Get to Know your BWY Staff – Matthew DeGlopper
Matthew DeGlopper – Director of Customer Service. ——-I’ve destroyed and learned to fix so many things in the pursuit of knowledge. I love to learn and have always wanted to know exactly how things worked and why they worked. I wanted to solve problems, figure out the solutions to riddles. Toasters, Computers, VCR’s, If I could get the screws out, I wanted to see inside, know how it worked or at least imagine how it worked if all I could see was circuit boards.
When I was in preschool I was fascinated by transformers. My friends and I were convinced that we could build our own transformer if we had the proper parts. For weeks I begged my mom to take me to the junk yard so I could collect stuff. Now I was 5 at the time and didn’t even know what a Junk Yard was, but I imagined it filled to the sky with broken cars and pieces and parts and in my 5-year-old mind it was just a matter of mixing this part with that one to get something working.
Finally, my mom agreed to help us build a robot. She had my friends come over and we had pizza and after dinner she sat us all at the kitchen table and dumped out a huge bag of pipe cleaners. Which to those who don’t know is like a short wire maybe six inches long that is fuzzy and meant to be drawn through a smoking pipe to clean it. Well my friends dived right into the array of colored cleaners and began bending them and shaping them into different configurations. I was furious. I wanted to build a robot; I needed engines and parts from the junk yard not pipe cleaners. I needed to see how things worked so I could figure out how to build a robot and playing with pipe cleaners wasn’t going to cut it.
My next vivid memory was a few years later. Our family got our first VCR. They were expensive when they first came out, so we usually rented them from the movie store. My dad set it up in the living room and tried getting it all set up. I remember him and my mom going back and forth about how to work it and how complicated it was. The next day I got up hours before anyone else and read the VCR manual cover to cover. I set the time which was flashing 12:00 and programmed it to record Days of Our Lives for my mom like she was asking my dad about the night before. While I’m sure my parents were proud at some point, of how I figured it out, I only remember the smack down I got when I was grounded and told I wasn’t allowed to touch it because it was expensive.
It wasn’t until years later that I would be fully satisfied when that machine “ate” its first tape and I got to rip it completely apart.
My Grandma was a property assessor for our county, township and a local village. Back in my early teens there was a push in the state of Michigan to move property tax rolls form paper ledgers to all computer-based system. The most exciting day of my young life was when my Grandma asked me to come be her assistant, so I helped her take all this data off paper ledgers and put it into the computer programs that existed. She had no clue how to do it, and neither did I. Figuring it out was part of the fun. I learned a ton of information about how property taxes work, how they are collected. I was probably the only 13-year-old who knew the difference between a market value, assessed value and a taxable equalized value of a home.
Fast forward 13 years and a friend whose computers and other electronics I fixed told me about this trucking company he thought I should work for. He explained how part of what makes people successful is their ability to see the bigger puzzle. To strategically move trucks into positions where they could capture revenue. It wasn’t just a static puzzle but one that changed daily and constantly needed solved.
I agreed to meet with the owner and manager of the company. This is where I first met Matt Schaw who was basically solely managing his fathers Landstar Agency at 19 years old. I took the job and was instantly addicted to the exciting and constantly changing world of Automotive Expedite.
Our journey took us south to US Xpress where we came on-board as employees and left to help start the “Let’s Go Express” agency.
A few years later I got offered an opportunity I couldn’t pass up running a small but aggressively growing newspaper company known as ‘Just Busted’. That was a constant barrage of puzzles and problems. It wasn’t just one tiny aspect but every part of the business I had to deal with from Taxes and CPA to hiring Newspaper distributors and optimizing their routes. To a parade of crazed people on my phone and in my doorway looking for help. You see ‘Just Busted’ wasn’t just a newspaper. It was a weekly periodical that printed all the mugshots of everyone who had been arrested that week. For some reason when people were arrested the thought of their photo appearing in a newspaper delivered to every gas station in the county would drive them to figure out how to contact me to “ask” for a favor.
It started as a newspaper basically covering Chattanooga, TN and I helped it grow into a multimillion-dollar corporation coving 6 states 142 counties in 12 separate editions printed each week. Like most newspapers, the fad waned, and it was hard, if not impossible to compete with free online information at the tips of everyone’s fingers on their smart phone. It still had a quite impressive and storybook filled ten plus year run.
I had been asked a few times over the years if I would come back to work for “Let’s Go” and it was finally time to accept. I just had an election to win first…
As a homeowner and citizen of the city of East Ridge, TN I had gotten extremely interested in local politics. East Ridge isn’t your normal quite town where someone must be poked or prodded to run for the vacant trustee seat. Nope, in East Ridge, Politics is a blood sport. There are lots of great people in that town but none more so than Dick Cook who runs East Ridge News Online.
I first contacted Dick to tell him his website sucked. I emailed him and said that it looked horrible on my iPhone and I could barely read any story. It took some doing but I finally convinced Dick to let me redo his website and update it with a more modern feel. Turns out his current web provider was taking him to the cleaners, so it was a win-win. I got a website I could read on my phone and Dick saved a few hundred dollars a month on hosting fees.
While doing the website Dick is telling me about all the local behind the scenes stuff on East Ridge. How the FBI got called in because of a huge scandal involving a wrecker ordinance. How the city government was disbanded for corruption by the state of Tennessee in the 90’s. I got sucked right in, I had to see this for myself.
I started going to meetings and reading everything I could. I read budgets, minutes, ordinances. I soaked it all in like a sponge. If something was passing that I didn’t agree with, I stood at a podium and railed on about it. If something wasn’t passing that I thought should, I stood at a podium and railed on about it. I offered suggestions where I should, I pointed out inefficiencies I saw. When I learned the city lacked the software to help people track down stolen item’s, I wrote an op-ed and the city found the money to buy it a few days later. In the first year that $3000 piece of software helped citizens recover over $100k in stolen items.
As the 2016 election approached, I decided I had sat on the sidelines enough and would run for office. I had run for office once before and it was a miserable experience. I was 18 and ran for school board and learned a hard lesson about politics. This time was different. I was older, wiser, more prepared. In the end I still lost but spent a lot more money doing so. LOL.
So after the election was over I picked myself up and went back to work for Let’s Go in the brief time it existed before being bought by US Xpress.
A few weeks later I was on my way to Michigan as the first employee of BWY. An exciting endeavor the whole time in a place that fosters knowledge and growth. A constant barrage of problems to solve, issues to understand, new and exciting tasks to complete.
Helping Matt and Bryan take this company from beginning stages as a brand-new agency to where it is today has been an amazing experience. I’ve gotten a chance to see these exceptional leaders in their element, and exactly why their partnership is so successful. Matt & Bryan aren’t looking to clone themselves, they are looking for people to complement their strengths and help fill in any gaps or weaknesses. As each new person has came on, both office staff administration and driver, our BWY family has grown larger and stronger because of the selections made. It’s an exciting time to be a member of the BWY family as the only thing holding us back is our imagination.