Greg is instrumental in developing Miles-McClellan’s ongoing monitoring of control systems designed to support our operation teams. He and his staff handle Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, Risk Management, and Information Technology.
How or why did you get into construction?
I ended up in construction purely by accident. I entered college at Auburn with a plan of studying and playing tennis for the next four years. My dreams were shattered when I quickly realized that college was going to cost more than I could have guessed (and certainly more than my parents were going to help with), so I quit the tennis team and got a job in the engineering/construction department of a company that owned gas stations across the Southeast. I was the department “gofer” and did everything from sneezing my way through property title searches in musty Southern courthouses (Al Gore had yet to invent the Internet) to screen printing the decals that went on the gas pumps. I really enjoyed learning about construction from the design side and briefly considered architecture as a major. I shared an office with a draftsman who was drawing the site plans for each new gas station. I would stagger out of the tiny room where I ran blueprints on what was then a very modern, ammonia-based blueprint machine only to find the draftsman pushing scale model fuel trucks around his drawings. He claimed it was to make sure that his designed curb cuts would allow real fuel trucks to enter and exit the gas station easily, but it was the maniacal drag racing noises he made that suggested to me that the business side of construction might be more suitable for me than the actual design and building part. I had a conversation with the Executive VP who gave me some sage advice, ”If you are going into business, study accounting. If you understand the books, you understand the company.” I chose Accounting as a major and found it to be a good fit for my personality (basically none). I moved from the engineering side of the company to the accounting department and then moved with the company to Atlanta. After several years there, I returned home to Central Ohio. Within a few days of being back, I answered an ad for a construction accountant. That was 1982 and I have been here at Miles-McClellan ever since.
What is your most memorable project?
Definitely the Honda Aircraft project in North Carolina. It was a very exciting time for everyone at Miles-McClellan. The project was a high-energy project and working on a such a high-profile project was definitely a rush for all of us. Both my accounting and IT roles were heavily involved with this project and of course it was great to be back down South again (if only for a few days at a time).
What is the best part of your job?
Problem solving. Tackling different challenges each day. Although my focus is usually on Accounting and Finance, I am constantly working on challenges in HR, IT, and Risk Management. I’m sure all industries have challenges, but the construction industry seems to have them coming from every direction. Everything from which new technologies to adopt, to keeping our workers safe, to dealing with government regulations keeps us on our toes.
What is the best compliment anyone could give you?
I was able to design a process that made a challenging issue manageable.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“The voice of someone saying something can’t be done is often drowned out by the sound of someone doing it.” It’s easy to react in a negative manner to something outside the norm, but I think our entire team has discovered that it is exciting and challenging to figure out how to slay the dragons.
What is the most interesting place you’ve traveled to and why?
I traveled to Budapest, Hungary while traveling down the Danube River on a river boat cruise. As an American, I tend to think of something 100–200 years old as really old. Then I walked around Budapest and saw structures and artifacts dating back to the Romans and even all the way back to the Celts who settled there over 2,000 years ago. It was an incredible visit and a very bittersweet experience, as I was filled with excitement to see the ancient ruins, and saddened beyond words as I viewed Holocaust memorials.