Business

SLO’s Meathead Movers to boost efforts to aid victims of domestic violence

Meathead Movers is anticipating handling more than 13,000 moves this year. The company intends to hire 500 employees by 2017, including 50 in San Luis Obispo by June 15.
Meathead Movers is anticipating handling more than 13,000 moves this year. The company intends to hire 500 employees by 2017, including 50 in San Luis Obispo by June 15.

San Luis Obispo-based Meathead Movers plans to further boost its efforts to encourage businesses worldwide to help victims of domestic violence as it continues to expand into new markets.

Founded in 1997 by brothers Aaron and Evan Steed while they were students at San Luis Obispo High School, the company now offers local, in-state and some interstate moving, packing services and storage units. It employs 54 full-time and 258 part-time employees, relying heavily on student athletes. The San Luis Obispo location at 3600 S. Higuera St. has about 80 employees.

The company grew 43 percent in 2015 over the previous year, said Aaron Steed, president and chief executive officer. He declined to disclose financial information, but last year he told The Tribune that the privately held company generates annual revenue between $10 million and $11 million.

Meathead Movers has long offered free moving services to victims of domestic violence. The company partnered with the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County in 2001, according to its website. Since then, it has partnered with seven other shelters across California.

In the fall, news about Meathead Movers’ ongoing partnership with a Los Angeles-based domestic violence shelter went viral, prompting the company to start a pledge for business owners to share ways they too could help domestic violence victims at www.meatheadmovers.com/pledge. It’s being promoted with the hashtag #MoveToEndDV.

Since then, the company has further developed its idea, and it’s now in the process of creating a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called #MoveToEndDV. It’s also developing an ambassador program for individuals to join the movement.

Volunteer ambassadors will identify specific needs at local shelters, then find local businesses that could help and encourage them to take the pledge. Once businesses do so, the ambassadors will stay involved to ensure that the coordination goes smoothly.

Meathead Movers plans to relaunch its movement on the “Today” show in mid-May, where it was featured about seven months ago after the news went viral. The company aims to get 10,000 businesses to sign the pledge.

“There’s a new way of giving back beyond business owners writing a check,” Aaron Steed said. “We’re hoping that it catches on and more people get creative with ways that they can give back with their business.”

The moving company, which has dispatch centers in San Luis Obispo, Orange County, Ventura County and Fresno, plans to open a new dispatch center in the Bay Area by the end of the year, Steed said.

Meathead Movers now offers interstate moves to states next to California. The company began experimenting with the moves last year, Steed said, and has since adjusted to the new business and is now promoting interstate moves.

The company expects to hire 500 employees by 2017, including 50 new part-time staff members in San Luis Obispo by June 15.

Steed cited the company’s expansion to new markets, along with busy spring and summer moving seasons, as reasons for the new hires. He added that Meathead Movers has a high turnover rate as students graduate; Steed wouldn’t say specifically what it is. The company prides itself on helping students pursue their intended career paths.

Of the 500 new employees the company is looking to add, 130 have already been hired, Steed said.

Steed attributes the company’s fast growth to its employees and their desire to continue to see how far they can take the concept of athlete movers offering services.

“We’ve been doing it for 19 years, and we grow every year,” Steed said. “We have a big vision for our company, and so long as my employees are motivated in wanting to open up other offices, we are going to continue to invest in them and (in) our company.”

The company has ordered 14 more moving trucks, bringing its total to 100. Meathead Movers is anticipating handling more than 13,000 moves this year.

Two-hundred temperature-controlled storage units are being added to the San Luis Obispo location. The current storage space reached capacity with 703 storage units and 91 temperature- and climate-controlled wine storage lockers. Steed said the company intends to grow heavily on the storage side and is putting new units in where there’s a need at its dispatch centers.

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