Meet the 2019 IAM Hall of Honor Inductees
IAM Hall of Honor 2019 Inductees
Paul Evans, Terry R. Head, Koji Tominaga
Paul Evans is a personality who has become synonymous within the international moving industry for building and developing some of the best known and loved brands within the community and his focus on Europe. A fierce advocate of quality and standards, Paul has helped support careers of others and saved jobs within companies that had previously struggled, and understands the importance of strong relationships as being core to the international moving and relocation industry’s success. One way that he shows how much he values those around him is the fact that he has never forgotten a birthday.
Paul started in the industry in the Sixties by establishing himself as an “Owner Operator” company. He personally obtained a CPC license and a Class 3 license for driving large pantechnicon vehicles overland to destinations including Jeddah, Tehran and Istanbul. As a driver he was ambitious and built his business, working continuously to provide transport services for the international movers.
Throughout his career, Paul has been focused on building the reputation of the international moving and relocation industry across the Europe. In 1973, Paul founded and managed Trans Euro Worldwide Movers jointly with Richard Levine and began operations with a staff of three. Paul’s drive for excellence meant that he was continually innovating. He developed Europe’s first fire-safe warehouse in London, and established some of the key best practices now commonplace within the industry, including tracking and tracing software and pan-European services.
In 2005, Paul purchased the Interdean Interconnex which employed around 3,000 employees. He saved the company by selling the U.S. business, which still trades as Interconnex, and refocusing the Asia offices on the pan-European market. Paul assembled a new senior management team to rebuild the brand and to secure jobs of the company’s employees. He invested in people, processes and technology with a continued focus on quality, securing industry awards and FAIM ISO accreditations, and retired as Chairman of Interdean in May 2012.
In 2014, Paul purchased Momentous Moving Excellence, Abels Moving Services, and Gerson Relocation. Bringing them under the brand of AGM Group, Paul established a business where the brands focus on their core capabilities and work in harmony. Today, AGM Group businesses employs 200 staff and are key supporters of innovation and service excellence within the international moving industry. In 2018 Paul transferred 25% ownership of AGM Group’s businesses back to his employees under an Employee Benefits Trust, meaning that every employee is a part owner/partner in the business, and their actions have a direct impact on the success of the company they have a stake in.
Outside of work, Paul is most notable for his work in supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care, a UK registered charity which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families. Paul has supported the charity for over 25 years, raising awareness and donations for its patients. Paul is also a personal donor and is known for his hands-on approach from serving on a committee for the charity and even personally going out to collect money and sell the tie pin badges to the public in public train stations. Through his work for Marie Curie, he has also actively engaged his employees and clients in supporting fundraising activities. Between the years of 2007 and 2012, Paul ran the International Moving Rugby 7s tournament to raise money for the charity., in which international moving companies from across the UK and Europe took part and together raised funds for the charity.
Over the years, Paul has developed strong relationships within the international moving and relocation community. He is known for his positive approach and keeping the spirit of international moving alive. On a personal level, Paul has helped employees and industry friends to launch new companies, provide financial support and also help with medical treatments.
Terry Head has been working in the household goods forwarding industry for more than 50 years—a business, as he says, that he “discovered by accident,” as many in the moving industry do. At the end of 2018, Head retired (or “rewired,” to use the term he prefers) as President of the International Association of Movers (IAM). His legacy is one of a vibrant, redefined Association that is poised to lead its member companies and the industry through the challenges of the foreseeable future.
Head says his stars permanently aligned when a friend who worked for a local mover told him his boss needed help for the approaching busy season. “I thought it would be a temporary thing until another factory job opened up,” says Head. “But I immediately fell in love with it on day one. I think the allure of the business was the contrast—every day was different.”
Over the next few years, Head worked as an estimator, packer, driver, warehouse manager, and salesman. That foundation helped him understand how all the moving parts of the business fit together. He then established and developed an international department at Victory Van Corp., before moving on to Panalpina, a Swiss-based freight forwarder whose mainstay was shipping military equipment to foreign governments. He subsequently returned to lead Victory Van Corp., making it one of the largest commercial office moving operations in the Washington, DC, area. He also became more deeply involved in what was then HHGFAA, and was elected Associate (now Core) Members Representative-at-Large in 1994. Three years later, when the Association named a search committee to find a new president, he applied.
When Head was chosen as President, HHGFAA was not in a good financial position. “A lot of people told me I was crazy to take this job,” he said, “because within a year they would either be bankrupt or merge with another organization. I was known in the business, and had the commercial knowledge they were looking for, as well as originality. I wasn’t scared to try new things, and I wasn’t afraid to fail. I also listened to people, and I wasn’t looking to change anything right away. I took my time and played by the rules—and at IAM, those rules are the by-laws.” With Head at the helm, the Association turned around its financial position and enjoys a significantly more stable base today.
During his 21-year tenure, Head racked up numerous accomplishments, but he is most proud of his role in establishing the IAM Young Professionals (IAM-YP) group. “That has been a big contribution to our growth and success up until now, but will be even more important going forward,” he says. “I don’t mean from just a revenue or participation standpoint, but from a leadership standpoint. Involving young members in leadership roles, giving them a view at the board level, lets the YPs know what the association is doing for them and where we want to go. Fostering their collaboration with similar groups at other associations has been a big plus for the industry. More recently, I think our current efforts with IAM Learning have raised the level of professionalism within the industry.”
Head is currently enrolled in a program at George Mason University to become certified as a professional coach, and he also serves as IAM’s President Emeritus in a consulting role to ISA and IAM. In the future, Head envisions putting together a group of consultants—industry subject matter experts—who can serve as resources when needed.
“I want to stay involved in the industry,” Head says, “but I also want to be able to enjoy life a little more. My wife, Laura, and I recently bought a place on the Jersey Shore, and I hope to be able to use my boats here in Virginia more than I do now.”
Koji Tominaga was born on November 28, 1938 to Mr. Tsunetaro Tominaga and Mrs. Shizu Tominaga. Mr. Tominaga had a fishing business, but when he passed away in 1942, his wife succeeded him in running it. After WWII, the fishing industry was highly important in Japan, and business was good. Mrs. Tominaga was concerned that the fishing business lacked stability, however, and worked to diversify her company.
She founded Fukuoka Soko (Warehousing) Co, LTD in October of 1948 in Fukuoka, Japan. Its main business was a domestic logistics service. Fukuoka Soko started in the military household goods moving business as an agent for AIC, an Asiatic Forwarder Inc. entity, in July 1959. Koji Tominaga joined the business while in college, and when finished he was inducted as the president of Fukuoka Soko. His youthful vigor was the main impetus for the company’s subsequent growth. He quickly spread his company network to cover all of Japan.
Fukuoka (aka ltazuke) is a city in the northern part of the island of Kyushu where the bases of Itazuke AFB and Brady AFB were located. Those bases began closing in the latter part of 1963 and into 1964. When a large number of the families were relocated to bases in the Tokyo area under an Intra Japan rate filing, Fukuoka Soko handled hundreds of shipments that strained the capacity of the receiving warehouses.
In 1964, Tominaga opened an office for his logistics division at Atsugi Naval Air Station in the JA-01 area just north of Yokohama. Because of the Vietnam War, Tominaga believed that the American military in Japan would need not only moving services but also logistics services. He purchased the local agent at Iwakuni in 1967, which today operates under the same name, Fukuoka Soko Co., LTD, as the sole agent. It is also the sole agency at Sasebo Naval Base, and so is the only agent for JA-02. In the same year, he moved into the commercial shipment area of the business based on the company's experience in the military market. Okinawa Enterprise Corp. (OEC, JA-01) was added to the network in 1972. This network of agencies has enhanced their ability to be competitive in the U.S. military market.
Tominaga founded Yokohama Kaiun International Col., Ltd (YKI) in Yokohama in 1965 to handle all of the bases in the JA-01 area. His son, Taro Tominaga, is the current CEO/President of YKI, and is an annual attendee at the IAM Annual Meeting.
Koji Tominaga's vision has resulted in a company now known at The Tominaga Group, which has more than 70 branches in their network of 12 companies. The annual revenue in 2016 was $450,000,000.00 for the entire group. He was a true pioneer in our industry, and his companies are valued agents for our entire household goods forwarding industry today, long after he passed away in an accident on March 26, 1980.