Larry O’Toole ‘74
Member at Large
Larry grew up in Ireland playing rugby. After moving to Boston, he looked forward to playing for Boston Rugby Club. That dream ended when he was accosted by Rich Wennersten in the quad, who informed him that he was born to row. His father’s advice had been, “do any sport but crew, because that will take over your life.” “Sign me up” Larry said to Rich. This led to three great years on Ernie Arlett’s varsity and JV, a sack full of hard-earned shirts, a silver medal in the IRAs and a life-long passion for the world's greatest sport.
Graduating with a degree in industrial engineering, Larry spent his twenties working in Eaton Corporation’s executive development program, before moving back to Boston to start a manufacturing business. As he was getting this off the ground, he started moving furniture to pay the rent. He soon realized that Boston had a crying need for a quality moving company. What started with a $17.00 ad in the Boston Phoenix, is now a $45 million business.
His company, Gentle Giant Moving, built its reputation by hiring rowers. “Rowers are a joy to work with” Larry says, “our core values have come from all the great rowers that have worked for us. They are invariably HONEST, ENTHUSIASTIC, always go ABOVE and BEYOND, are RESPECTFUL and are the ultimate TEAM PLAYERS. He says, “We call that our GIANT H.E.A.R.T. The rowers set the bar, now everyone else must live up to it.