PORTLAND, Ore. — Hap Carty helped sow the seeds of U-Haul during the Company’s 1940s infancy and the decades that followed. There are others like him who played pivotal roles in growing U-Haul into the industry leader it is today. We call them U-Haul Pioneers.
A U-Haul Pioneer is one whose service and commitment to the Company surpasses 30 years. U-Haul Pioneers’ stories are endless and their memories priceless, which is why their reunions continue to be so special.
Carty recently hosted the 10th annual reunion of U-Haul Pioneers in Portland. Some of the Pioneers have been retired for many years. Others continue to work for U-Haul today.
During this 10th reunion, a microphone was passed around the dining room. Guests stated their names and how many years they had worked for U-Haul. With the greatest turnout of Pioneers at a reunion to date, the total combined years of dedicated service to the Company that evening was a whopping 1,071 years.
Carty’s U-Haul story dates back to the Company’s beginnings in Ridgefield, Wash., where his sister, Anna Mary Carty Shoen, co-founded U-Haul with her husband, L.S. “Sam” Shoen, in 1945. Hap and L.S. built the first U-Haul manufactured trailers in the Carty Ranch milk house.
“I’d like to thank everyone here for the outstanding work they’ve done throughout the years,” Carty told his fellow U-Haul Pioneers. “And I’d like to ask everyone to remember those who can’t be here with us this evening.”
Executive Vice President Ron Frank has been with U-Haul for 58 years. Frank spoke during the reunion, recalling a famous quote from Isaac Newton. “If I see further, it is because I have stood on the soldiers of a giant,” he said. “All who came before us were giants or else we couldn’t be here. People who are here tonight are living testimony that they are giants.
“The work that has gone on is truly something. To be a part of this U-Haul dynasty is amazing.”
Frank’s brother, Logan Frank, celebrated 60 years with the Company in 2015, and Ron’s son, Jeremy, will soon be celebrating 25 years.
U-Haul Pioneer Phil Schnee has been with the Company for more than 60 years.
“I’ve been with U-Haul for so long that I wouldn’t know what to do if I left it,” he said. Schnee has held a number of positions throughout his career and currently works part-time for U-Haul Company of Idaho.
Schnee spends a tremendous amount of time each year coordinating the annual reunions. He enjoys honoring the Pioneers and the legacy they’ve created (and continue to create) within U-Haul. Schnee has never forgotten the Company’s primary service objective. He strongly believes that PSO has allowed U-Haul to operate so successfully for 71 years.
“I am proud to have been a part of this success for so many years, and I look forward to more great years to come,” Schnee added.
Other Pioneers such as Dale and Alice Green, Ralph and Mary Shivers, Don Shivers and about 40 more celebrated that evening, reminiscing about their many U-Haul memorable moments. U-Haul collectibles and special event T-shirts were handed out. Everyone was asked to leave a “memory” on an anniversary board that would later be framed and hung in one of the local U-Haul marketing companies.
“When I think of U-Haul Company’s success serving customers for 70 years, I think of men such as Vin Kiley, Joe Hansbury, Jim Shaw, Harry Richardt, Bill Kreckman, Ralph Shivers, Frank Lyons, Bill Jakubek, Tom Safford and many, many more men and women whose contributions to the success and future of U-Haul are incalculable,” Carty wrote in a 2015 article. “I wish we had the space to tick off the contributions by these people. But it would take a book to list and explain all of them.”
To discover more about the many contributions of U-Haul Pioneers and the Company’s celebrated history, read A Noble Function – How U-Haul Moved America