Years ago, when I was early in my career in Washington, D.C., (pre-Internet, I know!) the very last thing I heard of was a company, association, or non-profit incorporating a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy. Let’s be honest, until Bono introduced the One Campaign, I really wasn’t paying too much attention to the hip “trend” of CSR. Does anyone else remember those INSPI(RED) t-shirts?
Wow, how times have changed.
With the explosion of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, consumers demand more from business and industry; there’s an expectation to do good. And, there is simply nowhere to hide your corporate and brand reputation.
Local businessman, Greg McNair, started his Ormond Beach
wheelchair rental and sales business in October 2015 after
making some tough choices in his personal and professional
life. After multiple careers—as a law enforcement officer, insurance investigator, and entrepreneur—and driven by passion and faith, Greg has finally settled here in Volusia County to spend the “rest of his days” on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. He brings the same opportunity to people for whom traversing the beach and touching the ocean was once just a dream. Greg’s company, Beach Mobility Rentals, LLC, sells and rents wheelchairs for all terrains. Its specialty is supplying all-terrain wheelchairs that open up a whole new world to the permanently or temporarily disabled by allowing them to drive on the beach! “My business mission is to turn disabilities into abilities,” says Greg.
In keeping with our “driving business” theme, Howard Holley
sat down with Greg to ask him about his business and how he
measures his success. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
HOWARD HOLLEY: WHAT DROVE YOU TO MOVE TO
Greg McNair: I always knew that this was my home … by the beach. If I’m near the beach or at the beach, I’m where home is for me.
HH: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT SOME OF THE SPINS AND TURNS IN YOUR LIFE.
GM: I think it’s often said that there’s not much I haven’t done. I worked for my father in concrete pumping and gunite. I worked for seven years with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in Alabama. I moved on to work for a large insurance company as an investigator; and then moved on to start my own company doing aerial photography because I love to fly, and I love to take photos. In 2015, I was made aware of an opportunity to move to the Atlantic beaches and start a beach wheelchair rental company … I started in October 2015.
HH: YOUR BUSINESS IS ABOUT MAKING WHEELCHAIRS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE?
GM: Yes! To access all terrains. Mostly the beach, because I am a beach baby … Quite often in the past, I would see somebody wheel their wheelchair down onto the pool deck or onto the pier. They’d look at the beach longingly, or they’d watch their family, unable to join them. Before I moved here permanently, I was driving one of my chairs and watched as a lady had gotten out of her car, an elderly woman. She went to get on the hard sand [and she] went head over heels over her walker. That just kills me. All she wants to do is what we do—Walk the beach and enjoy being close to the ocean.
HH: HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
GM: My measure of success is not financial. There’s a small part of that. Obviously, you’re going to need to be successful as a business operator to pay the bills. Success is knowing that you’re doing what God called you to do. You’re giving back your gift to God and you’re serving others in doing so. When I can make somebody’s day, that’s success.
HH: GETTING TO THAT POINT HASN’T BEEN EASY—DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A CORRELATION BETWEEN ACHIEVING WHAT YOU’RE MEANT TO DO AND THE ADVERSITY YOU HAVE OVERCOME TO GET THERE?
GM: That’s called sacrifice. I think none of us can appreciate what we’ve got unless we sacrifice to get it. I didn’t grow up poor. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth either. I earned what I had, and I earned what I have today. The difference now [is that] when I get it, I give it back. It’s not mine. It’d be nice to have a fancy car and a bigger home, but that’s just more beds to check under and more insurance to carry on a car. I’d rather put more people in wheelchairs and maybe reduce my prices so that more people can access the beach!
To listen to the full Greg McNair interview, visit http://www.bit.ly/1UhoQsq
View more about Greg McNair’s wheelchair business: http://www.bit.ly/GregMcNair