By MELISSA CROCKETT MESKE
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees Tom Schopp and Naim Gasanov have moved their way up the ranks of the company, eventually becoming part of the leadership team in one of the largest and oldest franchises, with locations in both Collinsville and St. Louis, Mo. The franchise footprint has over 50 trucks available to customers.
Schopp and Gasanov both started their careers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® as movers, with Schopp starting in 1998 and Gasanov in 2011. The duo recently became franchise partners in this largest and oldest franchise based out of St. Louis, originally opening in 1994. The franchise owner is John Judson.
Schopp worked his way up through various positions, working in every department and role imaginable, including logistics, customer service, sales, grassroots marketing, and customer care. He was eventually promoted to director of Hiring and Training, followed by his current role, director of special projects. He oversees the junk removal business, storage, and long-term leasing crate moves. Since taking on the junk business in 2022, Schopp has increased revenue by 30 percent.
Gasanov started with the company at the age of 18, working summers in high school. He is originally an immigrant who moved to the United States with his family via Russia in 2005, at the young age of 12. Gasanov’s father wanted to provide a better life to his family, who had been living as Turkish immigrants in Russia, so he brought the family to the United States. Gasonov did not speak English when they arrived, but he wound up teaching himself by listening to music and watching sitcoms.
“The move provided opportunities to me and my family, and I hope now that I can pay it forward,” he said. Gasonov currently serves as business development manager. And over the past five years, he’s increased the brand’s B2B revenues from $250,000 to $1.2 million.
“The continuous growth made it an easy decision to join the franchise as a partner,” Gasanov noted.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in Collinsville has been “moving people forward” since 2003. Among the communities within its service region are Collinsville, Belleville, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Fairview Heights, and Scott Air Force Base.
“We service the entire Southwest region of Illinois, with the main warehouse located in Collinsville. Our primary target market continues to be customers in need of local and interstate moving, junk removal and storage services,” said Schopp.
“We are a full-service moving company. We offer packing, junk removal, storage and local-internal-interstate moving. We provide both residential and commercial moving, locally and nationwide,” he added.
The Collinsville location recently moved into its new warehouse location at 19 ABC Parkway. It is conveniently located off Horseshoe Lake Road near Interstate 255. Nearby businesses include ABC Supply Co., InstaCredit AutoMart, Culver’s, and the Van Fossen Soccer Park.
On the company website, the Collinsville location is identified “St. Louis East.”
A brief history on the site shares some interesting stats and details:
“In 1994, we started TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® St. Louis out of a Kirkwood basement with one truck and a Yellow Page advertisement. What began as a small project quickly began to grow and in 1995, we moved our office to Brentwood. Our growth continued, and our parking spaces rapidly began to fill with trucks. In 2004, we consolidated all of our offices into one large facility in Sunset Hills, which ultimately allows us to serve the entire area quickly and conveniently. The demand for our services in the St. Louis Metro East area encouraged us to open an office in Collinsville, Illinois, in 2004. We currently operate an 11-truck fleet out of this office, and have performed more than 15,000 moves since opening!”
To read more about this location and what services they provide, visit online at https://twomenandatruck.com/movers/il/st-louis/metro-east.
Employing up to 40 during the summer season including part-time opportunities for local college students, there are nearly 200 people employed between the three locations. Training is completed at their main office, just 30 minutes from the Collinsville site. Right now, the franchise is looking to hire 100 people across its footprint, and 30 specifically for the Collinsville location.
Rising up to the challenges has admittedly been difficult at times, both Schopp and Gasonov noted. “The market change, price increases, and equipment shortages are some of the ongoing challenges in the moving industry,” Schopp said, “but we always find a way. We continue to hire and provide training within the system.”
“Our goal is to provide top service to customers while overcoming these challenges, as we understand how stressful moving can be,” Gasonov added. “We are both happy to be joining in as franchise partners, and we hope to continue the growth of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in the surrounding St. Louis areas.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This story also appears in the April 2023 print edition of the Illinois Business Journal.)