Here at HFA, our people are our top priority. With that in mind, we believe that growing and promoting talent from within is vital to our purpose, vision, and values.
Recently, CEO Dave Wilgus announced that three Directors, Bo Ebbrecht, Greg Schluterman, and James Owens, would be promoted to Vice President, effective October 14, 2020.
Part of the reason this support structure change was so important is that these three leaders will use their new positions to strengthen their bond with HFA employees, both in their home office and beyond. But how much do you know about them? We took a few moments to get to know each Vice President a little better so they can explain what this promotion means for them and the studio as a whole. Read on to learn more about Greg Schluterman, P.E.!
Q: Tell me a little more about your background and how long you’ve been with HFA.
Greg: I originally graduated from college with a degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering. Soon after, I decided to go back to school and get my master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. For my research, I focused on heat and mass transfer for biological materials. After finishing up that degree, I landed a consulting engineering job in Rogers, where we did the engineering work for HFA, where I got to meet Chris Horton. When Chris got the opportunity to start up the engineering program for HFA, I came alongside him and joined the team. I’ve been fortunate to have been here from the very beginning of the engineering department, back in 2004.
Q: How will your industry and client experience assist you in your new role as Vice President?
Greg: I’ve worked my way up from a designer to this new Vice President role. I feel like I’ve worked in all areas of HFA, so hopefully, I can relate to fellow employees. Mentoring is important to me because of that aspect. I feel like I can help employees grow in their positions because I've been there.
As far as the client-side, I don't know that there are many national accounts that I haven't worked on. I know what's needed to give the client the support they need because of the diverse experiences I’ve gained in my 16 years at HFA.
Q: How will your role further strengthen your bond with the studio?
Greg: HFA has so many talented staff members across all the studios, especially engineering; I’m just here to provide them the support and resources they need to do their job better. I want to make each individual stronger and help them achieve any goals that they have.
Q: How do you think this support structure change [adding three new Vice Presidents] will benefit the client and HFA employees?
Greg: With this new position, I want to emphasize using staff for their talents, not just where they sit. When an opportunity comes up to serve a client, I want to make sure that we're giving them the talent they need and deserve, no matter what team an employee may be on. By opening up these silos and having more people available, we’ll have more resources, translating into a better quality of work. Good communication across teams will help us service the client better than ever before.
Q: What are some of the goals you are looking to implement for Q4 and looking forward to 2021?
Greg: Breaking down the silos is definitely at the forefront of our minds for Q4 and 2021. Further than that, there are many areas for growth and opportunity within the engineering department specifically. We've got an excellent opportunity for a few different sectors on the horizon that will allow the department to grow while allowing the team to develop and grow, as well. In addition, creating consistent standards for our design and continuing to develop our mentorship program for our staff will be at the forefront.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style? What are the things you feel are most important to emphasize when it comes to leading the studio?
Greg: My leadership style is very hands-on. One of my strongest attributes is my hardworking attitude. I always want to make sure that my team knows I'm available to help out whether the project is large or small. As a Vice President, I will pledge to provide unwavering support to my teams from the executive level, while also listening to their voices and day-to-day concerns.
To learn more about Greg or to connect with him, reach out to Greg.Schluterman@hfa-ae.com
Founded in 1990, HFA is a full-service Architecture and Engineering firm with locations in Bentonville, AR; Franklin, MA; Fort Worth, TX; and Mexico City, MX. Focused on designing for the customer experience, HFA works coast to coast with retail, real estate development, office, industrial, fueling, restaurant/food service, lifestyle, and education clients.