellow owners.
nA: Did you always think you would be working in the moving industry?
RG: No, my plan was to be an international lawyer. I guess moving was in my blood and the draw of the family business was stronger.
nA: What advice would you give to other young women entering male-dominated industries?
RG: Learn the business before you speak. And understand your audience so that you gain their respect.
nA: What motivates you?
RG: Family and friends. I am blessed with a tribe of incredible support and love from my family and friends.
nA: How did you persevere through tough times?
RG: With the help of our family and friends. Thanks to them George Moving has made it through union strikes, fire, floods and financial hardships over our 47 years in business. We would never have survived without all of those who helped our family.
nA: George Moving was recently named one of the top women-owned companies in Pittsburgh. What do you attribute your success?
RG: My incredible staff. Throughout the pandemic everyone has been amazing. Thanks to our fantastic team, it was business as usual despite COVID-19. We were able to take care of our customers and we never missed a beat.
nA: What hopes do you have for the future of women in the moving industry?
RG: The moving industry offers great leadership opportunities for women. The industry itself requires a broad skillset like other businesses, so there are ample reasons for women to get involved in moving. I would like to see more mentoring groups, perhaps at the college level, to help young women grow an interest in the business.
nA: What would you tell your 25-year-old self?
RG: Listen to your customers and pay attention to details. There is no such thing in moving as “don’t sweat the small stuff.”
nA: What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned during your time leading George Moving?
RG: How to deal with change and evolve the business. To move forward and succeed, you must learn to ride the wave of change. This includes working smarter to be effective and profitable. At George Moving we are constantly evaluating and synergizing our processes to develop a better experience for our customers. There is nothing worse than a redundant process, in my opinion.
nA: Do you think companies benefit from having more women in leadership roles – if so, why?
RG: Absolutely. Women tend to bring a team mentoring or family environment into the workforce, which is helpful in onboarding new employees, developing existing employees and evolving processes – all important in moving a company forward.
nA: What’s next for Rebecca George and George Moving?
RG: Personally, my focus is on being in healthy place – mentally and physically, traveling more and of course playing better golf, which is a passion of mine. Professionally, our goals are external and internal. Externally we are focused on increasing customer focus and using technology to enhance experiences and relationships. Internally we are focused on providing opportunities to our staff to grow the business.
northAmerican proudly partners with 45 minority, woman and veteran-owned agent locations across 25 states.
Looking to increase your Diverse Supplier spend? E.E. Ward is a Certified Minority-Owned agent that qualifies as a diverse supplier for companies looking to satisfy corporate diversity requirements. To learn more, contact Bobbi Maniglia at Bobbi.Maniglia@northAmerican.com