St. Charles resident Rikki Forgwe went to college to become a teacher and his cousin, Erik Andersen, of Batavia, went to law school.
Forgwe had attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, where he played football.
He had worked summers as a mover for Two Men and a Truck. Eventually, he decided not to pursue education, but to work for the company as a manager, then general manager starting in 2008, first at a North Aurora location, and soon after, also at a Crystal Lake location.
“I was always going to be a teacher,” Forgwe said. “But life happens and this was a job I had before college. Ironically, now my wife’s a teacher and I’m glad I’m not.”
In the middle of the pandemic, the previous owners were ready to sell. But before Forgwe was ready to buy, he turned to his cousin, Andersen, to be his partner.
And as of November 2021, the cousins are franchisee owners of Two Men and a Truck at 370 Smoketree Plaza, North Aurora, and at 1095 Pingree Road, Crystal Lake.
“Rikki and I talked about this as pie-in-the-sky many years down the road, when Rikki and his family first moved here from Michigan, 14 to 15 years ago,” Andersen said. “Shortly before the pandemic, talks got a little more serious.”
Andersen, a civil attorney in Chicago, said he was tired of the daily commute and was ready for a change.
“Rikki and I were out and it was the middle of the pandemic probably a year ago and we said, ‘Let’s do this,’” Andersen said. “The pandemic made a lot of people think about the situation and the work-life balance and it just made a ton of sense. … It was an opportunity to go into business with a family member I love and trust.”
Another reason for going into business, Andersen said, is that he likes to be a problem solver for people – which is what a lawyer does.
“I represented corporate clients or insurance companies,” Andersen said. “I wanted to be involved in the community where my family and kids live. And the moving business really helps people through one of the most difficult things in life – which is to move.”
Forgwe handles the day-to-day operations of both locations, and Andersen handles the corporate side, bookkeeping, payroll and benefits. They have 20 moving trucks and about 50 employees.
“They’re really good employees and more importantly, just really good people,” Forgwe said. “This is a super difficult job. It’s physically demanding, but you’re generally dealing with people at a maximum stress level. If you scratch grandma’s china cabinet, there could be a reaction.”