- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 2, 2005

Many childrendream of being firefighters, doctors or teachers when they grow up.

When Charles W. McDaniel was asked what he wanted to be, he gave an unconventional answer: a professional mover.

Even more surprising is that his elementary-school dream came true.

In August, Mr. McDaniel was named president of Hilldrup Cos., a Fredericksburg, Va., moving company.

He is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the 900-employee company, sets its strategic direction, and meets with senior management and clients.

Moving is a family business. Mr. McDaniel succeeds his father, Charles G. McDaniel, in the position and his grandfather Charles B. McDaniel.

His career at Hilldrup began when he was 12. He was paid one penny for each nail he picked up from the floor of the company’s warehouse to prevent tires from going flat.

“My father wanted me to understand the importance of the little things,” he said. “The important things were the nails.”

Mr. McDaniel more recently was the company’ssenior vice president and has been taking over the president’s duties for about two years as his father moved to the chairman’s position.

“Charles is an extremely capable and innovative businessman and will no doubt lead the Hilldrup Cos. to great new heights,” said his father.

The younger Mr. McDaniel hopes to continue Hilldrup’s move into humidity-controlled spaces, vaulted storage and other specialties.

Five years ago, the company opened a climate-controlled storage space and has since opened a car warehouse. Hilldrup also is building a fireproof vaulted storage space, with multiple layers of security, in Northern Virginia. It is expected to open in the spring.

“We’ve seen it in the traditional moving and storage business,” Mr. McDaniel said. “People ask, ‘How do I store this piece of art that’s valued at over $100,000?’”

Since Mr. McDaniel’s grandfather bought Hilldrup in 1940, the McDaniels have maintained a line between the family and the company.

“I have a very supportive family, but we don’t have too much family in this business. We don’t make family decisions when business decisions need to be made,” he said.

Mr. McDaniel lives in Fredericksburg with his wife, Tricia, and children, Jordan, 15, and Charlie, 12.

Jen Haberkorn

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