E-Communicator Article

The Chairman's Corner

By John Lance
November 2017

Over the past five  months, we have had one disaster after another in our country
−hurricanes, a massive attack on innocent people in Las Vegas and then the most recent fires that completely wiped out neighborhoods in Santa Rosa and its surrounding areas. As I speak to family, friends and colleagues about all of these tragic events, I ask them, “What would you do if you lost everything you had? Even worse is how do you deal with the loss of someone close to you?” I have watched on TV and read so many heartbreaking stories; it’s hard for me to comprehend. I spoke about how Americans come together and help each other out in times like these in an earlier column I wrote back in September. Well, I think we have all seen that once again with the latest tragedies we have been dealt. I have read articles of heroism over and over again. People all over are reaching out to help. The fires in Santa Rosa left so many people homeless, and I read about people opening up their homes to help as far away as San Diego. I would like to give a special thank you to Mark Macy of Macy Movers in Hayward, Calif. for donating his time and equipment to deliver several loads of supplies to the people in need in the Santa Rosa area. Together we will get through these tough times.

On the morning of October 17th, I headed north with President Steve Weitekamp to visit some mover member companies and attend three chapter meetings in Northern California. The North Bay chapter meeting was cancelled due to the fires, but Steve and I will definitely make another trip up there to visit with our friends and colleagues at a later date. Now I will tell you, I have been told by many former Chairmen that Steve is always on the go doing business from his vehicle as he is traveling. Well, this is very true. If he wasn’t making phone calls, he was receiving them full time! Our first stop was Miller Moving in Salinas, Calif. Gary Plummer and CMSA Vice Chairman Alan Freese gave us a warm welcome and a complete tour of their facility. I was not aware of how much military business there is in that area. Thank you, Gary and Alan for your hospitality. From there, we traveled north to San Rafael to meet up with Jeff Nadeau and his beautiful wife Christy from the Dewitt Companies. Jeff had invited us to dinner at a unique restaurant called Terrapin Crossroads. This restaurant was founded by Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead. Well guess who was playing on stage as we enjoyed our dinner? Yes, you guessed it, Phil Lesh himself. At 77 years old, he is still rocking the house. Thank You Jeff, Christy and the Dewitt Companies for a wonderful evening.

So, the next morning, we got up and headed over to meet with Mark Macy and see his new facility. Mark had just moved into this facility several months ago and he has done a great job setting it up. It takes a lot of time and creativity to set up a new warehouse and figure out how to maximize your space to get the most out of it. Thank you Mark for your hospitality. Our next stop was Nor-Cal Moving Services in Hayward, Calif. Now Steve had been telling me for some time that I really needed to see this operation, and he was right. We were greeted by the President Peter Mazzetti. What a warm welcome he gave us. After chatting with him a bit, we headed out to the warehouse for a tour. I don’t remember ever seeing a facility of this size. This place was impressive with 350,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. Peter explained the different areas throughout his warehouse from domestic household goods to international, O&I and museum storage. You can tell he takes great pride in his operation and it shows throughout the place. Thank you, Peter for taking the time to visit with us.  Next stop that day was to meet with John Chipman Sr. and John Chipman Jr. at their corporate office in Alameda. There we enjoyed great conversation with them. They run a class act operation. John Jr. just joined our Board of Directors and we are happy to have him on our team. Thank you both for your hospitality. Next, we headed to the Northern Region Chapter meeting which was held at a restaurant call the Dead Fish in Crocket, Calif. Chapter Presidents Griselda Gonzalez and Olga Garcia of CG Moving in San Francisco hosted a great meeting. There were over 40 people in attendance. A lot of the people there I knew from previous events or conventions, and it was great to see them. The few that I didn’t know, I made it a point to meet and thank them for attending. This was the first chapter meeting that I have attended so I wanted to make my speech short as well as engaging with the chapter. They all made me feel very welcome. Steve had everyday and every hour of everyday planned ahead as to where we would be and who we were visiting. I think he has done this a couple times in the past. I know I was worn out after the second day. Day three, we were off again on our way to visit former chairman Brian Larson and Mark Larson of Mother Lode Van & Storage in Rancho Cordova. They gave us a tour of their operation. You can tell they take great pride in their organization. The place was clean, well maintained and organized. Thank you, Mark and Brian for taking the time out to show me and Steve. You should both be very proud of your organization. Next, we were off to visit with Chris and Dave Higdon at California Moving Systems in Sacramento, Calif.  Both are former chairmen of the CMSA. We had a nice visit talking about operations and the daily challenges in our industry. We all have similar challenges and bringing in new young energetic men and women is a hot topic. This is something I keep talking about with friends and colleagues and it’s still a struggle for us all. Thank you, Chris and Dave for your hospitality.  Our final stop was the Sacramento Chapter meeting in downtown Sacramento. Chapter President Ed Melton of Chipman Relocation & Logistics in Sacramento put a great meeting together. Once again, the room was packed full of people. We had a great visit and shared some good laughs throughout the night. Thank you, Ed for your hard work and dedication to the Sacramento Chapter. These were my first two Chapter meetings that I have attended as Chairman. Our Fall Board Meeting is a couple of days away and then Steve and I will be on our next adventure to visit the Twin Counties, San Diego and Orange County Chapters. I look forward to seeing all of you.

I asked Steve when we were traveling if there was any one chairman that he had traveled around with that was a pain in the butt! He answered me honestly, “Nobody was a pain, but everybody was different.” Keeping up with Steve is a challenge in itself. He is a hard-working man that is committed to our association, and I thank him for all he does.


Now go take on the day and I will see you next month.

November 2017 - CMSA Communicator

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