Tera Darnell had her eye on a future in business and marketing.
Fate intervened nine years ago in a way that would eventually make her dream a reality.
After graduating from high school in 1999, she took a summer office job with Lansing-based Two Men and a Truck.
That grew into jobs in customer service, marketing and franchise development.
In June, the 27-year-old Lansing native purchased her own franchise in Genoa Township covering Livingston and Shiawassee counties.
That was just weeks after she married her fiance, Bernard Darnell.
“That all happened within one month,” she said, adding with a laugh, “I don’t recommend it.”
Her office on Harte Drive has four trucks, 16 employees and in July logged a record 83 moves. “I’d like to get that up close to 100,” she said.
The local franchise was closed for about six months before the company reopened an office in May. Thinking she might have to go out of state for a franchise, she was pleased that one became available 40 miles from her home.
Darnell hooked up with Judson Thomas, an Alabama Two Men and a Truck franchisee, who invested with her as a business partner.
They operate under the corporate name Sweet Moving Systems – allowing her to use her maiden name, “Sweet.”
Upon taking over the office, she hired new drivers to accommodate the growing business – most of them from Livingston County.
In a time when some businesses are struggling, “I love being able to provide jobs,” she added.
Two Men and a Truck Vice President of Operations Randy Shacka has worked with Darnell for four years. “I hated to lose her, but it was the best opportunity for her,” he said. “She’s one of our success stories.” Read full article.