The Modern Marine
Patrick joined the Marine Corps after high school and served as an infantry non-commissioned officer in the 2nd Marine Division and deployed to Kosovo in 2001, and Iraq in 2003. His military experience equipped him with leadership skills including critical decision making, navigating crisis, accountability, and discipline. These capabilities helped to turn around the fortunes and reputation of GEC which were less than admirable. Today, with several successful projects that laid a new foundation in excellence for Green Energy, GEC has transformed into a catalytic force on the Emerald Coast. “One of our greatest assets has been building upon our foundation and becoming a full-service conglomerate where we outsource as little as possible and construct in-house service fulfillment that has resulted in our new divisions,” he says.
Patrick believes that the most important thing to the company is retaining authentic business relationships. “The relationships that were made with various clients and partners have led to multi-year contracts and repeat customers …We believe that this model will prove advantageous for many years.”
Investments in relationships extend to his employees as well. Patrick feels that the competition that GEC faces is not for contracts or deals but for attracting suitable employees. However, he is optimistic that they can beat the workforce squeeze by fostering camaraderie, raising motivation, and improving the overall work environment which will enable GEC to recruit top-notch management, staff, and tradesmen.
Beating the Covid Effect
Not just has the pandemic impacted recruitments of quality workers but also created an unprecedented ripple effect from the supply chain disruption that the previous generation of executives has never seen. Covid-19 made it difficult to get construction materials on time, hard to get quotes, and nearly impossible to get vendors to hold material pricing because of the extremely volatile construction materials market. However, GEC judiciously used social media as a tool to recruit workers. Additionally, they utilized private groups on social media platforms to communicate with their workforce through productive and innovative employee experiences. “Social media affords us opportunity to showcase who we are in hopes of staying positive and visible to both potential clients and employees” and then again, compels employees to higher levels of accountability.
Industry Trends and GEC Projects
Patrick is wired to the latest developments in the industry and keeps his “ear to the ground” by constantly communicating with other industry executives- even competitors. The team at GEC keeps abreast of industry regulations and changes by using national market resources and connecting with government policy experts. Additionally, they review cases studies to see how the heavy hitters are managing projects and challenges.
Patrick feels that “as a country, and especially in my industry, we are going to continue to see these new challenges that require creativity and resilience to overcome. We should all be ready for more complex social trials in the future.” Therefore, his vision of the growth of the trajectory of GEC is by promoting a culture of flexibility and resilience in the company. GEC is promoting a work environment that “shifts the mindset of personnel from an emphasis of efficiency to an emphasis of resiliency, enabling them to react quickly to changes in the market.”
GEC finds ways to self-perform processes rather than relying on other companies by vertical integration. “Our company will continue to absorb or create other companies that can be vertically integrated with us. This lets us be less reliant on lower-tier service providers,” he explains. The company has recently partnered with BL Harbert, one of America’s top federal contractors for the restoration of the water distribution system at the Naval Support Activity Facility in Panama City.
Patrick is an outdoorsman and loves saltwater fishing, upland bird hunting, gardening, and farming. If he is not out on his boat, he’s exploring the woods. He has four energetic Brittany Spaniels and has recently ventured into raising quail and pheasants. That these activities enable him to spend time with family and friends is a happy consequence. It is thus natural that he would choose Jose Salvador Alvarenga, the Salvadoran fisherman that spent 14 months adrift in the Pacific Ocean as an ideal dinner companion. “I bet I could listen to his stories for days. The strength of mind and character he maintained is beyond inspiring,” he says.
“For GEC, social responsibility is just as important as safety and quality control in the workforce,” says Patrick. The company gives back to the community by offering compensation and benefits packages that help feed the regional economy. GEC is also looking at ways to reduce its “dumpster footprint.” In the past, a certain amount of construction material was considered acceptable but the company is shifting its mindset by rewarding waste-reduction initiatives, like incentivizing creative reuse of scrap material. This reduces their exposure to supply chain difficulties caused by the pandemic, and they find that the less they scrap: the less they purchase, thus reducing the burden on resources.
“I believe that our corporate legacy is a result of our leadership trajectory, past, present, and future. We serve our employees, our clients, and our community, and every interaction over the years will shape our legacy.”
Amen to that!