GMC is pleased to announce Jeffrey Brewer as its new CEO. Brewer has led the architecture and engineering firm’s Birmingham office since its inception in 1998. For the past three years, he has served as president of GMC’s north region, encompassing north Alabama and Tennessee, and on the board of directors.
Brewer succeeds Bill Wallace, who announced last year that he would step down after three years as CEO. Wallace will continue leading in the firm as an executive vice president.
“It’s an honor to be appointed to this position following Bill’s leadership. We have spent the last year working together to ensure a smooth transition,” Brewer said. “The men and women we get to work alongside every day are some of the best and brightest in the A/E industry, and the opportunity to serve in this new capacity is truly humbling.”
In addition, GMC has named Galen Thackston as chief operating officer and Amanda Davis as chief financial officer. Thackston founded the firm’s environmental division in 1993 and has served for the past three years as GMC’s south regional president and on the board of directors. Davis has been with GMC for more than 20 years, most recently as vice president of finance. Kristen Gulino has been promoted to fill Davis’ previous role as vice president.
Lastly, the firm announced two new board members. Executive Vice President of Architecture Chris Engel from the Birmingham office and Regional Vice President Kevin Laird from the Greenville, S.C., office have been appointed to the 2018 board of directors alongside David Reed (chairman), Cedric Campbell, Steve Cawood, Galen Thackston and Lee Walters.
Connecting the Dots
At the beginning of March, the firm embarked on an innovative approach to strategic planning under Jeffrey’s leadership. Through a series of interactive sessions in each major office, employees were invited to give input on what they thought the company should focus on this year.
The activity was designed to garner feedback with respect to four key areas: Our People, Our Growth, Our Culture and Our Business. Boards dedicated to each topic were placed around the room with clusters of words related to that topic and the question, “If you had to focus on one thing to positively impact Our (People/Growth/Culture/Business), what would it be?”
Each person voted for the words or concepts they believed to be of most or least importance with respect to each topic, in addition to the overall topic they felt deserved the most focus. Once everyone had voted, Jeffrey and the various office leaders facilitated discussion to engage and illicit more feedback as to why emphasis was placed on certain ideas.
Although responses differed in every office, several common themes seemed to resonate across the board. The results of this activity reinforced the idea that creating an exceptional culture is as much about operational efficiency, project management, training and technology as it is vision, team collaboration and a family atmosphere. Emphasis must always be placed on providing adequate tools and training to produce quality work, while at the same time maintaining a focus on people and relationships as the foundation of what we do.
“The discussions prompted through this activity proved to be even more insightful than originally hoped,” Jeffrey said. “This feedback will be invaluable in guiding us as we work together to make GMC the best it can possibly be for our people and the people we serve.”