Hilldrup Hosts JJ Mari from Venezuela’s JJ Mari International Movers as part of LACMA Next Exchange Program

Hilldrup was proud to host JJ Mari, of Venezuela’s JJ Mari International Movers, at our Corporate Headquarters in May to learn, network

JJ Mari in Hilldrup antique truck

Hilldrup was proud to host JJ Mari, of Venezuela’s JJ Mari International Movers, at our Corporate Headquarters in May to learn, network and have some fun along with the way with our team.  JJ was connected with Hilldrup via the LACMA Next Exchange Program as JJ Mari International Movers is an agent-partner of Hilldrup’s.

Hilldrup is proud to be a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Movers Association (LACMA), a group of high quality movers within Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond, that do business together based on shared quality and values for our customers.  LACMA Next, the network of young professionals under aged 40 from LACMA companies, has an exchange program which offers members the opportunity to visit and experience the service and operations of a fellow agent. As LACMA states, “This program allows the new generation to enrich their personal and professional development through the experience and exchange of new and different ideas, which provide new visions and a more global perspective to our organizations.”

During his time in America, starting on Saturday, April 27th and ending on Monday, May 6th, JJ visited our Corporate Headquarters and met with a variety of departments and department heads.  He also worked alongside his counterpart at Hilldrup, Kawthar Ahmed, International Customer Experience Associate, as part of the exchange program.  Kawthar will be taking part in the exchange program as well, though the exact location of her visit is still to be determined.

In addition to learning about Hilldrup and how we do business, we wanted to make sure JJ got to know our local culture and way of life. His visit included a stay and sightseeing around DC and its museums, dinner and dancing in Fredericksburg along with learning its history, hiking Old Rag, and attending a Washington Nationals baseball game.

To get to know JJ better, we asked him a few questions about his visit.  Check out his feedback below:

Hilldrup (H): Can you confirm your position with your company? How long have you been working there?
JJ: My position with the company is Business Developer, and I officially joined in January 2024. Since then, I have been actively engaged in various initiatives, including:
● Identifying and securing new business partnerships
● Expanding our online presence
● Modernizing our technologies
● Representing the company at industry events
● Developing and presenting project proposals

H: How long have you been a member of LACMANext?
JJ: I have been a LACMANext Member since February 2024.

H: Was this for your first time visiting America?
JJ: This wasn’t my first time visiting America. I’ve visited the US on multiple occasions for tourism, family, and business trips. However, this was my first time exploring the Capital Region. The cities and monuments were truly impressive, and Washington, D.C. reminded me of some European cities with its architecture and atmosphere.

I always enjoy visiting the US. I find there’s a certain similarity to Venezuela in the way people are open and friendly, and you can strike up conversations with strangers on the street.

H: How did you decide on coming to visit Hilldrup vs. another agent?
JJ: As a family-owned business, Hilldrup aligns closely with the values and culture of our own company, JJ Mari. I was keen to learn more about their company culture and how they maintain a strong vision while remaining family-oriented. The opportunity to meet the people who drive Hilldrup’s success was incredibly valuable.

Hilldrup’s well-established reputation and brand recognition in the market were significant factors. Their expertise in a client segment we want to focus on in the future in Venezuela made them a natural choice.
When the chance to visit Hilldrup presented itself, I saw it as an invaluable learning experience. I knew I could gain insights into their operations, client relations, and strategies that would benefit our company’s future development.

H: What was your favorite part of the visit to Hilldrup?
JJ: Visiting Hilldrup allowed me to experience firsthand how the largest companies in the industry operate. I witnessed the scale and scope of their business and gained an appreciation for the complexities of logistics and relocation on a big scope.

Thus, my favorite part of my visit to Hilldrup was the comprehensive tour of the Stafford and Dulles International Airport facilities. The office spaces were clean and organized. The permanent storage facilities were remarkably spacious, housing thousands of lift vans with a dedicated temperature-controlled section. The fleet of over a hundred Hilldrup-branded trucks in Stafford was in excellent condition, as were the vast transit storage areas for inbound and outbound shipments. Seeing daily how everyone at Stafford makes everything possible was invaluable.

H: What was your favorite part of the trip outside of the office (hiking, dinner, baseball)?
JJ: My favorite part of the trip outside the office was the hiking excursion with John Seal to Shenandoah Valley. The area’s natural beauty was incredible, rekindling my passion for hiking. Given the chance, I would love to return in the fall. It was an unforgettable experience.

H: Are there any lessons/things you learned from your trip that you can apply at your company back home?
JJ: I was particularly impressed by Hilldrup’s decision to separate certain areas into specialized departments. This approach streamlined operations and enhanced efficiency. We could implement a similar strategy at JJ Mari to optimize our workflow and improve productivity.

H: What are the similarities and differences between your company/operation and what you saw at Hilldrup?
JJ: Both companies are family-owned and operated, which fosters a unique culture and shared values centered on quality, customer service, and a commitment to excellence. We also prioritize delivering high-quality services and ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the relocation process.

Hilldrup has a much longer history, spanning over a century, and has grown into a significantly larger organization with a wider scope of services. While established and respected in the Venezuelan market, JJ Mari is a relatively younger company with a more focused operation primarily centered on international moving.

Regarding size, Hilldrup has multiple branches and a vast network that is considerably larger than our company.

H: Any final thoughts?
JJ: I wanted to express my sincere gratitude to everyone in the International Team at Hilldrup for the warm welcome and the invaluable time we shared at the Stafford offices. Your hospitality and insights were truly appreciated.

Thank you, Hilldrup and LACMANext, for providing this incredible opportunity. I strongly encourage other young members to take advantage of future exchange programs with Hilldrup.

On behalf of all of us at Hilldrup, thank you, JJ, for visiting us and exchanging ideas and best practices. We look forward to continuing to work together with JJ Mari International Movers as well as the rest of the LACMA members, and we are thankful for the opportunity to participate in this invaluable exchange program!

We loved hosting JJ during his time at Hilldrup as part of the LACMA Next Exchange Program. Here he spends time with the International team, including his counterpart as part of the exchange program, Kawthar Ahmed, International Customer Experience Associate.