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Meathead of the Month | Vante Smith-Johnson

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Author: Evan Steed

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Tags: Meathead of the Month

Vante Smith-Johnson profileVante Smith-Johnson has been an all-around amazing employee with an incredible sense of teamwork. His striking personality, accomplishments, and values have earned him the recognition as our most dynamic employee of the month!

Honorable Characteristics
- Team player
- Honest
- Strong family values
- Successful student athlete at Cal Poly
- And all around great guy

Vante's Story

An Introduction

Born and raised in East Fresno, Vante has come a long way since his beginning. As a brother of seven, he quickly learned the meaning of family by helping take care of his six other brothers and sisters when at home. This gave Vante ample opportunity to acquire the skills of patience, an appreciation for youth, and (little did he know) the skills of a sensible baby sitter. Based on this, his mother discerned that Vante would make a great teacher one day, but whether he decides to take up that pursuit is another question in itself.

A Journey from Fresno -> to Sacramento -> to Fresno -> to San Luis Obispo

Vante Smith-Johnson - graduationSports, especially football, have played an important role in Vante's life. Even before high school, his football team ran undefeated and had acquired six championship trophies. He moved out with his aunt in Sacramento to attend Grant Union High School until things took a turn when his mother was diagnosed with cancer his junior year.  Leaving Grant Union to return home in Fresno would mean leaving his team behind, but taking care of family was a matter that could not be disregarded. On his very last day at Grant Union two events came into play that would change the path of his life.  (1) Vante’s good friend and teammate unfortunately incurred a concussion that prevented him from playing.  This gave way for a new opportunity for Vante to make an impression to the recruiters, (2) as it just so happened the football recruiter for Cal Poly was there on his last day before his departure home.

Vante Smith-Johnson - tackle

Impact at Cal Poly

After graduating from Edison High School of Fresno (see image above with his twin sister, Vantasia), he was offered a scholarship with Cal Poly which ended up being a perfect fit for him as he soon found out. Initially he did not even know what or where Cal Poly was, as he often confused the name with Long Beach Polytechnic High School.  However, he now knows the distinction between the two better than ever before. 

Vante is applying his studies at Cal Poly towards a degree in Construction Management which he says works great for his passion of hands-on teamwork – just like the culture he is involved with on the Cal Poly football team and with Meathead Movers.  Big congrats to Vante for also just having been acknowledged as an honorable mention for his team!

Vante Smith-Johnson - cal poly
Vante and the Cal Poly team in celebration

Meathead Vante headshotKicking Off with Meathead Movers

Although his scholarship covered most of his academic finances, the rest of his living expense had no source of income. One of his coaches mentioned Meathead Movers as an option for a part time job. He could make some side money, help people move, and get a workout all at the same time! Vante did not think much about it at the time until he saw a large Meathead Movers banner on campus and thought it might be worth a try despite his prior reservations. So with no car or money in his pocket for the bus, he walked all the way across San Luis Obispo just to drop off a job application. Shortly thereafter, he was brought onto Team Meathead and the magic began!

Distance walked to drop off job application!

Other Great Details

A Favorite Life Moment 
Winning the football game against Tulare Union High School, who at the time was their number one rival and had a two year undefeated streak.  And at the very last minute they defeated their competition by a mere field goal!  The excitement and pride from that moment was one of the greatest feelings Vante claims he will never forget.  

Biggest Source of Motivation 
Vante's primary motivation is to lead by example and set a standard for his brothers and sisters to follow. 

Liked Best About Working at Meathead Movers 
Primarily, the ability to work at a job that features similar components that any team needs to have to work together to complete a common goal. Also by helping people move about the area, Vante also appreciated learning more and more about San Luis County.

Favorite Move at Meathead
One of his favorite moves was a rather unconventional one. A client was moving a new refrigerator into their home and had to get the old one out. It was quite an ordeal just moving the first fridge out and down the narrow stairs in the first place. Once cleared, they moved the new fridge up the same stairs and into place to only find that the fridge was one inch too big and had to be brought down again - to then bring the old one back. Although the initial task was denied, he enjoys the simple irony life unfolds.  

Another favorite move was from the same summer of 2012. The job was to move an enormous treadmill down a spiral staircase.  (One does not have to be a professional mover to see the challenges associated with this.)  Bottom line, no injuries or damages were made on the entire move – which is always a great feeling.

Best of Luck!

Vante has been a wonderful asset to team Meathead and we wish him the best as he continues his pursuit for what opportunities life has to offer!

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