Jeff Coleman, Chairman of the IAM Hall of Honor Selection Committee introduced the 2019 inductees into the IAM Hall of Honor in Chigago on Saturday 5th October.
He explained that this ultimate IAM award was given to people who have had a profound affect on the moving, forwarding and relocation industry with acts of kindness, charity, philanthropy, heroic actions and innovation that has benefitted the industry.
Paul Evans started in the moving business in the early 1970s when he was working as a night controller for a taxi company. A customer called asking for a small household move, so Paul, never one to miss an opportunity, bought a van and started P&M Removals with his friend, Micky. He subsequently started Trans Euro with Richard Levine, which became one of the UK’s largest moving businesses. His career took many turns including buying and rejuvenating Interdean, and forming the AGM Group that includes Gerson relocation, Abels Moving Services and Momentous Moving Excellence. Paul also invested in property, crate hire and, more recently, a large chain of nightclubs. In presenting the award, IAM paid tribute to Paul’s charitable work and said that Paul’s efforts had saves many jobs by saving companies that were struggling.
In his speech Paul said that he felt a bit like a cheat because he had only ever tried to make a living by being entrepreneurial. He said that the industry had changed greatly since he started with many more layers of administration that were bad for customers as they increased costs and made communication less accurate. But he said that he had made many friends in the industry and it remains a people business. “If we don’t take the people with us, we have nothing to sell,” he said. Technology too was changing the industry however, he said he’d like to see technology get a grand piano to the sixth floor!
In 1948, Mrs. Shizu Tominaga, Koji’s mother, founded Fukuoka Soko in Japan in 1948. The company started as a domestic mover but soon moved to specialise in military household goods with its influence quickly spreading throughout the country. Koji Tominaga joined the business while at college and has been credited with driving the company’s growth in those early years. In 1964 he opened in Yokohama to provide moving and logistic services to American service personnel operating in Vietnam. He purchased the local agent in the city in 1967 and the company still holds the sole agency for the Sasebo Naval base. In 1965 Tominaka founded Yokohama Kaiun International to handle military moving throughout the country. Taro Tominaga, his son, is now the CEO and president of the company. The Tominaga Group today has over 70 branches and an annual revenue of over $450m. Koji died on March 26, 1980 following a car accident. The Hall of Honor award was accepted on his behalf by his son, Taro Tominaga.
Taro expressed his appreciation for this honour bestowed on his father. He paid tribute especially to his grandmother who had been able to build confidence with the US military at a time when all logistics in the country was handled by the military owing to a lack of local expertise. Today, around 60% of military moving in Japan is currently handled by the Group.
Chuck White presented the award to his immediate predecessor, Terry Head. He said that without Terry IAM would probably not exist. He said that for Terry to be inducted into the Hall of Honor was a ‘no brainer’. He thanked Terry for what he has done for the Association, for the industry as a whole, and for him personally.
Terry had a successful careen in the industry before joining HHGFAA (Household Goods Forwarders Association of America) and was responsible for making the organisation financially sound, for changing its name to IAM (International Association of Movers) and for expanding its influence internationally. He also fostered closed relationships with outside agencies and corporations while taking an inclusive approach to with other moving associations around the world. Terry is also responsible for many of the initiatives that have become part of the IAM culture today: the Young Professionals Group, the Alan F Wohlstetter scholarship fund, Move for Hunger, IAM Here to Help, IAM Logistics Network, RPP program, Mobile App, the Ethics Council, the Portal magazine, and the Hall of Honor itself. Terry retired at IAM president in in 2018.
Terry thanked his wife Laura for her support. He said, in relation to all the initiatives and achievements of IAM, that he didn’t do any of it. “We did that,” he said. “It’s an honour to be inducted but it’s also an honour to share it will all of you in this room.” Terry paid tribute to all those people who contributed over the years and the support of the membership and to what he said were ‘the best staff in the world’. He also asked Bel Carrington to stand who, he said, had given him the opportunity and been his right-hand man throughout. “It’s been an amazing journey working with amazing people,” he said. “Creating something that outlasts you should be everybody’s goal and I think I have achieved that. Thank you for allowing me to do it.”
- Geoff Coleman, Chairman of the IAM Hall of Honor Selection Committee; Paul Evans; Tim Helenthal, Chairman of IAM
- Chuck White, President of IAM
- Taro Tominaga accepts the Hall of Honor award on behalf of his father Koji
- Terry Head accepts the Hall of Honor award