SALINAS – Not many people turn their post-high school jobs into professional careers, but for Pete Poulos, an early employment opportunity provided a direct path to a lifelong livelihood. “I got a job with a local moving company right out of high school,” he remembers. “I was hired to help out during the busy season, but after showing up and working hard all summer, they decided to keep me.” After working for the company for several years, Pete purchased his own tractor trailer and became an independent contractor, performing interstate hauls for United Van Lines under the business name Poulos Moving Systems. A few years later, his company went from being a sole proprietorship to a full-fledged operation, which today employs a sizeable staff and owns more than nine field vehicles.
As president of Poulos Moving Systems, Pete says one of the things he enjoys most is working closely with his staff members, many of whom he cites as personal acquaintances. “I grew up with a strong core group of friends, and I’ve been fortunate enough to make many of them my colleagues and co-workers. Everyone here knows that when we clock out for the day, I’m not the boss anymore—I’m their friend.”
A lifetime resident of the Monterey Peninsula, Pete says his experience with long-distance moves has given him a greater appreciation of the temperate local climate. “As a driver for United Van Lines, I did moves to Phoenix in the summer and North Dakota in the winter, so I’ve experienced weather extremes on both sides of the spectrum. I was always glad to come back home, where the year-round temperature averages 60 degrees.”
When he’s not working, Pete can often be found engaged in his primary hobby: disc golf. “I’m a pretty simple person—once I find something I enjoy, I tend to stick to it, because I’d rather be really good at one thing than mediocre at a lot of things,” he says. Additionally, Pete enjoys spending time on and off the disc golf course with his eight-year-old daughter, Hera.
When asked what his future retirement might look like, Pete simply replies that it’s the furthest thing from his mind. “I’m not thinking that far ahead. I’m still pretty young, so I have a lot more to do and experience in my career. Ask me again in 30 years!”