“The most important lesson I’ve learned, was from my grandfather. He always taught me that if I’m going to do something—do it right, or do it over.”
– Chris Campbell, CEO
Straight-A student. Captain of the football team. Visions of West Point. A double major of Pre-Med and Communications at Toledo University. Eighteen years as a firefighter and EMT. And now? Add to that diverse list of accomplishments this title: Chris Campbell, CEO of Dearman Moving and Storage.
In 1963, Chris’s father began working for Dearman as a driver, and he eventually purchased the company in 1981. It would seem like a logical progression, then, for Chris to join the family business upon graduating high school.
Not so fast.
“I was going to be a doctor,” Chris says candidly. “I went to school on a medical scholarship.” Eventually, however, he came to a realization. “I sat down and figured out that if I want to be a doctor, I’ve got another eleven years of school. And I don’t like school!”
Eventually, though, Chris did complete the degree in Communications, which became valuable as he transitioned into a sales role at Dearman upon graduating college. After several years of being in front of customers and in the field with his moving crews, Chris welcomes the new challenges and opportunities of being on the Operations side of the business as CEO. And he credits his grandfather for instilling within him the work ethic that has driven him to succeed.
“The most important lesson I’ve learned is from my grandfather. He always taught me that if I’m going to do something—do it right, or do it over,” Chris fondly recalls. He remembers working alongside his grandpa as a teenager—and barely being able to keep up with the old-timer. “Grandpa owned a lawn care company, and that man worked me into the dirt. I was in the best shape of my life, and Grandpa was kicking my tail DAILY. He wasn’t sitting under a tree drinking lemonade and bossing us around—he was out there working harder than ALL of us.”
Chris looks for the same type of work ethic in the crew members that are hired to join the Dearman team. He looks to find people who not only embody the core values of the company, but who are also willing to work hard, which is in Chris’s opinion “a lot harder than it used to be.” He has a method he uses to determine whether a crewperson is going to make the grade: “You can tell a good mover by the fact that he is someone with his knuckles all screwed up” from negotiating bulky items through narrow doorways and around tight corners.
Chris and his colleagues at Dearman hope to make their customers feel as if, from the grandest of grand pianos to the tiniest of trinkets, their possessions will be treated as invaluable treasures–because to the customers, those possessions ARE invaluable. Chris says of his grandfather, “He was never one to walk away from a job not being proud of how it looks—taking a lot of pride in it and doing it right.” It’s a legacy that he is proud to have inherited, and he’s hopeful that such a commitment to excellence shines through in every single customer interaction.
After all…that’s how grandpa would have done it.