Love is in the Air at U-Haul

PHOENIX – It’s no secret that Cupid has worked overtime at U-Haul through the years.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we visited with married couples at the U-Haul Towers in Phoenix and Technical Center in Tempe to get their insight on successful relationships and working with their spouses at U-Haul.

See what these U-Haul lovebirds had to say:

Scott and Amber Bremer Scott Bremer, Maintenance Mechanic for the Tech Center, and Amber Bremer, Supervisor Administrator for Tech Center Administration

“To keep work and life balanced out, we don’t have lunch or breaks together; we do our own thing,” Amber said. “Scott goes to the gym and runs for his health and his emotional well-being. I have lunch with my daughter, who also works here, but doesn’t live with us, so it is a WIN-WIN for me. It is nice to work together – we can carpool, we know most the same people and it’s nice to have the same holidays off together. I am so grateful for U-Haul, and I truly believe if both of us hadn’t worked here, we never would have met … and my life would have been so different. Scott and I are both so blessed to work for such a wonderful company.”

Bruce Brockhagen, Director of Aviation and Diana Brockhagen, Executive Wellness Director

“Bruce and I are very happy and thankful for the opportunity to work together doing the work that we enjoy most,” Diana said. “We have very different responsibilities within the Company, but we certainly share corporate goals, which is extremely rewarding. Life is short. If possible, enjoy your work with the person you love. Family first, honesty, respect, dignity and effective communications. No one person in a marriage or company attains goals, success or happiness by themselves; whatever effort you invest in your work or private life is what you will get out of it, so give it your best shot.”

Tom Coffee, Director of Repair Shop Management for the Tech Center, and Rebecca Coffee, Repair Analyst, Repair Shop Management for the Tech Center

Tom and Rebecca Coffee“The pros of working together are that we have an understanding and appreciation for the time invested for the roles we each play,” Rebecca said. “With Tom being the Director of Repair Shop Management, I understand that he has great responsibility to shoulder and see the dedication he puts into his job. I want to try and help his vision become a reality. Also, as a Repair Analyst, I can also help give him firsthand knowledge of what the shops have to say, as their feedback doesn’t always come in to him.”

The pros of working together are an understanding of what each of us goes through; the cons are potential arguments over how something is handled,” Tom said jokingly. “Of course, the other pro is that I get to be the boss for eight hours a day. One other positive aspect is the ability to feed off of Rebecca’s passion for her job. It helps me through some of the tougher times of my job.”

Brent Grosso, Manager, Alarm/Surveillance/NOC, and Mary Rivera, Supervisor of Bank Services

“We try to leave work at work,” Brent said. “It is occasionally helpful to have a sounding board that is knowledgeable about the Company and its culture. But we both think it is best not to dwell on work issues when we are together. We work in separate areas and have many individual friendships. Of course, we also have a core group of mutual friends, which is nice. Being able to occasionally carpool is a definite plus! And, as long-term Team Members, we both share the same type of work ethic that we believe makes for success at U-Haul as well as in life.”

Guy Hevey, French Translator, and Mary Lou Sliman, French Translator

Guy Hevey and Mary Lou Sliman“Many colleagues/friends here at U-Haul have told us something close to this: ‘I love my husband/my wife very much … but I could never do what you two are doing … living together at home and working so closely together at U-Haul,’” the couple said. “Our response to that is very simple: The foundation of any human relationship is RESPECT. We work very hard, we do not compromise on quality, we happily accept the challenges of our work together, and we complement each other. … We also strongly feel that U-Haul as a Company shares our belief that RESPECT is the foundation upon which it can succeed: respect for its customers, respect for its Team Members and respect for its profound history, as well as the lessons it taught us all to succeed productively in the future. Our collective ‘orange blood’ is respectfully circulating, alive and well.”

Dain Howell, Associate Program Manager of Marketing Retail Sales, and Susan Howell, Project Coordinator/Account Executive

“I really enjoy working with Dain,” Susan said. “It’s fun to learn more about what he does and how he contributes to U-Haul. We don’t have much interaction, which allows us to have our own professional careers/identities. Sometimes our conversations at home go to work. We both strive to keep a good separation of work and family life. However, if some work for U-Haul needs to get done and it’s family time, we try and complete the task together. We also feel, while at home, it’s important to connect as mom/dad and husband/wife. It’s important to tell each other, ‘I love you.’ It’s nice to be able to approach life with a partner you love, trust and can enjoy life with.”

Mike and Salea Kinealy - one of many U-Haul couplesMike Kinealy, Vice President, U-Haul Contact Center, and Salea Kinealy, Manager, Scheduling for U-Haul Sales and Reservations

“While I don’t work directly for Mike anymore, our goal is still the same both personally and professionally: to do our absolute best,” Salea said. “If you believe in each other’s dreams, it makes it easy to reach for them and pull them close.”

Scott and Lindsay PobiegloScott Pobieglo, Engineer, and Lindsay Pobieglo, Program Manager for Risk Management

“I love working at U-Haul with my wife,” Scott said. “We get to carpool almost every day. This gives us a chance to have some good conversations without the kids interrupting every five minutes. One of our strong points is communication. That has enabled our marriage to survive and thrive. When we were married, the Justice of the Peace noted that communication is the single most important aspect of any relationship. It was possibly the best advice I’ve ever heard. The only real drawback to us working together would be … I can’t think of anything. I love spending time with Lindsay, and with us working together, we get to see each other throughout the day.”

“Another secret is that we work out together,” Lindsay said. “It’s a common saying, ‘Couples who work out together, stay together.’”

Nicole and David - U-Haul Couples Get HitchedDavid Lopresti, Director of MovingHelp.com, and Nicole Lopresti, Business Analyst

“U-Haul has been so wonderful to me personally in my career, and being able to share that experience, as well as the successes, with Nicole has been great for us both,” David said. “Just being able to eat lunch together allows us to spend additional time with each other that many couples simply can’t experience. She understands the workload, and it makes my life more productive because we can discuss issues and other projects. Plus, I can get her feedback and advice. Some people may find it a bit much to spend so much time around their spouse, but it really makes me happy to be around Nicole.”

George Olds, Senior Assistant General Council of the Legal Department, and Lanny Olds, Office Manager for Marketing-Fleet Sales and Support

“As a couple with both working, you need to remember two things: give and take; and have fun and enjoy being together on the weekends and on vacation,” Lanny said. “You need to respect each other and the type of work each person does. You can understand and help with each other’s problems or concerns.”

Scott Sarver, Senior Software Developer, and Tiffany Sarver, Lead Software Developer

“I think working together isn’t as bad as some might think,” Tiffany said. “Scott and I keep things simple and always make sure we spend some time together throughout the day. We make it fun, as if we’re on a first date, simply by taking walks around the garage or around the building. It’s also nice to have someone to vent to … someone who understands you. The main value that my husband and I share is right along with one of U-Haul Company’s biggest values: our family. We are very family-oriented and are committed to them. U-Haul is very family-oriented, which is one of the reasons we love working here.”

Mike Saur, Director of Computer Support Services, and Elise Saur, Operations Manager of eMove Inc.

“We’ve worked together at U-Haul the entire time we’ve known each other,” Elise said. “I’ve always enjoyed working alongside of Mike. He’s always been someone everyone likes and gets along with, so telling people in the U-Haul realm that we’re together makes everything feel like a big happy connection. And, it’s allowed me to understand what his day is like when he tells me stories of what goes on, what he’s working on, who he’s working with, etc. Plus, when I need some advice on how to handle a situation, his input relates to the actual details. And, of course, there’s our commute of 56 miles roundtrip, which ends up being two hours a day. Working together really saves on gas, so I guess you can say the relationship has its perks.”

Rick and Jasmine Spencer Rick Spencer, Director of Sales for the U-Haul Contact Center, and Jasmine Spencer, SRI analyst for U-Haul Rates and Distribution/Marketing

“With four kids, Rick and I are very busy,” Jasmine said. “We have one in college, and the others are all very active in school, sports and music. Sometimes I think that if we didn’t work together, we would never see each other without the kids. We have lunch together nearly every day, and while it may not sound romantic, it’s almost like a mini-date each day. We are both very loyal to U-Haul and have had very positive experiences with the Company. It would definitely cause a rift between us if one of us didn’t feel the same way. We are very family-oriented and feel that we have been embraced by U-Haul; even though it’s such a big company, it still feels like a family business. We have so many friends here that when we got married, Rick’s father gave a speech and addressed one-half of the room, thanking U-Haul for attending. Over the years, we have had more than one family member work for U-Haul (our nephew works here currently), and I think it’s a true testament to how we feel about the Company when you trust them with your family.”

Dennis Sullivan, Auditor for U-Haul Internal Audit, and Michelle Sullivan, Manager, Corporate Sustainability

“In work or life relationships you need effective communication, trust, patience, compromise and a love for what you do/who you are with,” Michelle said. “We work for the same team, so it is easier to understand and accept when one of us needs to stay late, come in early, travel or otherwise sacrifice personal time for work time. Since we see each other during our commutes and at lunch, the extended work/time away rarely causes a conflict. Carpooling is a plus! Sharing a ride in to work and back home saves us time and keeps the anxiety of driving in rush-hour traffic at bay. That lends to happier evenings at home!”

Andrew Tressler, Center Sales Senior Agent, and Shannon Tressler, New Production Clerk for U-Haul Licensing

“Working together at U-Haul has always been fun for us,” Shannon said. “When I started to work with Andrew here in Sales, we would compete against each other to see who could get the most reservations. It was always fun for us. Now we are in two different departments. Our work/life balance has not always been easy but as long as you have passion, communication and faith, you can make it through. Those three things are the keys to success in our relationship.”

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