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Mary Ellen Sheets — Two Men and a Truck

Mary Ellen Sheets never imagined that hauling trash would turn into a multi-million dollar company. In the early 1980s, Sheets’s sons, Jon and Brig Sorber, started doing odd jobs for locals, using their pickup truck to haul trash and brush from people’s yards and moving furniture.

Once the boys went off to college, the phone kept ringing. So Mary Ellen hired two men and bought another truck for $350. At first it was a hobby, but by the late-1980’s, she quit her job to focus on the business full-time. She also made another life-changing decision: she decided to franchise.

Today, Two Men and a Truck has 224 locations in 34 states. Brig Sorber has replaced his mom as CEO, but Mary Ellen Sheets still serves on the board of directors and Jon Sorber is an executive with the company. In 2011, Two Men and a Truck conducted 353,761 moves and had a total of $220 million in sales.

Photo: Two Men and a Truck