LONG ISLAND, N.Y.—History’s facts and fictions are aglitter with stories of partners who likely would have gone unnoticed had they been “flying solo” during their time. Where would Christopher Columbus have been without Queen Isabella? Lewis without Clark? Sherlock Holmes without Dr. Watson? Mork without Mindy? Mary without her little lamb? The Ringling Brothers without Barnum and Bailey? The list is nearly endless.
And of course let’s not forget the dynamic duo of U-Haul Company of Long Island—Marketing Company President (MCP) Mike Nadraus and Executive Assistant (EA) Josephine Petker.
“If I’m Batman, she’s Robin!” Nadraus exclaimed proudly. “This marketing company would not have achieved its current success without Josephine’s superb, ongoing efforts.”
Extensive U-Haul experience
Before joining U-Haul as a telemarketer in 1986, Petker notched nine years of employment with Hilton Hotels as a Corporate Reservations manager, assisting companies such as Exxon, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. So, Petker was no stranger to large footprints in the corporate world.
“Other positions I’ve held with U-Haul included sales and service person, cashier, teleseller, senior clerk and office clerk,” Petker said, “but being an EA is my favorite.”
She began “EA’ing” for Long Island in September 2000, and has been on a roll in that position ever since.
“I was eager to join U-Haul because I was interested in full-time employment with a growing company that could make the best use of my job skills,” Petker mentioned. “Personal change was swirling all around me,” she continued. “My husband and I had just purchased our first condominium and a brand-new car. So I thought: ‘Why not take my career in a brand-new direction?’ And U-Haul was offering great pay with excellent benefits, so I signed up!”
Petker does it all
Petker’s duties as an EA are as varied as the color patterns of a kaleidoscope.
Her daily routine consists of banking reconciliation, checking Long Island’s profit and loss statements and working hand in hand with her MCP, project managers and outside vendors on various construction projects. Oh, and let’s not forget overseeing building maintenance.
“I also make sure that all U-Haul owned properties are up to the codes of their respective townships,” Petker added. “And then there’s payroll, human resources and working closely with general managers to make sure their stores are running properly.”
In addition to that, Petker works closely with her MCP and traffic control manager to help keep rental equipment in the marketing company flowing smoothly and efficiently.
“I delight in being a core presence in Long Island,” Petker stressed, “and being active and supportive of all U-Haul Team members and vendors. It’s always a challenge to make sure that all of our operations run smoothly, and that deadlines are met.”
A world of changes
During the past three decades, Petker has observed numerous changes in Company operations, as U-Haul continues to evolve in Making Moving Easier for customers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“There have been huge advances in the design of our trucks, trailers and other equipment for self-movers,” Petker acknowledged. “The re-imaging and repurposing of existing buildings into U-Haul facilities have been tremendous successes. The whole of U-Haul Company has advanced, thanks to its progressive management. Plus, we’ve enjoyed accelerated growth due to our embrace of advances in computers and software,” Petker noted.
Family members on the team
Petker’s family members have also served on the team, and her husband, Harvey Petker (Tomar Automotive and U-Haul Dealership), has been a U-Haul Dealer for 32 years.
“My daughter Nicole worked for U-Haul Company of Long Island as a senior clerk and then a reservation manager,” Petker stated proudly. “My son Ryan worked for U-Haul Moving and Storage of Coram in 2014 as a customer service representative and my other son, Zackary, currently works as the office clerk, on a seasonal basis.
“So all of us have been … and continue to be … involved in this great U-Haul experience.”
Praise from MCP Nadraus
“Josephine is amazing at what she does and never stops being a huge help!” Nadraus exclaimed. “In addition to taking care of her ailing mother, Josephine has raised three wonderful children, each of whom has been part of U-Haul Company of Long Island.
“Clearly, the Petkers are a U-Haul family. I couldn’t do it without Josephine,” Nadraus affirmed. “She continuously helps U-Haul reach new heights. Simply put, she’s great!”
“Team members should treat everyone as they, themselves, would like to be treated,” Petker counseled. “Also, start each brand-new day with a positive attitude. Don’t be afraid to roll with the changes,” she added. “Just go with the flow and work as hard as you can.”
U-Haul loves its many longtime team members. Congratulate Josephine in the comments below!