By Kelley Barnes, Director of HR
If you have a ‘Joe Fraser type’ in your company, then you know how lucky you are.
What do I mean by that – a ‘Joe Fraser type’? In this case, it means to have that outgoing, social personality who also has the uncanny ability to get things done. In the offices of PetRelocation, in addition to being the point of contact for a number of our corporate accounts, Joe is the driving force behind our well-attended, regular monthly outings to experience Austin culture and fun. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that our offices are one block over from Austin’s legendary Sixth Street Entertainment District).
Joe is someone we can always rely on to have a smile on his face and to generally rally the troops when a cheerleader is needed. It’s clear he draws on his skills in Improv and Comedy on a daily basis. It’s also no accident that he sits next to the office gong.
For Joe and the other members of our Corporate Accounts team, the end of February is the start of high season. More and more requests will come to us for clients who are being moved around the world by their companies during the start of summer as they plan ahead for the big life change.
Before things get hectic for Joe, he was able to take a few minutes to answer the profile questions below. I hope his answers will bring a smile to your face as they did to mine.
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
I applied for the Sales Consultant role right before I got married in 2011. At that time, I was managing a Segway tour company in downtown Austin. While it was one of the most fun jobs I had ever had, it didn’t provide me the means to provide my soon-to-be wife the life that she needed. So I was searching for a “cool job” that paid more than the Segway job and also had benefits. When I found PetRelocation, everything just fell into place. February 1, 2015 marked my 3-year anniversary with the company.
What’s your first memory of working at PetRelocation?
My first memory of PetRelocation in general is when I interviewed for the job and had to give the presentation. I was so nervous that I showed up for the interview 1.5 hours early, so I sat in my car and gave the presentation to my steering wheel for an hour. It ended up paying off because the presentation went very well. After I finished, the CEO told me that I basically got the job. So when I left the office, I did Kung Fu kicks all the way to my car. Little did I know, all of the windows on the building face the street that I kicked my way down…
Joe's dogs Django & Gypsy
What’s your favorite client story?
My favorite client story was when I moved a Ball Python named Jesus for a corporate client. I was nervous throughout the entire process because snakes are so sensitive. I was afraid that something would go wrong and I would be “the guy who lost Jesus.” Fortunately, the move went off without a hitch and Jesus was safely reunited with his family.
What was your most challenging move/client?
My most challenging move to date was for a 13-year old epileptic Yellow Lab from the US to the Dominican Republic. The dog was so large that she required a custom travel crate in order to meet international airline standards. The size of kennel required ended up being too large to fit on any standard commercial aircraft that serviced Santo Domingo. The result is that we had to drive the dog to Miami and take a cargo flight to Santo Domingo before driving 3 hours to the client’s home. Fortunately, all went well and Molly is now home safe with her family!
You started as a Sales Consultant and moved into Corporate Accounts. What is different about the two roles?
The difference between the consulting role and managing accounts really comes down to the types of clients you are dealing with. When working with clients on the web, anyone can “walk into our store” and request service. These clients come from all types of situations, backgrounds and locations, which always kept me guessing before each call. When managing the accounts, we are typically dealing with high-level corporate executives, HR professionals and 3rd party relocation companies. So in the corporate business, I must be accountable to two or more parties for each move and there are no set “regions” of the world that I work with. But I love that account management keeps me on my toes!
What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?
I think that the major changes in pet travel in the next five years will come from the airlines and government organizations of the world. The western attitude towards pets is rapidly spreading to countries all over the world and more people are moving pets internationally than ever. I believe this will spur more and more airlines to implement pet safe programs so as to cash in on this industry trend. I also believe that the governing bodies of the world will begin working to standardize import requirements across the world. This will allow pets to travel more freely by streamlining airline and country import requirements.
Joe and his wife Emily
What do you wish other people knew about the company?
I wish people knew what a small group that we are. From the outside looking in, we look like a multi-million dollar corporation that moves an unfathomable amount of pets around the world. In reality, we are 30 committed pet-shipping professionals changing peoples’ lives in a way that has never been done before.
What’s your best hidden talent?
My best hidden talent is my skill at singing R&B karaoke. I love getting up on stage, pretending to be nervous and watching people immediately assume that I am going to sing country music or be a poor performer. Then Brian McKnight kicks on and I blow their expectations out of the water. #KaraokeSwag
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my wife and two little Chihuahuas. During the warmer months here in Texas, you can find us floating the river, diving into Central Texas’ many swimming holes and attending the endless number of festivals in the Austin area. From SXSW to The Texas Renaissance festival, from Carnaval Brasileiro to the X Games, we do it all and enjoy the Austin lifestyle to the fullest.
What was the last book you read for fun? What did you enjoy about it?
The last book I read was Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon. I am a lover of everything Horror (movies, books, etc.), so Clive Barker and I are old buddies. I love the imagery he uses to paint a picture in my mind of the hellish nightmares in his novels.
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
Hugh Jackman... obviously. :)
Read more about Joe and the rest of the PetRelocation team here. Want to work at PetRelocation? Take a look at our current open positions.