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Joining a Growing Family: Q&A with Senior Electrical Designer Bill Spencer

Change is not always easy but is often necessary. Over the past several years, Gray has experienced plenty of positive change, as the company has made concerted efforts to add brands to the Gray family that complement our already existing service platform. One such company, Spencer Bristol Engineering, joined the Gray family of brands in 2017 to complement its project management and design services. We were given the opportunity to speak with a long-time Spencer Bristol team member about how the company has changed over the years and some of the benefits of being in the Gray family.


What does your normal workday include?


When I get into the office, I usually start with a few moments on the balcony to clear my thoughts and water the plants on Mondays. Then, I typically go check emails and any messages to clear those items. Next, I like to check in to see if there are any team questions or issues to solve before I start whatever design I’m working on. I like it best when I can just crank up and start designing, but that rarely happens anymore. I love to share my experience to help other team members.


Since you started with the company, how has it changed in your opinion?


The size of the projects has changed. Recently, the projects we have taken on have gotten larger. With the growth has come some change in organization structure. Mr. Bristol and Mr. Spencer had generally maintained customer management roles, but that has shifted more to the department heads and project managers now, even though we still do have some specific customer managers.


What do you enjoy most about your work?


What I enjoy has actually shifted. Now, I mostly enjoy learning the technical aspects and interpersonal relationships piece. Before, I used to be more interested in the specific projects and challenges related to facility hierarchies. For example, I used to do a lot of aviation projects, which offered challenges unlike other markets in dealing with customers like Delta and city offices related to the airport.


What has been the most memorable experience with Spencer Bristol since you started?


Designing the 747 display at the Delta Flight Museum.


How have you seen positive change since Spencer Bristol joined the Gray family?


Yes, there is more accountability in both management and the design teams since we came onboard with Gray.


In one word or phrase, how would you describe the Gray family?


Large with an even bigger heart!


Can you please tell us about your interesting hobby/business?


My son and I started a small knife making business just to fund our knife making habits. It has recently turned into something a little more promising as we started making chef’s knives. We were recently contacted by Alton Brown from Iron Chef to purchase some of our knives! The name of the company is Wicked Grind Blade Works, which is now owned by my son Andrew. I’m just more or less a fair-weather CEO, mostly the fun stuff like heat treating (playing in the fire!), doing social media stuff, helping with sales, and craft shows.



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