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President’s visit highlights JK’s success story

by Ed Katz

JAN 19, 2006 STERLING, VA – It’s not everyday you get invited to see the President. When Steve Kuhn called, I was honored to be asked and so proud of them. President Bush would be visiting JK Moving & Storage to highlight their American small business success story.

I packed and was at JK’s huge facility Wednesday afternoon so I could be first in line for the President’s Town Hall meeting this morning. It was electric.

JK learned they would be hosting the president only last Friday when he accepted an invitation from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Bush chose JK over other successful Chamber members headquartered in Loudoun County such as AOL, the internet service giant. Along with the secret service and White House staff, JK officials worked around the clock to turn their big warehouse into a town hall meeting arena. They painted and cleaned and made doors where there were no doors, cutting a hole in the back wall of their warehouse for a special presidential entrance.

Just after Marine One, the chief executive’s helicopter, touched down in JK’s parking lot, President Bush was ushered into the other president’s office, Charles “Chuck” Kuhn, head of JK Moving & Storage. They spent a few private minutes together. Mr. Bush came to honor him.

The rest of us, 500 in all, waited for the familiar notes of Hale To The Chief. Then in walked The President of the United States of America.

Mr. Bush cited JK Moving as an example of one of the most successful small business stories in the country. He recounted how Chuck Kuhn started the business as a teenager in 1982 with one truck and two employees.
“Because of his hard work and leadership skills and good judgement, he built a fledgling enterprise into a $50 million success story,” the president said. He remarked about working for his father, former President George H. W. Bush.

“Chuck was so successful that he asked his parents and brother to come work for him.” They still do. Dad Jim is JK’s general manager, Mom Shirley runs the office, and Brother Steve is the company’s executive vice president.

The president’s visit showcased JK as what small businesses can become under American free enterprise and why people all over the world envy the opportunities available for those who work hard and take on responsibility. It’s why people want to emigrate to America, the president explained.

“We’re the only country in the world that makes it easy for individuals to own something whether it be their own home or their own company,” said Mr. Bush.

With JK’s trailers lining the make-shift air field, Marine One and an escort helicopter practice landing and taking off in advance of Thursday’s Town Hall Meeting with President Bush.

Steve Kuhn, JK’s excutive vice president, fields questions about the president’s visit during interviews by several networks that were broadcast worldwide.

Jim and Shirley Kuhn enjoy the scene during the president’s visit Thursday. Mr. Bush met privately with the Kuhns before speaking on small business and the economy. Their son, Chuck, started JK Moving & Storage as a teenager.

Jack Treier, owner of Jack Treier Moving & Storage, one of the premier United Van Lines agencies in the country and an IOMI® Certified Office Mover® attended the event to honor the Kuhns.

Bill Graves, left, currently president and CEO of American Trucking Associations, became close friends with President Bush as governor of Kansas from 1995 to 2003. Here he poses with Chuck Kuhn, president and founder of JK Moving & Storage, Dana Edwards, White House public liaison, and Steve Kuhn, JK’s executive vice president.

President Bush told those in attendance that fewer regulations and lower taxes encourage risk-taking, and cited JK Moving & Storage as what can happen when government enables people to start businesses. Mr. Bush remarked that small businesses provide most of the jobs in America and are the backbone of our economy and our country.

More than 100 JK vehicles and trailers lined the street to welcome President Bush. Ed Katz, left, of Office Moving Systems, Inc. and head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI®) greets JK president and founder Chuck Kuhn during the ceremony. JK Moving & Storage is an IOMI® Certified Office Mover® and will hold its seventh annual recertification training next month.