January 25th, 2011 marks the first day that BOA Logistics became an LLC. More than five years ago Walter and I had an idea to strike it out on our own.  Little did we know how much we had to learn without the training wheels. Thinking back on it now, I wonder if we knew exactly all of the ups and downs that the next years would bring would have scared us to re consider ( probably not!).  In the beginning, it was extremely difficult to keep our heads above water. Carriers did not want to give a new broker rates, and in order to survive we had to juggle multiple relationships and stay lean on expenses.  Being out there in the deep blue ocean was daunting. We had to learn how to swim, especially with sharks in the water!
The economy was also in full swing of the Great Recession.  People may not know this but we started the business in the middle of 2010 in the bedroom where I grew up. The conversation with my mom went like this… “Mom, Walter and I are thinking about starting our own company…what  do you think?” She of course was very worried (Actually thinking about it I think I only had 2 people initially who thought that giving up a secure and successful job was a good idea), and in the worried Filipina mom tradition she said, “Matt, this sounds risky, maybe you should not do this….Well if you do, you should move back home” .  I told her OK, I will move back home but only if we can start our business there.  She agreed, but in true Filipina form she negotiated her own terms, that we had to pay half of her Time Warner Bill since we were going to be using her internet. We had a deal. I won’t lie, the first few months was kind of surreal to go from working in a large office where you had friends and cubicles and lunches and coffee time, to showing up at your mom’s house, sitting in your old bedroom and cold calling on these budget desks we found at office depot.  Working 8 hours in a bedroom can be very strange, especially when your little brother was still living at home in the next room.  In a way, it kind of reminded me of being in high school again. Outside of coldcalling and working with multiple companies to make ends meet, we would hype each other up every day.  Walter used to go around chanting “There is no Plan B!” , then we would go and pick up Subway sandwiches. The majority of the time we ate Subway sandwiches or mom’s leftovers every day for 6 months.  Definitely this was not a glamorous start, but looking back it was a humbling beginning that was both fun and exciting!
Initially we did not have a name for our company set in stone as we were both reps for another larger company in Torrance at the time.  To backtrack a bit, years ago (technically in late 1999) I had started training in the art of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art. It’s actually where I met Walter. His uncle was my martial arts instructor. We were training partners first. We used to train hard with our team mates. Sometimes the training was beautiful, and sometimes it was hard and painful. A lot of the times you were knocked off your feet and you had to get back up as fast as you could. When you did things well, or perfectly executed our master would yell “BOA!” which is Portuguese for “good”. I always remembered the feeling when you earned a “Boa” from our master and it felt  more than “good”. That feeling, that energy is what was so addicting about training and teaching that art form. I also realized at the time we had a special group of people that trained from 2000- 2009. They helped create the foundation of a very unique “culture”.  We trained together, ate together, partied together, went to school together, laughed and cried together, married each other, had babies with each other, and buried and mourned one another. It was deep. This was probably one of the first experiences of being a part of something really great.  I promised myself one day I would be a part of something named “Boa”, and that had the ability to give that special energy to it’s people.
So fast forward 11 years to 2010. Walter and I were still working part time for the original company we started at in Torrance. By that time we had a group of friends that we would hang out with and eat lunch with on the daily. I remember the day that we told some of them that we were thinking about going off on our own. Normally when you tell friends that you are going to do something new you expect them to be supportive and encouraging, in this case we did not receive it.  One of them asked me what the name of the company was going to be and I said “You know I don’t really know, but was thinking of the word “BOA”. That same person snickered and actually made fun of the name and everyone in the room started to repeat it in a mocking condescending way.  That really surprised me because these guys were supposed to be our friends, but it definitely lit a fire inside. I said…”Yes, the name of our company will be BOA, and it is Portuguese for good”. And that’s how we got our name.
We have come a long way. Thank you all for all of your commitment and your effort. Without you BOA would not be the same. Let’s look to the future and continue to grow. Our mission is to make BOA the most recognized logistics company on the West Coast. Only way to do that is by giving the best possible customer service, going above and beyond for the client, carrier and each other, and to enjoy every day. At the end of each day, everyone should be leaving knowing that they did good work and that they made a difference. We move a ton of freight (no pun intended), we help businesses thrive, we are a part of the global economy…with all that being said….let’s be grateful for what we have here and kill it everyday!!!!!

Happy 5th Anniversary BOA!

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