Tommy Hurst has been with the company for 21 years but we could easily say we’ve been with Tommy for 21 years. He’s been a pillar to the success of Unclaimed Baggage and an example of who we are as a company.
Below you’ll read how Tommy has impacted our lives through the words of Owner’s Bryan and Sharon Owens and Vice-President Caleb Manning; as well as a brief interview of Tommy himself. We hope Tommy’s story inspires you as much as it does us.
“He’s truly an example of what our brand is all about. From the way he approaches his work ethic and represented our company; he’s been a friend and a faithful steward. We hear nothing but positive comments from everyone he’s worked with in his 21 years with the company. That speaks only a small part about the kind of man that Tommy is. We could never really express in words the true contribution Tommy has made for this business and from each of us personally. Some of you may have only known Tommy for a few years but I consider him not only to be a co-worker but a friend and can’t thank him enough for his hard work. We wish him the best as he moves onto the next phase of his life and we wish you, Tommy, many trips to the Smokies with your family.
It’s been a privilege to work with you all these years. I wish you all the best in the future.” – Caleb Manning
“It came up in a staff meeting that Tommy didn’t want a retirement party. I said ‘there is NO WAY that I would let him walk out of these doors without celebrating his life. So, we’re all gathered here today to show our appreciation to Tommy. I won’t say too much, I’ll let Sharon take it from here.” - Bryan Owens
“We bought the company about 20 years ago and that’s about the time Tommy started. So Unclaimed Baggage and Tommy are kind of synonymous to me. They’re not just intrical but Tommy is a very special part of Unclaimed Baggage. Not just to me but also to everyone who knows him. Several years ago we had this baggage conference in Atlanta and all the people from the airlines were there. I had never met Tommy but Bryan did from years working in the industry. So Bryan brought me up and introduced me to the airline crew and they said ‘We just love your husband, but there might be someone we love just a little bit more’, and of course they were talking about Tommy Hurst.” – Sharon Owens
“Great companies are built on great foundations. And often times you’ll find pillars of some shape or form in a foundation. Over the 47 year history of Unclaimed Baggage there have been a few pillars, certainly my parents were pillars, they had the vision and set the stage for all of us. More importantly, biblically speaking, Psalms 127 says “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it”, and we have quite a house here. For God’s blessing and favor is underlying the whole thing. There are certain key individuals that will go down in the history books of Unclaimed Baggage that are pillars or corner stones of our company, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that Tommy Hurst is one of those pillars in our company history. I’ll tell you what, if the Lord allows us to be around here 100 years from now there will still be people around talking about Tommy Hurst.” – Bryan Owens
Unclaimed Baggage Interview / Mr. Tommy Hurst
UBC: 21 years! How did you first hear about Unclaimed Baggage all those years ago?
TH: I worked at Bee Line Express across the street for 16 1/2 years. When they folded, one of the guys that worked there went to Unclaimed Baggage and he got me to come down and put in an application, so I did, was hired, and went to work for Unclaimed.
I went to work driving a truck for maybe a year or two and then they moved me into management. I was in management for a couple years and I told Mr. Owens that I can’t remember what I need to remember to do this job. So I asked him what he wanted me to do and Mr. Owens said ‘do what you have to do’. So I was laid me off and went to working working somewhere else for a few years when Mr. Dixon, at the time, called me and asked if I’d be interested in coming back and working with Unclaimed Baggage again. I brought in a paystub and said ‘if you match this I will’, and he said ok. At that point my 21 years with Unclaimed started, so you could say I worked for Unclaimed Baggage for more than 21 years.
It’s been a blessing. It’s never been a job to me. I’ve treated Unclaimed Baggage as if it was my company. Mr. Bryan called me one day when we got a new truck and asked me ‘how you doing with my new truck’, I said ‘pardon me, this is my truck not yours’, and I always treated it as if it was mine.
UBC: Speaking of trucks. Over the years I’m sure you’ve driven several different types. What’s your go to truck after all this experience?
TH: Volvo. They have the best ride hands down. I’ve had 4 back surgeries and open heart surgery, I don’t need any vibrations.
UBC: Out of all your years driving what is an experience that sticks out in your mind?
TH: Phoenix, AZ, then of course New York City. Driving a truck in NYC is not an experience, it’s a nightmare (we both laugh). I don’t hate anybody but even if I did I wouldn’t wish driving through either one of those cities on them. But it’s part of the job so I did it.
Many many years ago I committed to Colossians 3:23*, when you get a chance look it up. I committed myself do doing that. There ain’t nobody I’m scared of and it’s because of Colossians 3:23. I work for God. He’s the one that owns me and molds me so this place is not my job because I work for God.
Go to our Facebook page for more images of Mr. Tommy's retirement. We are blessed to have worked with such
* ”Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”