Fit for a King

Star-studded charity polo match featuring Britain’s Prince William gives Andy Gump the opportunity to show off its royal service.

This article originally appears in PRO Magazine‘s October issue, page 23.

THE TEAM

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Andy Gump Inc. is a third-generation family-owned business with five Southern California locations: North Hollywood – that managed the polo event – Bakersfield, Antelope Valley, Fontana, and their Santa Clarita headquarters. Vice president Nancy Gump handles marketing and is set to take over the reins when her father, Barry, retires.

The company has 145 employees, 60 in the sanitation division including coordinators, customer service reps, drivers, prep workers, attendants and technicians. The company’s portable restroom inventory includes 250 Satellite Maxim 3000s and 100 NuConcepts VIP flushing units, but they are particularly known for their fleet of 90 high-end trailers.

Special event coordinator Amy Archie handled numerous revisions over seven months leading up to the four hour event. John Torres, operations manager, coordinated logistics and made preparatory site visits.

COMPANY HISTORY

In the 1940s, Nancy Gump’s grandfather, Andy, bought a septic service business. He expanded into portable restrooms during the post-war building boom when California passed ordinances requiring portable sanitation on construction sites. Gump and his sons, Barry and Bill, built the first five units out of scrap plywood in their garage, while his wife, Irma, daughter Cherilyn, and Barry’s wife, Pati, handled the office work.

charity-polo-Nancy-Gump-2011In the ’70s, Barry Gump took over, adding temporary power, fencing and mobile storage. When he coordinated the efforts of a number of sanitation companies to provide portable restrooms for the 1984 Summer Olympics, the company became known for special events. Other high-profile events such as the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were instrumental in encouraging the company to invest in high-end trailers.

Barry Gump’s daughter Nancy joined the team in 1989 and was inspired by her grandfather’s work ethic. “We wouldn’t be where we are today if not for my grandfather’s foundation,” she says. “Wanting to help people was his main driving force. It’s about service. We’re operations-driven, not sales-driven.”

MAKING CONNECTIONS

The company’s reputation was its entree to the event. Nancy Gump reports that the manager of the event planning company that gave them the job had said, “I’ll only use Andy Gump because they’re phenomenal, I know all their people, they’re like family.”

When the company presented its proposal in January it had not been told royalty would be involved. “We just thought it was another high-end special event,” Gump says.

THE MAIN EVENT

charity-polo-Prince-William-2011As part of their visit to the United States, Prince William and his new bride, Kate Middleton, participated in a fund-raising polo match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club as part of the Club’s 100-year celebration. They arrived about 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 9, by helicopter, then joined VIP guests for a white tent lunch prepared by celebrity chef Giada De Larentiis. The Prince then took to the field for the round-robin tournament, scoring four goals leading to Team Royal Salute’s victory over Team Audi and Team American Express. At the insistence of the crowd, the Duchess presented him with a kiss on the cheek along with the Tiffany & Co. silver trophy.

Nearly 3,000 attended, with 600 having paid $4,000 for their VIP seats. The event raised millions of dollars for Prince William and Prince Harry’s foundation supporting disadvantaged youth, military and environmental causes.

THE JOB

Gump was asked to provide restrooms, upscale restroom trailers and ADA-compliant flushing units for use by the royals, celebrities, media and crew.

Since the company is located nearly 90 miles from Santa Barbara, it chose to partner with another service provider. “Our philosophy is that if it’s not in our back yard, we’re going to work with a local company to help make that event happen,” Gump says. They selected MarBorg Industries because of the quality of their work and strong operational team. “There was no question that we’d work with them,” Gump says. “They did a wonderful job and are one of the reasons it went so well.”

MarBorg provided a number of the units and did all the pumping.

BY THE NUMBERS

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The company and event planners worked together to determine what equipment would work best. “The goal is to have the least amount of trailers with the highest amount of capacity,” Gump says.

The company provided four restroom trailers from its top-of-the-line Platinum series. The 32-foot and 42-foot models included an ADA-compliant stall and were placed in the VIP red carpet area between the field and the lunch tent along with a NuConcepts ADA compliant flushing standalone unit. The 34-foot and 36-foot trailers were located on the opposite side of the field. Gump’s Platinum trailers are built by Ameri-Can Engineering and feature pewter porcelain sinks, chrome faucets, ceiling-to-floor stall doors and custom artwork. The 42-foot trailer has a slideout sink compartment, making it roomier when in use.

A 25-foot Executive trailer from Olympia Fiberglass Industries with four women’s and four men’s stalls was located in the media compound. MarBorg placed four NuConcepts VIP single units with flush toilets in the VIP shuttle parking lot and six PolyJohn Enterprises Corp. Fleet Series units in the crew staging area.

LET’S ROLL

Units for the crew were set up 10 days before the event. Everything else was brought in during the four days prior, and pumped out and removed Saturday night. Gump uses smaller trucks – Ford F-550s and an F-350 – to haul its trailers to prevent violating highway vehicle length and weight restrictions.

PERSONAL SERVICE

Eight of the company’s most experienced attendants – one who doubles as a technician – were on site to clean, restock and manage lines. They wore white dress shirts and black pants. Two arrived at 6:30 a.m. to be on hand for media and the Secret Service. The others were in place by 9 a.m.

A security check was done on drivers and attendants before they were issued badges and passes. The Secret Service inspected each unit, including passing mirrors under the trailers and bringing in police dogs.

UNCOMMON EXPERIENCE

charity-polo-portable-restrooms-2011Providing service for a royal couple was exciting, even for Gump personnel accustomed to working high-profile celebrity events. “They were thrilled,” Nancy Gump says of the staff. “We have a photo of Kate walking in and another one of William on a horse.” Later that evening Gump saw one of her trailers on Entertainment Tonight as the photographer panned the background during a celebrity interview.

Perhaps the biggest thrill was that Prince William actually used the 42-foot Platinum, which the company has now nicknamed, “The Prince.

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