In February 1993 Bill Murray ruled the box office with “Groundhog Day.” Whitney Houston dominated the music charts with “I Will Always Love You,” and the nation’s favorite TV shows featured stand-up comedians (Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, and Tim Allen) making the transition to sitcoms (Seinfeld, Roseanne, and Home Improvement).
It was also the month when a retired Air Force Officer, Dave Blume, came to work at Gausman & Moore. Twenty-five years later, Dave (Partner, Roseville Office) is still at G&M, working as an Electrical Engineer and head of the company’s Electrical Department. Dave recently spoke about his career at G&M and what it has meant to him.
What drew you to G&M 25 years ago?
G&M offered an opportunity to work toward company ownership that wasn’t available in other companies that I was interviewing with such as manufacturing, power companies, large consulting corporations, or in research. The size and composition of G&M appealed to me as did the people I met before coming to work here. Lane Hersey was an important factor in the decision as I thought that the help he gave me finding interviews with competitors was head and shoulders above anything I had expected from a stranger. When Lane and his partners decided to take a chance on me, a guy with zero experience in this industry, there was no hesitation on my part.
What has kept you at G&M?
I have stayed because the ownership opportunity became a reality and the challenges have not stopped being interesting and diverse. G&M’s focus on sustainable design and the sustainability of our 84-year-old company are also strong attractors, as of course are the great people I work with. Besides, I have a corner office!
What do you still find challenging about the job?
There are always new technical challenges with the evolution of electrical products, new types of lighting, new codes, etc. There are also always new clients with new ways of doing things, new expectations, and new relationships.
How has the industry changed?
The way we approach design has evolved from isolated engineering to integrated design. We are no longer an afterthought to the overall building design but are integral to its function, energy consumption, flexibility, spatial arrangement, and client satisfaction. Coordination between building design disciplines is a much more collaborative process than it was 25 years ago, and very much the better for it. Technology has certainly changed with the advent of LED lighting, advanced lighting controls, and the miniaturization and cost effectiveness of things like variable frequency drives. These things have also allowed us to focus on energy conservation, which years ago seemed an afterthought.
How has the industry stayed the same?
The things that never change are the importance of staff and client relationships to the success of the business. We have some really great staff and clients that we have been working with for a long time. I am proud to have done my part to cultivate those relationships.
You presented gifts to your coworkers on your anniversary. Why?
I really appreciate our staff, how hard they work, and how they have stood with us in good and bad times. I haven’t worked anywhere else for 25 years and I thought that was worth celebrating. I like handmade things and I came up with the idea of handmade ceramic mugs with the company logo and personalized with each person’s name. I hope they are still around in another 25 years.