PHOENIX – Just because Valentine’s Day is over, that doesn’t mean the love has stopped at the U-Haul International Inc. headquarters. Many couples were excited to share their stories, check out U-Haul Couples Who Got Hitched: Part One and continue read on below about the couples who met through their jobs at U-Haul.
While Steve was working as Web Sales Manager for U-Haul, Ashley was promoted from Marketing Receptionist to assistant for Sam Shoen, then the Web Team Director and U-Haul Executive Vice President/Chief of Staff. Steve and Ashley worked on a number of projects and their work relationship blossomed into a friendship and then into a personal relationship. They dated for several years and before saying “I do” in 2012.
“Having Ashley here at U-Haul has been extremely helpful to me personally and professionally,” Steve said. “My job requires that I sometimes travel with little or no notice and that might be hard for someone who doesn’t work at U-Haul to comprehend.
“Ashley is thoughtful and understanding when it comes to my work, because she understands it. Her support is integral to my success here at U-Haul. Also, sometimes we can carpool and take the HOV lane…which is very helpful when you live 30 miles from work!”
Ashley said: “Working at the same Company has allowed us to have a good sense of what each other’s days are like. We can easily relate to and understand each other’s jobs. In addition, we have both made a lot of the same friends at U-Haul over the years and share a tight bond with several other U-Haul Team Members and couples.”
Mike and Elise Saur: Right Place, Right Time
Because Mike and Elise have such a fun story, it’s only fitting that Elise tell it herself.
“You could say that Mike and I met through U-Haul. A bunch of U-Haul friends in the Milwaukee area decided to go to Madison, Wis., a couple hours away for a night out with more U‑Haul friends. As we pulled into the parking lot of Pitchers Pub, my friend Elaine said to me, ‘Oh, by the way, there’s someone I want you to meet. You might know him. He’s Mike from one of the Madison U-Haul stores.’
“As a member of the Traffic Department, we spoke to stores and dealerships all over the place … locating equipment for customers. I’m sure I had made phone buddies all over, but this guy Mike from the Madison store really didn’t ring a bell for me. I told her I had no idea who she was talking about. She said not to worry, and that he was really nice and said I’d be able to recognize him when we went inside because he was ‘the tall one.’
“After meeting Mike and the others, we had a fun night and I stuck by Mike practically the whole time, playing pool and darts. At 6-foot-9, his really long arms become quite the asset playing darts. I still maintain that he needs to stand back a foot or two to make it fair for us shorties! After that we went on an official date or two, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Mike and Elise made the move to Arizona in 1988. Mike is now the Director of Computer Support and Elise is the Operations Manager for the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network.
“We’ve worked together at U-Haul the entire time we’ve known each other,” Elise continued. “I’ve always enjoyed working alongside of Mike. It’s allowed me to understand what his day is like, and when I need some advice on how to handle a situation, his input relates directly to the actual details. And, of course, at this point there’s commuting 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!”
Bob started at U-Haul in May 1986, holding positions in Internal Audit as the Hitch Program Manager, Director of Center Operations, Vice President of Center Sales and Operations, and most recently as Vice President of Field Operations Support. Lara has 16 years of U-Haul experience working in real estate and as an Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Marketing. She currently holds the position of Administrative Assistant to John “J.T.” Taylor, President of U-Haul International for Phoenix Operations.
So how did these two busy U-Haul Team members meet? When Lara took her current job, the future couple crossed paths and began talking. Or as Bob put it, “She talked. I listened.”
After a while, Shannon Papa, Lara’s sister and a U-Haul Team Member, suggested that Lara take the plunge and ask Bob on a date. She did – through an email, which Bob said he still has.
“I don’t think Bob and I are typical in the sense that work is work and home is home,” Lara said. “We grab lunch a couple times a week, but generally we are both busy with our jobs and don’t see each other or talk much during the day. That’s part of the understanding we have. We know how important work is to each other so we try to give the space needed to be successful in our positions.
“I always smile when I see him walking up the hallway or passing my desk, because it makes me happy to know he’s around if I need him.”
Do you have a U-Haul tale about you and your spouse? Share it with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.