Growth & Opportunity from a Thriving Market
Often here at Gray, we ask our team members to describe the company using one word or phrase. Some of the most common responses we see include family, hard-working, connected, teamwork, and many others. But, for Ben Meurer, vice president, of the mission critical market, that one word is opportunity.
“I started as an intern while I was attending Eastern Kentucky University,” says Ben.
More than two decades ago, Ben’s career path at Gray started as entry-level as possible, following in the footsteps of Brian Jones, president & chief executive officer, Gray Construction; Tyler Cundiff, president, food & beverage market, Gray, Inc.; Brett Goode, vice president, South Atlantic Regional Office; and many others.
After graduating from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management, Ben was hired as an assistant project manager and officially began his career journey with Gray.
Learning along the Journey
It didn’t take long for Ben to get an opportunity begin contributing to the team. His determination and work ethic were perfect fits for the Gray family, and almost immediately, he jumped in on several key projects to assist. During his first few years in Lexington, Ben worked on several key projects for Gray including a Kentucky Steel Center manufacturing facility, Sherwin-Williams distribution plant, and several others. His work on these projects, along with his determination and drive, earned him the honor of being asked to transition to Gray Ohio Valley to assist growing that office.
Following a decade at Gray Ohio Valley where Ben helped build the team and served on a number of key projects, he transitioned back to Lexington to serve as the director of pre-construction. In his pre-construction role, Ben once again was given another opportunity to experience a new facet of Gray and learn from some of the institutional knowledge that is hidden within our walls.
“I have been fortunate enough to work on probably some of Gray’s smaller projects with Gray Ohio Valley and some of the larger projects while in Lexington,” says Ben. “This has given me a diverse understanding of the overall business. With the different roles I have served, I’ve been able to take parts of each leader’s style to come up with my own way of leading.”
Breaking New Ground
“If you have the drive and desire to grow, there will always be avenues for advancement at Gray,” says Ben.
After 20 years with Gray, numerous successful projects, happy customers, and a variety of roles filled, Ben was tasked to lead the growing mission critical market.
“It was probably one of the most gratifying times for me personally to be a part of,” says Ben.
This booming market seems to gain popularity and prominence with every passing day. As information around the world becomes more and more digitized, companies are continually looking for ways to store data safely and securely.
“The mission critical market has many years of growth ahead,” says Ben. “The market is growing exponentially because of cloud storage needs of both individuals, but more importantly, companies across the world, as well as government entities. If you think about it, our world has become very digital in a short period of time. The COVID-19 pandemic is actually accelerating digital transformation of many businesses and driving need for more data storage.”
Gray understands that, in a highly competitive environment like this, it requires more than just technical knowhow to standout above the competition.
“It is our customer focus and our people. Our people live and breathe our No. 2 core value, which is ‘We are Customer & Relationship Driven.’ The focused effort on our customer and subcontractor relationships have helped us grow exponentially in this market,” says Ben.
Within Gray’s mission critical market, there is already a solid foundation that has been laid and building blocks are being set for the future.
“The projects we currently have create a great deal of backlog, which sets Gray up for future success by allowing growth of team members as well as the ability to add additional service options to our customers. This naturally leads to more revenue and profit opportunities for years to come,” says Ben.