Finding a Gem in the Emerald City: Q&A with Dawnelle Renfro
Gray has been on a mission to establish regional offices and emerging talent hubs that are focused on intentional areas of growth and offer individuals the flexibility to work from anywhere. In 2019, the Gray Northwest Regional office opened its doors—and Dawnelle Renfro was glad they did.
A native of the Seattle area, Dawnelle grew up just miles from the Gray office and was thrilled to join the Gray family. We sat down with Dawnelle to talk to her about what makes Gray and the Pacific Northwest a winning combination.
Tell me about your career arc and what led you to Gray?
I worked in project coordination in different industries for several years, before I came across Gray one day on LinkedIn. I was intrigued by the company, so I did more research and referenced popular company review sites. The reviews were great—many people mentioned how much they loved Gray and its family culture. So I decided to apply and got the job here at Gray three and a half years ago.
Describe your normal workday or your “day in the life.”
I get to the office early to be in sync with our projects and keep in touch with our other Gray regional offices. I start my morning working on submittals and RFIs, as well as working with the site team to ensure they have everything they need to have a productive day. I’m fortunate to work in an office with wonderful people—it makes work so enjoyable.
In one word or phrase, how would you describe Gray?
Friendly. This is, by far, the friendliest place I’ve ever worked.
What do you enjoy most about working at Gray?
The people are what make Gray so special. Everyone I’ve met at any office or jobsite has been so kind, and it makes you really feel like you’re a part of the Gray family.
What’s been your most memorable experience since joining Gray?
My most memorable experience since joining Gray has been attending Gray Family Weekend. Seeing how much time and effort is put into it shows that Gray values our hard work. When people like Brian Jones and Stephen Gray personally show their appreciation for team members, you can feel their authenticity. It’s just awesome.
What do you think sets Gray apart from other service providers in the industry?
I think Gray truly cares about what their customers want and how they can serve them, as well as supporting Gray team members at the same time. I think it’s wonderful how much time and effort Gray puts into the development of team members—it shows how much they value us as individuals.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Things happen, so just focus on the lessons learned from it and how you can do better the next time.
What’s something about the Gray Northwest office that is unique?
Half of our office is female, which I think is cool. Our small group in Issaquah is extremely tight knit, and we really do act like a family. I love it!
If someone was visiting the Gray Northwest office, what activities should they do?
I’d say you have to make a visit to Pike’s Place and watch them throw the fish. And after that, you need to check out the Space Needle!
What do you do in your spare time?
I am going back to school right now, taking online courses through Southern New Hampshire University. I’m working on attaining my bachelor’s in business operations with a concentration in project management. Once I’m done with that, I’m going to apply for a master’s program in construction management. On another note, I spend a good deal of my time taking care of my backyard farm, tending to my chickens, goats, ducks, dogs, cats, and a pig.