A native of Ireland and 1973 engineering graduate of Northeastern University, O’Toole was a rising executive when he quit his job to “escape corporate slavery.” On a quest for start-up cash for a business of his own, the 6 foot 6 inch O’Toole – the original Gentle Giant – was urged by his friends to add moving to his list of odd jobs. In 1980, O’Toole founded Gentle Giant with a friend’s borrowed truck and a $17 investment: a one-time ad. Gentle Giant Moving Co has thrived in the 30 years since then, winning dozens of awards for quality of service and its workplace practices and employing hundreds of workers who are proud to be called “Giants.”
O’Toole’s leadership has earned him recognition by The U.S. Small Business Administration as its 2004 Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year and other accolades and recognition by business and civic organizations. He is competitive, disciplined, and persistent, priding himself on solving challenging situations with enthusiasm.