Location: Milwaukee, WI
Industry: Commercial moving and third party logistics
Mike Coakley says there is one piece of leadership advice that applies to every business, regardless of how long they have been around.
“There are no shortcuts,” said Coakley, president of CH Coakley (CHC). “We have been in business 45 years, and we remain committed to excellence — simply stated, we do not cut corners. We understand our core business of office moving, warehouse and fulfillment service lines, and because of our longevity, this enables us to execute the best industry practices for our clients.”
Coakley spent much of his youth working for the company his father created, learning every aspect of the commercial moving business, knowing eventually the time would come for him to expand his education and leave the company. After graduating from Winona State University, Coakely was establishing himself as the director of marketing for Canadian Pacific Railroad when he got the call from his father, whose health was failing, to come home.
Coakley and his two siblings took over the business, and in 2015 Coakley stepped into the role of president with a focus on expanding the business to include real estate, warehousing and third-party logistics. Since then, the company’s portfolio has grown to include eight warehouses, an award-winning commercial moving division, third-party logistics services and annual revenue increases. The company employs over 100 staff throughout the country.
“CHC never takes our employees for granted, and our company mission is to hire, train and retain, which is why our staff is dedicated to perseverance,” Coakley said. “Our client and employee retention speaks volumes to that simple philosophy.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Coakley divided commercial moving and third-party logistics into separate warehouses and implemented safety protocols, consistent health checks and use of personal protective equipment in each location. CHC had multiple clients that were moving into the BMO Tower who needed “white glove service,” meaning the client was not on-site and CHC conducted a full comprehensive move for them: packing up offices, delivering and unpacking — a service normally completed by the clients’ associates. Not once during the more than two-year pandemic did CHC ever cancel, postpone or understaff a project.
“The core of Mike Coakley is integrity and kindness, which was developed during his early years working side by side with his father in the family business,” Coakley’s team said. “And that established inner confidence and strategic thinking that Mike brings to work with him every day cannot be shaken.”
Very simply, anything that is tied to his family. What might sound simple to others, retreating to the lake house to enjoy campfires, boating and all-around quiet time with his family, is the best medicine physically, emotionally and spiritually that Mike looks forward to.