Building Relationships that Endure: Q&A with Assistant Manager of Design Integration, Taylor Guerrero
Gray AE, the design arm of Gray, is made up of multidisciplinary teams of architects, engineers, and project managers—all working in tandem to bring projects from ideation to reality. These collaborative teams work every day to provide unique solutions for Gray’s growing number of projects, from programming and architectural design to BIM, interiors, and LEED. Designing within the food & beverage market presents an additional layer of challenges, as food safety standards and hygiene practices continue to grow more sophisticated by the day. We sat down with Taylor Guerrero, assistant manager, design integration, food & beverage, to learn more about a day in the life of a food & beverage designer.
Describe your normal workday—your “day in the life”.
I start most days waking up at 5:30 a.m., then my wife and I go to the gym. After the gym, we head back home to get ready for work. Once I’m at work (at Gray’s headquarters in Lexington, KY), I like to start each day by going over my schedule to make sure any calls or meetings I have are top-of–mind. Afterwards, I’ll usually answer my emails.
I also like to start each day by catching up with team members. My team and I are responsible for the management of food safety risks during project proposals, the design phase, and project execution. We provide research regarding the identification and management of food safety risks associated with each of Gray’s projects. I also participate in various Gray initiatives, one being the development of educational materials to support Gray AE’s growth and success.
After work, my wife and I meet back at the gym to do weight-lifting exercises, then head back home to prepare for the next day.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
One of my favorite parts of my job is that there is no ‘typical’ day. I very much enjoy the synergy between Gray team members and the subcontractors who collaborate on the projects we design. These relationships are a big reason why I enjoy my role at Gray. I love the feeling of efficiency that comes from great teamwork and a healthy work environment.
What is something that stands out about being a part of the Gray Family?
I am amazed at how much Gray invests in their team members and how much they truly care about them.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve ever been given?
An important piece of advice I received from one of my mentors was: the key to happiness is balance. A well-managed combination between work life and personal life is important, resulting in success and loving life, in all forms.
What do you think sets Gray apart from other service providers in the industry?
In one word or phrase, how would you describe Gray?
If someone was visiting where you live, what would you recommend to them as a “must-do?” (Restaurant, activity, sightseeing, etc.)
Lexington is known for three specific things: horses, bourbon, and college basketball!
If you like horses, I’d recommend taking a tour of a thoroughbred farm where you can meet horse racing legends. I’d also recommend paying a visit to Keeneland in the morning to watch the horses as they train on the racetrack.
If you’re a bourbon lover, there are distilleries that offer a closer look at the history and production of the American-native spirit.
Lastly, college basketball is seasonal, but if you’re in town at the right time, I’d highly recommend attending a Kentucky Wildcats game!
For more information on joining the Gray family, visit https://www.gray.com/careers/