Andy Neall has just retired from his job as VP Global Moving Services with Weichert Workforce Mobility in Orange County, California, to draw a dotted line under a career in the moving business that has lasted well over 40 years. Steve Jordan talked to him about his reflections and ambitions for the future.
Andy Neall still has the original letter of appointment from Tom Ansley when, as a young man of just 24, he took on his first job in the industry as sales manager at Frasers in Cape Town, South Africa. It is dated 21 September, 1979. “I was sales manager of me,” he said. “I was the only one.”
Despite Tom leaving only a few months later when he bought Elliott, Andy still says he learned a lot from him and stayed with the company for a total of five years.
Next came a switch to work with another icon of the moving industry, Denis Kaye at Stuttafords in Johannesburg. Andy said that Denis had an unusual management style. “He would let you sink or swim and wouldn't offer any support or help unless you asked for it,” he said. “He would leave you unattended like a shepherd leaves his sheep. Once or twice a year he would meet you somewhere so you could spend time together. His style was to get the best guys he could in position and keep his hands off. I've tried to emulate that in many ways.”
But the political situation was unstable, and Andy didn’t feel there was a long-term future in the country. He had got to know Bryan Bennett from Movers International very well and took up an offer from him to move to Toronto in 1988. “They were the glory days of selling when you could walk into an office and come out with a few moves under your belt,” he said. A time that seems nowadays sadly to have passed ...
Photo: Andy Neall and his wife Lynn.