Perlo recently announced the promotion of two members of our team: President Chris Gregg and Senior Vice President Devin Koopman. Both have been staples of Perlo’s culture, projects, and leadership team for many years. Now filling the top spots on our leadership team, we sat down to learn more about them and their careers, as well as the advice they have for others who may want to pursue a career in construction project management.
Chatting with Chris and Devin is almost like sitting down with brothers. The camaraderie, laughter, and mix of serious and funny are always present. They are genuine leaders who built their careers with an optimal mix of hard work and fun, always listening to the needs of our people and our clients, fighting for what’s right even when it’s hard.
Please join us in welcoming Chris and Devin to their new positions. We are so excited to see them continue leading Perlo to new heights. Join us as we learn a little more about them:
What was your first project at Perlo?
Devin: I started here with a summer internship and worked on a building in Hillsboro. Dave Wheeler was the project superintendent. I was then hired full time and started as a Field Engineer under Tim Kofstad on the Alderwood Corporate Center project by the airport. Some of that crew evolved into our current superintendents. They (mainly George) would want me to say that I was lucky to be working with them on my first project.
Chris: I actually started with another company, as my degree is in industrial engineering, and didn’t love what I was doing, but they had assigned me to help manage their building expansion and I found myself really enjoying the process. I decided I wanted to pursue construction management as a career, so I interviewed with Gayland and Devin – at an Applebee’s – and about a month later they offered me a Field Engineer position. I worked with Devin onsite at the Village Baptist Church project and…the rest is history.
What has surprised you most about Perlo in the last 10 years?
Devin: There’s never a dull moment. We have grown so much in terms of people, size of project, and product type, but have been able to maintain some of that family feel that existed when I started.
Chris: I’d agree with that. The magnitude and size of projects, how quickly our project sizes grew, how many more market sectors we work in now. When I started, we were all about industrial buildings, but now, we do so much more.
What kind of vision do you have for the company in your new roles?
Devin: I want to maintain sustainable growth, though it’s felt like a rocket ship at times. We can’t lose sight of how we got here and where we came from. We have a solid foundation built on trust, integrity, and doing the right thing. I also want to keep things fun. This is a tough industry that can chew you up and spit you out. It’s all about working hard and playing hard.
Chris: I want to continue to grow our mentorship program. When we bring on new project engineers and project managers, we give them lots of support. This is a tough business with a lot to learn, and we’ve made huge strides to help support them in their new roles. Same for our internship program. It gets better and better each year, and I’m excited to see that continue. At the end of the day we are a relationship business and our people continuing to develop is the best growth path forward.
In your kids’ eyes, what do you do for work?
Chris: In my kid’s eyes? I build buildings. They think I do the cool part and actually build the buildings. Swing the hammer, right? That’s what they think I do.
Devin: I have a way different answer. Every day, I go to the place that has a candy bin down by Accounting. A ping pong table, shuffleboard, soda machine, video games, and an office full of fun people.
Chris: You go to Wonderland every day.
Devin: I do. You would hear that answer from my house.
What advice do you have for aspiring leaders or trailblazers in this industry?
Chris: Take on the hard stuff. I think Devin and I have a similar philosophy on that front. You have to be willing to work hard and take on the tasks or projects that others shy away from. Be humble. People can tell when you’re doing things to better yourself, verses doing things because it’s the right thing to do.
Devin: Attitude and effort will overcome most obstacles. Don’t ever give someone a reason to doubt you or question your integrity. Meet all deadlines and play your part to help the cause. And don’t forget that this is a team sport – there are people willing to help and support you if you allow it to happen.
We want to take a moment to thank Devin and Chris for their time and congratulate them on their new roles. We have no doubt that they’ll be taking Perlo to new heights.