As a way to get to know the CREW Atlanta leadership better, we will be interviewing the board members on their thoughts on CREW Atlanta, the commercial real estate industry, workplace issues and life in general. This month, we caught up with CREW Atlanta President-Elect and Vice President, Interiors at Holder Construction Greer Gallagher.
Q. What does your role at Holder involve?
I lead our interior construction department nationally, collaborating with our regional office leaders across the country. I focus on making sure our projects are staffed appropriately and leverage extra capacity across the organization to maximize resources. I’m also responsible for business development, and I work to develop and strengthen our client and partner relationships, as well as develop strategies to pursue and win new projects.
Building opportunities internally, I started the Holder Women’s Business
Q. What do you like about working at Holder?
This is my 20th year working for Holder, where I started as an intern. I’ve always been given opportunities to grow and develop in my career, and I appreciate all the support that I have received. What keeps me here are our people and our culture. Over the years, I’ve realized it all comes back to the people you work with and who keep you excited about showing up every day.
Q. What attracted you to construction?
I was influenced growing up by a family friend who graduated in building construction at Georgia Tech. I saw the variety in her work overseeing construction at job sites in addition to management responsibilities. I liked the idea of finding a career that leads to something tangible and that you could be proud of at the end of all your hard work. In school, I gravitated toward STEM subjects, which were my strengths. When I went to Auburn, my mom strongly suggested to me that I pick a major that resulted in a full-time job when I graduated. I’d say with my tenure at Holder that I fulfilled my mom’s goal (and my own).
Q. What makes a successful leader?
I think authenticity and transparency are keys to being a successful leader. Having the ability to grow and foster relationships with your team is also very important. A successful leader gains the trust of her team and reciprocates by extending her trust to them.
Q. What is your best advice for women in commercial real estate?
There definitely are challenges about being a female in the construction industry, mostly stemming around being either the only one or one of a few in the room. For me personally, this wasn’t a huge challenge early in my career, but as my responsibilities grew and I started to play a role in higher-level meetings, I felt myself lacking the confidence I once had and hesitant to share my thoughts in certain situations. Through my participation in the CREW Leadership Program, I learned this was completely normal and I wasn’t alone, which allowed me to push beyond those barriers. I would encourage women in the industry to read about the “confidence gap” between men and women if you start to feel similarly. Understanding the research and studies that show some men will go for an opportunity even though they don’t check all the qualifications was a game changer for me.
Q. What challenge is at the forefront?
If you asked me that before March, my answer would be totally different. What keeps me up at night is the impact of COVID-19. We must provide safe places to work for all of our associates and craftworkers. The requirements for safety are first and foremost, and we are carefully following government regulations and public health guidelines. We operate nationwide, and every day there’s a new state or local executive order. As each state is starting to relax stay-at-home orders, we are focused on office reintegration and ensuring our associates have a safe environment to return to in our corporate and regional offices.
Q. What keeps you busy outside of work?
I have two kids – a daughter, 10, and a son, 9 – who are very active in sports. Spring is typically a busy season with five competitive sports. After the coronavirus outbreak, we are anxiously awaiting a return to some level of normalcy. Watching my kids compete is something I really enjoy, so I’m hoping we can get back to that in the near future. I’m also a huge Peloton fan and runner, so I start every day with a ride or run.
Q: What has CREW done for you?
CREW has helped me continue to grow and develop as a leader and broaden my horizons in commercial real estate beyond construction. When I joined CREW in 2012, my first experience was working with the Programs Committee, which I chaired the following year. In this role, I led the planning for our monthly luncheon programs, which was a great opportunity to reach out to and connect with industry leaders such as real estate attorneys, property and asset managers and other professionals throughout the industry. This experience helped open my eyes and educate me about the many facets of commercial real estate.
My network is strong with CREW Atlanta members, and getting involved in committees has helped me grow relationships and find familiar faces at our monthly luncheons. I also had the opportunity to be part of the 2014 Leadership Class, and I co-chaired the 2018 Leadership Class, which exposed me to relevant and timely speakers who addressed some of the biggest challenges I faced in my career.
I credit CREW with helping me build my confidence as a leader and pushing me forward, knowing that I have a huge group of supporters in my corner.