In an effort to allow our clients the opportunity to get to know our employees a little better, we are introducing employee spotlights, where clients will gain insights into the responsibilities of our teammates!
According to clients, it has been reported time and time again that Strobel Design Build Superintendent Gary Williams is a joy to work with, and he will never fail to make you laugh. Gary works hand in hand with clients and designers to bring visions to life during projects. He is extremely gifted at serving as a liaison between clients and designers, translating goals into manageable project plans.
We interviewed Gary to learn about his professional development prior to working with us here at Strobel Design Build, and how his career has grown as a Superintendent. Read on to learn more about Gary and what his answers were to our questions!
Can you tell me about your professional history predating your start with Strobel Design Build?
Before joining the Strobel Design Build team, I worked with another commercial builder in St. Petersburg building restaurants and stores. Before that, I lived in New York and worked on renovations like brownstones, turning old condos and apartments from “old to new”. After that, I lived in Atlanta for many years and worked in the warranty field as a Warranty Technician, and then a Warranty Manager, and ultimately, an Assistant Builder. It’s like a circle, it all comes together in some way.
What drew you to the construction field?
I started off as a painter, a second-generation custom painter in New York, and because of the seasonal weather in New York, I looked for side-jobs outside of painting when the weather was too cold. I worked as a handyman and became very good at it. Not only that, but I found a lot of satisfaction in creating people’s homes and sitting back and being able to say “Hey, I did that!”
You have a reputation for being great with clients. Where does that come from?
I am kind of direct and I think people really appreciate honesty and being direct. My approach is simply “Say what you do and do what you say.”
I think that your philosophy ties into the overall culture of Strobel Design Build, as we work to create a safe space for clients to realize their visions without anxieties about working with dishonest companies. What are your thoughts on that?
Yes, I have learned in my five and a half years in Florida that contractors here have the reputation for being “shysters”. And while Strobel Design Build has a long history and great name, you still have people who move here from other states and are wary about going into business with any construction firm because of that overall reputation. Once I meet with the clients, I assure them and prove to them that they can trust me and Strobel Design Build as a whole, which makes a huge difference. Just picking up the phone and being available for clients through the process, and showing up to the job every day and proving that we are going to achieve the goals they brought to us makes all the difference. In the field, we call it the “white glove service”. I believe in that. It’s about the personal touch, not the monetary value.
How did you get started with Strobel Design Build?
I was enlisted by our Operations Manager at the time, Myah (who is now our VP). We had worked together in the past and she was confident in my abilities. I have been on the team for almost three years. My anniversary with Strobel Design Build is a week before my birthday.
What do you think is unique about you as a Superintendent?
I started off in warranty, so I know what a project is supposed to look like in the end, and I think that makes me a more studious Superintendent throughout the job. I take a lot of pride in the final product and I have a lot of perspective on the kinds of problems that can occur on jobs that become issues later on.
What do you like most about being on the Strobel Design Build team?
Like I said before, I love working in construction. I also love the support from management and the amount of pride taken in the work we do. On the Strobel Design Build team, we work together as a family. We might go back and forth every once in a while, but at the end of the day, we can all come together and appreciate each other and our abilities. Everyone cares about what they do. A big reason I went to Strobel Design Build is because of the passionate reputation we have. I am in clients’ homes for months, I am near their families and friends and they trust me in their most treasured spaces. I appreciate how powerful that is. I love it when a client can feel comfortable asking me questions and making suggestions. This is the client’s dream that they have worked for, and I want them to be a part of the process of making it a reality.