Young Ones to Watch: Randy Shacka Part 1
Young Ones to Watch: Randy Shacka Part 1

From intern to president, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®'s Randy Shacka knows the brand inside and out.

Randy Shacka, current president of TWO MEN AND A
, began his journey with the increasingly growing brand as an
intern in the marketing department while attending Michigan State University.  Following that, Shacka moved to Florida to help open a new franchise in Seminole County as operations manager. It was here he learned all the roles at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, including mover.  Between then and now, Shacka has served as franchise development specialist, director of operations, chief development officer and chief operations officer. As of 2012, Shacka has been with the team as president. This is the first time in the brand’s history this position has been held with someone outside of the founding TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® family.

Shacka has played an important role in implementing improved operations and new technologies that have allowed the brand to garner 48 months of consecutive record growth and ongoing national expansion.

1851 spoke with Shacka to understand how he propels the brand forward at such a young age.

How did you end up in your current role?

I was a junior in engineering at Michigan State University and was in need of a summer job. I had just completed an internship at Disney World in Orlando and received a call from the marketing director at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to see if I was interested in a summer job in marketing. I had no idea what TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® was or what franchising was for that matter, but needed a job and interviewed for it. It’s funny, I never thought I would see the same culture or family environment again after leaving Disney, but walking into TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, I had that same feeling.

I interned that summer and loved it so much that I asked to work part time when school started back up. During my internship I developed a friendship with one of the franchise business consultants at the corporate office. He and his wife decided to pursue becoming TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisees and picked Seminole County (north of Orlando) as their marketing area. I asked if I could go with them to help start the franchise, and thankfully they said yes. I spent two years helping grow the location but missed the Midwest and my family. I moved back to Michigan and there happened to be a new position at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® corporate office specifically designed to help start-up locations get out of the gate faster. It was a perfect fit, as I had just experienced that in Florida.

From there I was blessed to take on the roles of operations director and chief operating officer (among several other titles), and in August 2012 I took over as President of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

What have been the biggest challenges you've faced?

There have been many, as there should when your company is growing at double-digit growth for several years. A couple of the biggest challenges would have to be the re-engineering of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® right at the start of the recession, which actually hit Michigan in late 2007. We had enjoyed several years of great growth but the business outgrew the skill sets we had and our technology was dated and crumbling. The decision to invest in technology while bringing on professional management was a difficult transition for our system culturally. But our survival depended on it and going through that we learned a lot of lessons, including you should be investing and changing while times are good, not when they turn for the worse.

The other greatest challenge that comes to mind is our sun-setting of an archaic operating system and conversion to a centralized system for our franchisees. This was a monumental change and management effort from not just replacing the technology but also changing processes and behaviors. I give our franchisees a lot of credit to go through the change they did to get onto the new platform we are on currently, and we are blessed now to be in more of a proactive development instead of reactive with our old system. I have learned also that major challenges can be seen two ways, either as a major challenge or as an opportunity to get better. These two examples turned out to be great opportunities for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to continue to scale and achieve the five straight years of record growth since 2010.

What has been the most important lesson you've learned?

That you truly never arrive in business. The moment you think you have arrived is the moment a competitor will swoop in and eat your lunch. So understanding this is a marathon with no finish line is humbling but at the same time brings a lot of energy to know we must always be building as we go and one day we’ll look back and see what a great business this has become. But until then, we must be humble and hungry.

Did you have any mentors along the way?

I have been blessed by many great teachers, coaches, friends and mentors along the way so far to help guide me and support my career. To me, the greatest benefit is having a group of people smarter than I am that care and are willing to help. You can’t replace this support for anything as a leader who is trying to get better. My biggest advice to other young professionals is to develop that circle of positive influencers around you as soon as possible. With social media and other means to connect, it’s much easier to do so today than in the past and I think you will find many other professionals are willing to help, you just need to ask. Mentors should also challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and continue to grow. They have helped me a ton in this area.

What is your primary goal for your career? What do you most want to accomplish?

My primary goal for my career would be to have a positive impact on any company or culture that I work for - to hopefully make both better than when I walked into the company. On top of that would be to continue to challenge myself to grow as a father, husband and businessperson in our community. If I do these well, I think I can look back on my career in several years and have a great sense of fulfillment.