by H. K. Wilson
Owner/President & Navy Vet “Tomo” Puts His Military Experience to Work
After answering the call to serve in the U.S. Navy, Paul T. Meek—known as “Tomo” to his friends—went on to a successful career in the exhibitions industry. During the last three decades, his journey has taken him to virtually every corner of the globe, and along the way, he has learned what it takes to create world-class results. Today, Tomo is president and owner of Veterans Logistics, LLC, a global company that delivers complete supply chain solutions, including consulting services; express and high-profile deliveries; freight services; and warehousing. With door-to-door service in the U.S., Canada and international locales, clients receive expert oversight and seamless conveyance of cargo, no matter the size, class or destination.
Tomo says the inspiration for his company came after seeing a need for greater reliability in the realm of tradeshow freight logistics. “I was involved in the construction and design of exhibits,” he explains. “What led me to go this route originally was the experience of trying to get freight companies to move exhibits in a safe and timely manner. You have deadlines you have to meet to get it to the show floor, deadlines to get it back out, and some of the companies I was working with couldn’t always do what I needed them to do.”
Veterans Logistics is a minority and Disabled Veteran Owned Business Enterprise (DVBE) certified by the SBA. As such, it is qualified to fulfill specially designated government and private sector contracts. In order to better serve clients in markets across the nation, Veterans Logistics is affiliated with a national brand, American Road Line (ARL). Veterans Logistics has a 75,000 sq.ft. facility in Las Vegas, Nev., which ensures smooth and continuous service in and out of the convention and exhibit halls in Southern Nevada. A native of Las Vegas, Tomo was stationed in Long Beach for his last tour of duty on the U.S.S. New Jersey (BB-62). He has lived and worked around Los Angeles harbor since the 1980s, and he often visits the port to personally oversee the offloading of his clients’ containers.
With his first-hand understanding of tradeshow culture, a network of dependable relationships and military precision, Tomo says Veterans Logistics is the company to call when you want the job done right. “I don’t care what the size is, whether it’s one pallet, five truckloads or barge freight, you’ll have a quote and confirmation in about an hour,” he says. “I have the greatest partners in the world, and my right-hand guy is Jim Anderson. I’ve known him for many years, and having him as a partner is an advantage that no one else has. From pack and wrap, to crating, to overseas container freights, to air freight, there’s nothing we can’t handle. I’ve shipped everything from race cars overseas to specialty items that require a signature on every single move. Chain of custody is very important on some of the items we handle.”
According to Tomo, a positive, solutions-driven attitude defines his team and the results they create on the tradeshow floor. “I hire experts who, at the worst moments, can still handle business with a smile and get the job done … even at the midnight hour. You have to be able to think outside the box and get things done without stopping the process, so when the client comes in at 8 a.m., they see the job is done. I need guys and gals who can think on the spot and deliver the client’s expectations with no excuses.”
Tomo uses his veteran status to provide leadership in business and philanthropic sectors. He zealously advocates for his fellow veterans, supporting them through donations, service and education. He is a regular volunteer at the VA Hospital in Long Beach, member and former president of the Disabled Veterans Business Alliance, and former member of the Military Affairs Committee of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of helping these guys get through the next day,” he says. “But I also like helping vets understand the value of registering their businesses with the SBA and local Chambers of Commerce and the avenues it opens up to them for marketing their companies.”
Tomo’s nickname is derived from his middle name, Tomoichi, a reflection of his Japanese heritage on his mother’s side. Although he received no formal training in either language, he is conversant in both Japanese and Spanish, languages he has spoken since he was a young child. In fact, Tomo didn’t learn English until just before he entered elementary school. His talent for languages is a great asset in his international business dealings, and he often serves as translator on behalf of his clients.
As a veteran of America’s armed forces, Tomo says he is proud to serve our nation’s commerce with integrity and reliability. He invites clients to stop by his warehouse anytime to see his operation for themselves. “We are always happy to give people on-the-spot information about where their freight is, how it is being handled and how securely it is being stored,” says Tomo. “Someone is always available day or night, and if someone wants to meet at nine at night, one of us will be there. We value our relationships, and we know that what we do requires trust. We want people to be confident that when they call us, we’ll get the job done.”
For more info, visit www.vetslogistics.com.
This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 36. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/exhibitcitynews_janfeb_2020