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Safety First, Excellence Always: The Vital Role of Site Managers

A Gray site manager has no shortage of important tasks and responsibilities for which they are accountable. There are the job’s technical aspects, such as keeping the project on schedule and under budget. Not to mention dealing with site logistics, managing subcontractors, instilling team unity, and more. 


But what sets Gray site managers apart from others in our industry? Simple. Our core values drive every move we make and every action we take—wherever we are working and whatever task we are performing. 


We sat down with a few site managers of varying levels and years of experience to gain perspective on what it takes to be a successful site manager at Gray, what they’ve learned over the course of their careers, and why Gray feels like home. 



Being a site manager isn’t an easy job, but the consensus among our interviewees is that the relationships and opportunity to solve new challenges keeps them motivated.  


“Every day, you meet new faces, encounter different backgrounds, and get to build new relationships,” Mohammad said. 


Rapson commented how the knowledge sharing between Gray and trade partners is invaluable, and Payne agreed, adding how the intergenerational relationships help create a thriving project. 


“Being able to mentor and teach the younger team members out on site is amazing,” he said. “I really love being around them—they keep me feeling young and offer a fresh set of eyes on processes, asking questions and finding ways to enhance our workflow.” 


These site managers also possess the knowledge on how to create a successful job, beyond the basic job description and project tasks. While the bottom line, staying on schedule, and practicing safety are imperative, these team members recognize how crucial other factors are to the process. 


“I think one of the top indicators of a successful project is a happy customer,” Duvall said. “While most people measure wins in dollars, we can’t just rely on that metric to define what success means to us.” 


Growing as a group and on an individual level is another integral aspect of a successful job, tying back into the important goal of building relationships. 


“The ultimate win is when the members of my team express the desire to work together again on the next project,” Young said. “In my opinion, positive feedback from my team and our trade partners outweighs any external accolades.” 

The keys to success 


It’s one thing to know and understand what makes a successful project and the feeling of pride after completing a job with an amazing team—but creating that comradery and unity doesn’t just happen automatically. Duvall says helping team members find their fit on the team is a critical part of a site manager’s role. 


“Team bonding is vital,” he said. “Starting a project with a shared vision of unity is essential to ensure success.” 


As with any family, conflict is inevitable. According to Mohammad, the key is maintaining unity by overcoming challenges together and remembering the shared goal. Site managers are crucial in helping facilitate this mindset among team members, and Payne believes the differences of individuals on a project team is beneficial to Gray and the customer. 


“We all carry our own beliefs and come from different cultural backgrounds,” he said. “As we learn to understand each other better, we realize the diversity of our ideas makes our team stronger.” 


As they reflect on their career growth, the common thread for these site managers was their enhanced communication skills and being able to adapt as projects progress and new challenges arise. 


Duvall noted how the industry has evolved over the decades, with site managers being willing to evaluate and adjust as needed. Rapson added how stepping back and seeing the big picture of a project helps her solve problems and allows her to coordinate moving parts like puzzle pieces. 


Payne noted how humility has been key for him—even with his extensive experience, he is open to new ideas from others. Young agreed and added how being true to his word has built trust with team members and customers. 


“Qualities such as fairness, honesty, and authenticity are paramount,” he said. “Following through on what you say is how you earn respect—coupled with genuine and empathetic communication.” 

"We all carry our own beliefs and come from different cultural backgrounds. As we learn to understand each other better, we realize the diversity of our ideas makes our team stronger."
Greg Payne, MEP Site Manager


The Gray way 


At Gray, we are guided by our Core Values—it is the north star for how we treat each other and our customers. Rapson said her team begins every meeting by reading the core values aloud for the group to ensure they are in the proper mindset as they make important decisions. Mohammad added that he applies to core values daily—whether on or off the jobsite. 


“The core values become a part of who we are outside of work,” he said. “Safety, quality, and healthy relationships extend into our personal lives too.” 


Young alluded to how the core values provide an excellent foundation for how to deal with difficult situations and are integral to day-to-day operations. Duvall agreed adherence to the core values play a significant role in the project’s success. 


“It’s not just lip service,” Duvall said. “Gray team members believe in these and live them out.” 


The family-oriented culture of Gray was widely noted among the interviewees, as they all espoused how important that environment is to them personally and professionally. 


“The family mentality at Gray is unmatched,” Rapson said. “There’s a sense that we’re all in it together, with a focus on growth and progression.” 


Payne said that he’s never experienced such a tight-knit team as those he’s been a part of at Gray. 


“I’ve created relationships that go far beyond work,” he said. “It is comforting to know you can pick up the phone and call anyone, and they will be there for you.” 


When asked what they would tell potential candidates who are interested in joining the Gray family, the site managers unequivocally said this was the best place they’ve worked in their careers.  


Duvall and Mohammad both mentioned how grateful they are for the opportunities to grow and advance their careers while at Gray, while Payne added he’s been challenged in new ways, revitalizing his passion for the industry. 


Young then summed up the biggest reason people come to—and stay—at Gray. 


“The company genuinely cares about its people, their families, and their overall well-being,” he said. “It’s not just about completing projects—it’s about building a supportive and caring community where everyone matters.” 

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