How an Aerospace Engineer went from Rockets to Really Big Trucks
Sometimes life goes in a full circle and brings adults back to the earliest dreams they can recall having. To wit, when George Gavrilis was a little boy, he used to hang off of the side of the grocery cart at the store and pretend he was a garbage man. He dreamed of trucks – big trucks – and couldn’t wait until he would have one of his own. But as years go by, boyhood dreams fade, and Gavrilis instead found himself graduating from college with a civil engineering degree that he would put to work at first in the telecommunications industry, and then on the coolest boyhood dream of all: rockets.
Lockheed Martin was a firm on the cutting edge of space work, and Gavrilis spent 14 years working on government and commercial programs that were putting satellites and rockets into outer space. But while it sounds exciting, he eventually tired of the corporate grind and he couldn’t imagine spending another 15 or 20 years going through those motions. “I didn’t feel like I was growing I wasn’t challenged, and I wasn’t learning anything,” said Gavrilis. “For me, I need to feel like I’m making progress, but I felt like all of the good things I was doing weren’t really making an impact.”
And also, he’d never really let go of that dream of having a really big truck, so it’s no surprise he gravitated towards becoming a Redbox+ franchise owner. A year ago, Gavrilis made that dream come true when he opened a Redbox+ location serving the Denver area with not one but two enormous trucks that haul rental dumpsters and portable rental toilets around to jobsites throughout the region.
And it turns out that some of the training he received as a space engineer was perfectly applicable to the tasks at hand – specifically his Lean Six Sigma training that strives for process improvements that make operations as mistake-proof as possible. “A lot of that came into play when I was setting up the business and now in the day-to-day operations,” Gavrilis said. In rockets, there is a lot of redundancy so there isn’t a single point of failure, he explained, which is exactly why he opened his doors with two trucks instead of one.
It was the patented elite dumpster of Redbox+ with its combined dumpster and porta-potties that convinced him this was the company he wanted, he said. “It makes so much sense to me. This product sells itself.” And as far as being challenged and making a difference, owning a Redbox+ franchise provides that feeling on a daily basis. “Now, every day the things I’m doing are bringing value to the company,” he said. But more than that, now there is a big truck sitting there to take for a spin whenever Gavrilis wants to.