Have you ever sat at work and thought to yourself, “If I had my own company, this is what I’d do differently…”?
Jesse Gartman entertained those thoughts during his four years employed for a moving company. Now, the former Marine is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his business — Veteran Movers NYC — dutifully serving the New York tri-state region and proudly employing veterans.
The Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based company employs 30 individuals, 27 of whom are veterans, said Gartman.
As vets currently experience higher rates of unemployment than nonveteran workers, the unique company is undoubtedly shedding light on the capability of those who fought for our country to successfully complete workforce tasks. Phil Brand, a Veteran Movers NYC employee who completed two tours in Iraq, says there’s a stigma attached to being a veteran.
“People just assume you have PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) if you’re a veteran,” said Brand. “I used to fill out 30 to 40 applications a day and wait for emails back that never came. I went to a bunch of different job fairs and nothing. I heard of people who said they stopped mentioning they were a veteran and they’d find a job shortly after.”
Brand says he gets annoyed when thinking companies may look at hiring a veteran as a liability because the company could potentially miss out on some great people. But Gartman’s initiative to hire veterans stems beyond helping out-of-work servicemen. The entrepreneur says he never experienced difficulty finding a job due to being a veteran.
“You hear about veterans not finding jobs through media and statistics, but what the media doesn’t focus on is the mental health conditions and disabilities that keep veterans from being able to work,” said Gartman. “The media should focus on how veterans need help adjusting to civilian life and then maybe a difference would be made.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in August 2015 that 4.3 million veterans, or 20 percent of all vets, had a disability connected to their time served.
Gartman’s pursuit to provide a service-based company with mostly veterans is based on the trust, character and quality of work associated with his company’s brand.
“Veterans have a record of overall dedication and pride in what they do,” said Gartman. “They look at the job as an obstacle. Even though the battlefield may be a six-story walkway, we apply the same psychology in our execution as we do in combat. We don’t cut any corners. We’re trained to go in — and no matter how daunting the job may be — get it done.”
The moving company not only promises unparalleled service to customers, it provides veterans with an atmosphere that helps them adapt to being home after serving the nation.
“Most vets will probably say what they miss most about being in the military is that camaraderie,” Brand said. “Working in the grand sector, everyone seems to be trying to get ahead of the next person. We still have that military camaraderie. So, being part of that again allows me to have that same feeling of pride and accomplishment when completing a job.”
So next time you’re at work listing the ways you would do something better if you were in charge, let the success of Veteran Movers NYC guide you toward the bright light of kicking some major butt on an entrepreneurial endeavor.
These Brooklyn Roommates Started a Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan Museum in their Hallway
Bert and Ernie may appear to be the epitome of roommate goals, but their moment was outdone the day best friends Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen turned their apartment’s hallway into a museum tributing Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan.
Sorry, Bert. Sorry, Ernie.
To this day, their has never been an incident like Tonya and Nancy’s in the history of sports. On January 6, 1994, Nancy Kerrigan was attacked with a baton to the knee — the day before a championship that would decide who qualified to move on to the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. It turned out the assaulter was hired by Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of her opponent, Tonya Harding.
Though Tonya claims her innocence in the premeditation of the violent attack, the court of public opinion has been questioning her involvement for more than 20 years — solidifying the scandal’s impression on popular culture.
Matt and Viviana told Better than the Weekend the idea of curating a museum centered around Tonya and Nancy started as a joke.
“We had just watched a documentary called The Price of Gold,” Matt said.
“We both had a memory of what had happened, but both remember Nancy Kerrigan portrayed by the media as this ice princess and Tonya as this white trash,” Viviana added.
The documentary featured interviews with Tonya, portraying the skater as a sympathetic, working-class girl with an alcoholic mother, strong work ethic and record-breaking talent.
After watching the doc, their perspective of the incident changed and they were reminded Tonya and Nancy were fascinating aside from the scandal.
“We wanted to highlight them as strong female athletes, because when it comes down to it, that’s what they are,” Viviana said.
The project started with a Kickstarter asking for $75 to help them blow up pictures of the Olympians. But then people started reaching out with artifacts and fan art.
More than 20 artifacts were collected for the exhibit, including scoring sheets from the arena where Nancy was attacked, signed head shots of the skaters purchased on eBay and a TV Guide featuring an interview with Nancy that was signed by the interviewer. There’s even decoupaged Wheaties boxes with Tonya plastered on them, which were supposed to be sold but were never released due to the incident.
Matt and Viviana welcomed more than 1,000 spectators into their apartment between 2015 to 2017 to witness the unique exhibit before moving the project to a storefront deemed the THNK1994 Museum.
What started out as a joke evolved into a full-time career path of turning tabloid stories into works of art.
“We try to focus on exhibits that look at women who are really confident and torn down about that and celebrate them while also giving a platform to LGBT artists,” Viviana said.
The THNK1994 Museum has also featured exhibits on the Olsen twins hiding from the paparazzi, Nicole Richie’s 2007 Memorial Day BBQ, Kim Cattrall, and The Real Housewives pointing fingers.
General admission to the Brooklyn museum is $6 per person, $3 for students. Year-long memberships start at only $30.
Matt says it’s necessary for the besties to show the world that just because something seems funny and absurd doesn’t mean it can’t be taken seriously.
Amen to that!
Why Camp No Counselors Founder Adam Tichauer Is the Godfather of Adulting
Adam Tichauer is the dude who will make you want to adult today.
Remember that wholesome face in case you ever see him out in public. If you happen to, you need to buy him a drink and shake his hand. Here’s why. He’s the founder of Camp No Counselors, a sleep-away camp for grown-ups, which turned a nostalgic adolescent experience into perhaps the most genius startup operation of the decade. Just imagine a remote place in the mountains where sex, bottomless booze, sports, lip-sync battles and late-night partying is not only welcomed, it’s celebrated with a fucking high-five and chest bump. Sounds like heaven, right?
In just three years, Camp No Counselors has seen breakneck success at such a remarkable rate that Adam boldly turned down an investment offer from Mark Cuban on “Shark Tank.” Almost 10,000 adults experienced Adam’s wonderland of epic fun at more than 40 camps across the USA and Canada — including Better than the Weekend’s staff — and business is only expanding. Camp No Counselors’s recently rang in 2018 with its first-ever New Year’s Eve warm-weather getaway camp in Malibu, complete with a wine-tasting safari ride, surf lessons, goat yoga, and a ton of liquor, duh!
Adam told Better than the Weekend his legendary creation happened by accident. It was 2013 and the then 30-year-old was running a music tech company in New York. When the grind consumed him to the point where he realized he hadn’t connected with some of his closest friends in months, he decided to do something gnarly about it.
“I found myself working on July 4th weekend. The Fourth of July is about getting out of the city and barbecuing and having some beers with your friends and just forgetting about work, but I was doing the exact opposite,” Adam said. “So, for the next long weekend, which was Labor Day weekend, I wanted to organize some kind of event where we would get out of the city and I would see my friends and we would barbecue and have some beers and forget about work.”
Adam figured out the perfect outlet to let off some steam — summer camp! Growing up, camp was the time of year he’d look forward to the most. So, he called around and found a camp only a few hours north of Manhattan that would allow him and his closest friends to stay and experience the same fun he had at camp as a kid, with a lot more freedom! The weekend was such a success, that his friends, and there friends, and there friends’ friends, had a winter camp at a ski lodge in Vermont.
“Some fairly influential people in the tech world were there and they asked, ‘Hey, this was the best weekend of our lives. Can you organize one of these in the summer for me and my friends?'” Adam said. “That’s when the lightbulb went off. If cutting-edge people want me to organize one of these for them and their influential friends, then maybe this is a service people really need and they would pay for and value.”
And people are valuing the lively separation from reality — but you’ll never know what they’re escaping. The only rule that stands strong is to not talk about what you do for a living. (So no need for a disguise.)
“As a thirty-something, you meet someone at a bar and you say, ‘What do you do?’ And then you think, ‘Okay, I get you. I know who you are because of what you do’,” Adam noted. “I found when you remove your work identity, you are able to become whoever you want to become, and then you can make friends based on your interests like when you were a kid — not your preconceived notion of what an investment banker likes to do on his free time. As a kid, you didn’t do anything for a living, except have fun and make friends based on similar interests.”
I know, that quote has me thinking Adam Tichauer 2020, too.
Disconnecting from who you are is perhaps more important now than ever.
“Back in the day, when you didn’t have the newspaper in front of you, you didn’t think about what was going on in the world. When you weren’t at work, you didn’t have to think about work,” Adam said. “Now, we’re getting constant real-time notifications of what’s going on in the world, or e-mails from your boss, even if it’s after work hours. There’s very few times you can shut that off and just have space and not have to worry about what real-time, negative notifications are coming through your phone next.”
Thank God, whoever he or she may be, for the godfather of adulting.
Registration for this year’s camps is now open. Just click right here and thank us later!
We’ll see you there! (We just won’t tell you what we do. Too many cups of beer to chug and flip!)
Let’s help the Scranton PA Fire Dept. build state’s first fallen firefighter memorial
While Americans are divided about whether or not the government should build a wall around the Mexican border, because, you know, “Americans are dreamers, too,” Scranton, Pennsylvania firefighters seem to have their priorities in check. The brave first responders of the Scranton Fire Department are working overtime to help construct the first-ever memorial in the state of Pennsylvania to honor the professional firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.
They recently stopped by Better than the Weekend HQ for a livestreamed interview to share how everyone can help their mission, proving instantly why they’re more than just people who fight fires. They’re also heroes.
Here’s the link (right here) to help out in any way you can. Now share this with everyone you know to help this project reach fruition.
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