is treasure for dad, daughter
Buy this photo
Kim Gillman Turner,
left, and her
Gillman, own and
Trash, a company
Pair joins forces to run garbage removal
When Kim Turner was laid off from her accounting job
in 2004, the expectant mother sought a new career that would provide
stability and flexible hours. She didn't have to look far.
Turner grew up in the refuse business. Her father,
Harry Gillman, founded and sold two multi-million dollar waste removal
companies in northern Virginia and East Tennessee since 1972.
"I was 2 years old when he started his first
business," she said. "It's been as long as I can remember."
With her father's help, they started Loudon
County-based Tennessee Trash Service, specializing in residential,
commercial, construction and demolition waste removal.
"I wouldn't have been able to start it on my own,
especially about to have a child. I knew I was going to have a job and
insurance, so that was nice," Turner said.
The company started two days after Turner's daughter
Turner did all the bookkeeping and Gillman and another
employee drove their one truck picking up trash.
"It worked out good," Gillman said. "By the time we
got bigger, so did her children."
Now, the 40-year-old mother of four runs the
day-to-day business while Gillman, 61, focuses on residential sales and
runs a separate asbestos management company.
Tennessee Trash has grown to serve 8,300 residential
customers and 500 commercial businesses. Two years ago, the company
launched a recycling program that serves 1,200 customers.
"Business has been so busy we go in different
directions all the time," Gillman said.
The father-daughter conversations often surround
figuring out what's wrong with one of their trucks at midnight. But the
pair also makes time to go to trade shows together every year, and
Turner consults with her dad on how to plan for growth and how to
"He always says we don't need to get routes that are
too scattered," Turner said.
"I've just learned that he knows more than me in this
business," she added. "It's easy to get in a rut sometimes, but it's
nice to be able to turn to someone you trust."
Replied Gillman, "Sometimes children have to go work
for someone else to see the grass isn't always greener. I'm proud she's
doing what she's doing. We're blessed."