"If you are motivated by money alone, you're in the wrong industry," says PVO David Morris, Alexander's Mobility Services (218). "You have to be motivated by a love of people...you have to care about them. Feeling the appreciation helps me better serve my customers. It makes me a better human being...and a better van operator."
David's words go straight to the heart of why Atlas makes a special effort to show appreciation to its van operators. It's also why the company this year decided to expand its annual recognition of these professionals to a full week. Dubbed BRAVO (Boosting Recognition of Atlas Van Operators), its April debut proved successful throughout the Atlas system.
More than 160 Atlas agents across the U.S. and Canada took part – some for a day, others for the entire week. There were cookouts and catered meals, contests, free t-shirts and weigh tickets – and plenty of good, old-fashioned fellowship.
Among the activities:
- Ace Relocation Systems (62) held contests in poetry, writing, and photography.
- Prager Moving & Storage (1555) provided free labor for loading in or out of its warehouse.
- Alexander's Mobility Services (214) held a town hall type meeting for the entire staff to celebrate its PVOs.
- Atlantic Relocation Systems (1021) gave "goodie bags" to operators.
- Atlas headquarters sent each van operator a token of appreciation – a brief bag for securing log books, paperwork, or other items they use in their cross-country travels.
"When members of the Atlas family count their blessings, somewhere near the top of the list are our Atlas Van Operators," says Chairman and CEO Glen Dunkerson. "They are the hands, face, and heart of our organization. BRAVO gives us a chance to show them just how important they are to all of us."
With the family's pet bird or lizard in the sleeper cab
BRAVO gave Atlas agencies the chance to nominate their favorite van operators for some added thanks. After an internal review and public voting on Facebook, Atlas announced the winners. The grand prize ($500 gift card) went to Gregory "Donny" Hoffman, Wayne Moving & Storage (2118). In nominating Donny, his agency family wrote:
Donny continually raises the bar on what exemplifies a professional van operator. He is always prepared to go above and beyond for our customers, even transporting and caring for the family's pet bird or lizard for almost 3,000 miles in his sleeper (he did this on two separate occasions). His customers typically call him to see when he is available to move them again, even if it means postponing their move date.
Donny is quick to point out that there are two names on his business card, it includes his wife, Rosaire.
"For the past eleven years, Rosaire has been my companion and my 'right arm' in the relocation of our customers," says Donny. "We always try to give our customers the best move possible. Our customers are at ease with a husband-and-wife team, and Rosaire puts the 'frosting on the cake' in establishing relationships with them. Thank you, Atlas, for giving us the opportunity to continue a tradition of service."
April 16-20, 2012
"We're planning now to make our next BRAVO even better for Atlas van operators," says Atlas Marketing Specialist Aaron Chenoweth. " Our goal is to not only set the stage for expressing appreciation, but to give agents a means to build interest in their business, even attract new operators if they wish."
"The expanded format", says Aaron, "gives agencies the flexibility to do as much as suits them – whether for a day or an entire week."
"There are a lot of simple and affordable things you can do, even if your location isn't likely to have a lot of traffic," says Aaron. "The Atlas Marketing team is here to help you succeed. Mark your calendar now, and start planning."
Atlas Agent: Registration for BRAVO 2012 begins in November. Watch your email and check atlasvanlines.com/bravo for updates.
Thanks to all who participated in the BRAVO gift card nominations. The number and quality of entries is a testament to the commitment Atlas professional van operators bring for every customer.
The King of the Road Survey is returning. Watch for communications from Atlas HQ in Movin' Newsletter and on the BRAVO site (atlasvanlines .com/bravo). We can't wait to hear from you!