By Tom Merritt, President

Happy new year to all of our valued clients, partners and colleagues in the industry. At H.R. Gray, we are very excited about the prospects to partner with you on projects, big and small.

As the newly appointed president of H.R. Gray, it is an exciting time to lead our organization. Five years into our acquisition by the Haskell Company, I feel we are well positioned to truly exemplify the Haskell values of Team, Excellence, Service and Trust. In fact, as I start in this new leadership role, building on my tenure serving the public market as a city official and now many years with H.R. Gray, I recognize the importance of these core values.

Team: Having participated in sports throughout my life and still today, I recognize the importance of contribution by all team members. A team comprised of a few superstars but no supporting contributors rarely succeeds, but those teams that recognize the individual strengths of each member, super stars and contributors create success. The team analogy works well related to leadership. As a leader you must be both a coach and manager. The coach looks for ways to improve, new techniques and technologies to improve the performance of each individual while keeping an eye toward the big picture, the manager uses the strength of the team to develop the strategy together to deliver. Successful teams have both and I am proud to acknowledge we have great coaches and managers on the H.R. Gray team, all adding value to the delivery of our services and the value to our clients.

Excellence: In my opinion, excellence really is defined by empowering our people to be the best they can be. This includes emphasis on training and development, identifying opportunities for which each team member has a passion and creating a positive environment to grow personally and professionally. At H.R. Gray, one of the ways in which we ensure excellence is to emphasize the value and importance of maintaining work-life balance. I feel very fortunate that our team members have jobs in a great industry. Our projects and services add value to the communities we serve and improve the quality of life for the residents of these communities. Further, we all work for a company that believes in giving back to the community.

Service: Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s “Ripple of Hope” speech, delivered at the University of Cape Town during the height of apartheid. His words have always stuck with me, and they come to mind when I think of service, as he noted that each of us can begin to make a difference if we stand up for an ideal, or act to improve the fortune of others. In doing so we create a small ripple of hope that can build into a current to overcome any obstacle.

In essence, every good deed adds up. H.R. Gray a Haskell Company is known for living by this value –doing things simply because they are the right thing to do. It is my goal as president of H.R. Gray for us to continue to live this value of service to others.

Trust: Last but not least, trust is essential to our success, as well as yours. As a leader a coach and a manager’s perspective, you have to trust that everyone will act in a way that benefits the organization. As a leader, I will display and act in a way that builds trust, as well as act in a manner that benefit our organization. Trust creates openness and stimulates ideas, trust permits diversity to flourish and diversity provides for a more creative, innovative and productive workforce. I trust that success is more likely when divergent ideas are considered. Diversity in the workforce and diversity of ideas makes us better.

As we enter this New Year, we want to thank you for your partnership and encourage you to share your challenges and ideas so we can jointly find new opportunities and growth.