About Men on the Move
Our movers aren’t just big guys who move your belongings from one place to another. We are conscientious professionals who handle your things as if they were our own. It may sound old fashioned, but at Men on the Move we take pride in a good day’s work and a higher standard of service. That’s just how we are.
That attitude starts with owner Jeff Balaka and runs through our entire team in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We’re proud to have our team represent our company and we make sure they know they are appreciated by providing long-term stability, medical insurance and a 401k option.
Interview with Ann Arbor’s Men on the Move
owner Jeff Balaka
Q: How long have you been operating Men on the Move in Ann Arbor?
A: This is my college job gone wild. I started in the summer after my freshman year at EMU in Ypsilanti back in ’85, and started Men on the Move in 1993. I enjoy the physical work, the people aspect of it and the fact that the environment is different every day. It’s an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay and that’s pretty rewarding.
Q: College job, huh? Did you stick around and graduate?
A: I have a fine arts degree from Eastern Michigan University. If a customer has an art collection it gives us something to talk about, but it’s more than that. A lot of people’s art collections are very personal, and they want to know it’s being handled correctly. I can recognize that, and I know the value and importance of it straight away.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever moved?
A: We moved a full-sized rhino for a big-game hunter, along with his elephant and a couple of other partial mounts. That rhino was probably about 14 feet long by about 6 feet at the top of its head and about 3½ feet wide. The whole thing weighed about 1,000 pounds, but we had enough room to put the elephant in the back with it.
Q: Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever moved?
A: We’ve moved Lee Iaccoca, former University of Michigan president Lee Bollinger, basketball coach Tommy Amaker, NHL player Aaron Ward, to name a few. As with anyone, the goal is not just to move them once, but to earn their repeat business, and we’ve done that.
Q: What’s the longest an employee has been with you?
A: Two of my guys have been with the company for more than 15 years, and another has been with us more than 10. I personally screen everyone we hire, and we have really rigorous training. I look for people with lot of heart and a good work ethic. If they have a good, healthy work ethic, I can teach them the skills.
Q: Do clients deal directly with you?
A: I give clients my cell number, so they always have a direct line to me. In fact, when they call the office, a lot of times I’m the one who answers the phone.
Q: What states have you moved people to?
A: It would be easier to list the states we haven’t moved people to – Washington, Idaho, Utah, North and South Dakota. We’ve done moves to Maine, Texas, Florida, Oregon and 13,000 feet up Pike’s Peak. We’ll go anywhere in the continental United States.
Q: Do you subcontract any part of the move?
A: The only thing I subcontract is packing on large-scale jobs. My guys are good packers – probably as good as anyone out there – but I want our customers’ experience with us to transcend good.
Q: What happens if something gets damaged?
A: We do everything in our power to prevent damage – both to your belongings and your interiors – but sometimes accidents do happen. We’re fully insured, and if any mistakes are made, we get repairs done quickly.