Sandra Lynch, senior VP of American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA) in Alexandria, Virginia and Robert E. Lee, president of South Hills Movers, Pittsburgh, and PMSA.


Ken Sataloff, secretary of the Tri-State Tariff Bureau and PMSA member.
Guest speaker and PMSA member Ed Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI).
(L-R) Gary Chilson, Victory Packaging, Jack McGrath, PMSA executive director, and Dan Thompson with Wileski Transfer.
Penn movers offer health insurance
October 18 - 19, 2007 HARRISBURG, PA -- In just its third year, the new Pennsylvania Moving & Storage Associates will offer health insurance at a discount to all members and members’ employees.

The announcement came during the new trade association's 3rd Annual Conference & Trade Show held
at the Holiday Inn Harrisburg East in the Keystone State's capital city.

During the event, PMSA member Ed Katz related a personal experience in his presentation of the "sale from hell" or How to (or how not to) Sell Your Business.

Katz is head of the International Office Moving
Institute (IOMI) and founder and former owner of Peachtree Movers in Atlanta, GA.

The event enjoyed its best attendance ever for the young organization, which boasts nearly 100 members.

According to Executive Director Jack McGrath, PMSA's goal is to double membership next year.

OCT 18, 2006 - Friends in the business describe Jack McGrath as a visionary and a great leader, liked and respected by all, dynamic and passionate about improving service quality and raising the standards in the moving industry. Education is his attraction and he's found eager followers.

As executive director of the Pennsylvania Moving & Storage Associates (PMSA), he's been the guiding force behind getting the two-year-old organization of licensed professional movers off the ground.

The group appeals to those with a yearning to learn, and nearly 70 members attended only their second Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Harrisburg, PA Oct 18 and 19.
Some of the nearly 70 professional Pennsylvania movers attending the PMSA's Annual Meeting and Trade Show last week in Harrisburg.
Transcript of speech© given Oct 18, 2006 by Stephen F. Burns, chairman and CEO of Wheaton World Wide Moving, Inc., to Pennsylvania Moving and Storage Associates. Reprinted here with permission.

What has happened to integrity?

For the past several months, our country has been rocked by the challenges of terrorism, the pugnacious actions of North Korea, uneasiness in the Middle East and the continued pattern of legal and unethical actions on behalf of businessmen, politicians and clergy. Most recently, William McGuire, CEO of United Health, lost his job not only as a result of possible illegal behavior but also because of the failure to tell the truth and disclose a conflict of interest to his Board of Directors.

Some twenty-five years ago I gave a speech on integrity to my former profession, a group of lawyers. About ten years later, I gave a similar speech to the New Jersey Movers and Storage Association. In both of these speeches, I forecast there would be a rude awakening in the nineties or sometime thereafter as a result of all the personal excesses that have been taking place during the eighties and nineties. What I didn’t know was that the situation was only going to get worse. The title of both speeches was "What Has Happened to Integrity?"

I firmly believe that integrity is not dead. It may have been buried or lost in the shuffle, but it is still alive. The flicker of ethics needs to be fanned by all of us.

Stephen F. Burns
Chairman & CEO
Wheaton World Wide Moving, Inc.

Integrity is defined as the rigid adherence to a code of behavior that requires the utmost moral and ethical strength. I first dreamed about integrity when I was six years old. What prompted those dreams was an incident that happened in the basement of my parents home. My friend and I were playing and despite the numerous admonitions from my mother, I was using one of her ashtrays that revolved as a steering wheel. While making a vigorous turn, the ashtray broke. My friend and I quickly attempted to put the pieces back together and put the ashtray over in the corner. He left and I went upstairs and nothing was said. For the next two weeks, I was a model six year old. I did everything that my parents asked me to, including going to church without a lot of complaining. During that two-week period, I dreamed about getting caught and felt guilt about my previous actions. I felt empty.

One Sunday after going to church, my mother and father commented to me what a wonderful son I had been and what a miraculous change had occurred. However, both my mother and father noted, “You don’t seem to be very happy.” I retreated upstairs to watch TV. At that precise moment, my mother went downstairs and discovered the broken ashtray. First, I denied it, and I blamed my friend. Of course, my friend denied it and blamed me. Finally, we admitted my guilt. What a relief it was to have the truth out in the open. Surprisingly enough, the spanking I received only made me feel better. When I was denying and lying, I didn’t feel very good about myself. The minute I confessed and took my deserved punishment, I felt like a whole person again. I
was truly happy. The reason being – I was no longer hiding anything. I no longer had to lie.

The question I posed in the previous speeches I would pose again. Whatever became of integrity? Like it or not, we have to look long and hard for signs of integrity in today’s world. While the current President has struggled with his justification for going into Iraq, many people believe that he was not telling the truth. If there was justification for going into Iraq, there was no exit strategy – which he has denied. Turning the page, we have the recent situation in Congress with people who have covered up, lied or engaged in immoral exchanges. This may have a dramatic impact upon our current election – as it should.

Finding persons and institutions that have genuine integrity is not easy. How many times do we hear, “Let me tell you the truth.” When in fact, we know they are lying. Some people come close, but too often they compromise, rationalize and excuse themselves so they can cheat a little, lie a little – even steal a little in the name of greed and self-interest. In today’s world, I see a lot of what I just described in my own childhood scenario. A lot of denial, a lot of blame, and a lot of emptiness.

I read recently that they are starting courses in Harvard and other schools of higher learning to teach ethics. I am reminded that a number of years ago a Harvard Law School study devoted to ethical dilemmas faced by public officials found that when students were confronted with various options, a substantial majority of students voted to endorse deception as an accepted practice.

Can we actually teach good business ethics and morals without being committed to being good moral and ethical businessmen ourselves? No. What you teach in the classroom simply won’t stick if it doesn’t comport to what goes on in the real world. Nor can you legislate honesty and integrity. Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley, and we still have CEOs and CFOs of public companies lying and cheating. What really is surprising to me is the casual way that many of our respected citizens and leaders have learned to bend the rules and twist the truth to suit their own purpose and greed. In short, a lot of our business leaders and politicians indicate that the ends justify the means – and they will define what the
ends are. But few think current society plagued by loss of integrity is a new problem. Read again the pages of the Old and New Testament. These teachings tell us that we reach a stage where we are so past feeling that we abandon ourselves to every kind of unclean conduct and the insatiable lust or desire to further our own self-interests – we don’t even attempt to hide our lack of integrity.

Such feelings destroy not only individuals but also companies and nations. Historians have written volumes on this issue – such as Arnold Toynbee, who speaks to this problem of human self-centeredness in his great book published in 1971, Surviving the Future. In this book, he warns that the survival of the human race is threatened by the lack of integrity. Toynbee goes on to say that the world’s religious geniuses from Confucius to Jesus Christ have seen that the human race has a morality gap and have counseled us to break out of our selfimposed prison of self-centeredness. But how do we do it? While President Abraham Lincoln had many famous and impactful sayings, one of my

Ed Katz, head of the International Office Moving Institute (IOMI) and founder and former owner of Peachtree Movers in Atlanta, schools Keystone State movers on "How to Develop an Effective O & I Marketing Plan". Katz was so impressed with the camaraderie of the members, he joined on the spot, becoming the Pennsylvania organization's only Georgia member.

Jack McGrath, right, executive director of PMSA, greets guest presenter Ed Katz during the conference.

Conference attendees enjoy a delicious feast.

Guest speaker Stephen F. Burns, chairman and CEO of Wheaton World Wide Moving, Inc., challenges the group with a stirring appeal for integrity in business and in life.

favorites is, “You can not instill integrity in others by ignoring what the truth is yourself.” In short, we need to change ourselves first. Individually, we need to change our thoughts because they become our words. We need to change the words because they become our actions. We need to change our actions, because they become our habits. We need to change our habits because they become our character. It is our character, which becomes our destiny.

Ladies and gentlemen, our next generation cries out for integrity and for us to be the examples of that integrity. To me, the events of not only the past months, years and maybe centuries is a culmination of excesses that stem from putting oneself above the common good. It points out that none of us are exempt from the treacherous path of a lack of integrity.

Crime happens irrespective of the color of a person’s skin or their collar. People are just as likely to rob, lie or cheat for their own self-interest – whether they are wearing a blue collar, a white collar or a religious collar. In my opinion, we need to attack this problem with the same passion and resources that we have attacked the threats upon the security of our nation. We cannot tolerate the lack of telling the truth, the lack of business ethics or the lack of integrity in anything that we deal with. If that means that we need to vote differently in this coming election than what we did before – because the individual with whom you have a common party affiliation has been unethical or lacks integrity – then that person needs to be voted against.

There is a lot at stake here. As my father once said to me, “You can recover from a financial loss, but you can never recover from a loss of reputation.” I keep these words of wisdom firmly in my mind all the time. At Wheaton, I stress that we need to be less stressed about profit and loss and far more concerned about telling the truth and making good in cases where we do make mistakes. Stated another way, it is more important how we play the game than whether we win or not.

Leaders at all levels of business and government must articulate and follow absolute standards of right and wrong and draw the line in the sand. I firmly believe that integrity is not dead. It may have been buried or lost in the shuffle, but it is still alive. The flicker of ethics needs to be fanned by all of us. I hope these thoughts have stimulated you to scrutinize the candidates for whom you vote. Over and above the coming election, I hope these thoughts stimulate you in how you deal with your customers, fellow agents, drivers and employees. Those relationships are built upon one thing and one thing alone –and that is trust. Where there is no integrity or no ethics, there can be no trust. In my opinion, it will eventually take down a person’s business. In this day and age our customers are not looking for low cost providers, but ethical partners who agree to do what they say they are going to do and if they make a mistake – correct it.

I challenge you to fan the fire of integrity every chance that you get. We all need to adhere to a code of behavior that requires the utmost moral and ethical strength. Thank you.©