Greg, a structural engineer at Schaefer for the past 22 years, started with the firm after college and accepted leadership roles as team leader, operations leader and vice president, and is currently our president. We asked Greg ten questions about Schaefer and his life outside of it.
1. What about Schaefer makes you jump out of bed in the morning?
For many years, it was the opportunity to be involved with diverse, interesting projects each day. At this stage of my career, it is fostering the growth and development of our staff who are currently jumping out of bed each morning for the same project reasons that I used to. Whether it is individual mentoring or continuously improving our infrastructure and culture, I like it all.
2. Favorite thing to do off the clock.
I like to spend time with my wife, Nancy, and our two grade school-age sons. We make extensive use of local, state and national parks for hiking and relaxing. I also enjoy golfing with friends.
3. What’s on your bucket list?
Personally, I’d like to visit many more national parks with my family. Professionally, I want to provide structural engineering services for an Olympic Games opening ceremonies.
4. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?
I’d never been rafting before, but some friends wanted to try and asked me to go. I trusted them, didn’t ask questions and went along. Once in the water the guide told us it was Class V rapids, had waterfalls over 10 ft tall and was only for experienced rafters. The trip went surprisingly smoothly, but likely because the guide had our attention and we diligently followed his instructions – it certainly wasn’t any maritime skill on our part.
5. What made you laugh the hardest in your entire life?
It’s too long of a story for this post, but I will say it involves a friend who is just as bad at golf as I am, a kind gentleman who offered to play with us, a golf ball and a steel trash can. Want to hear the full version? Come to a Schaefer happy hour.
6. If you weren’t a structural engineer, what would you be?
My original plan was to be an NBA point guard, but I was working on Plan B by age ten.
7. Fun fact about yourself.
My first job in high school was giving piano lessons to kids, which was fun and made my friends with more traditional teenager jobs jealous. The money was better, my customers were cute and didn’t complain, and I never had to work on a Saturday night.
8. What book have you read that has been most helpful to your career?
Good to Great is an older book, but still very applicable today. It espouses many of the principles that drive our decisions and philosophies.
9. Most prized possession (outside of family and friends).
I am not a sentimental sort of guy, but after I lost my grandfather, I was given his Bible that the government issued servicemen as they started their military duty. He had it with him while he was in the Army Air Force and served in Europe during World War II. It contains his signature, service number, domestic bases where he trained before heading overseas, signatures from base chaplains, and a letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
10. Describe Schaefer in three words.
Empowered, engaged people.