After high school, Gary started working minimum jobs, and in 1974 starting wage was $1.60 an hour. Realizing that he had to do something different, he started looking at going back to school. His step-father, an alum of VTC from the Agriculture Program, suggested Gary go to Vermont Tech. Gary interested in construction chose to get his Associates in the Architectural Engineering & Building Technology program (as the Construction Management Program was not available at the time) and received his degree in 1978.
Gary remembers Professor Harry Wirtz, and explained how his teachings helped him later on, “He was very methodical in his teachings and what he wanted us to learn. He told us not to rush and approach a solution and think about the options.” He also remembers Professor Robert Wonka, saying, “he taught mathematics and that was always a challenge for most, especially calculus. Professor Wonka had a way to make it interesting and help you through the process.” Gary went on to note that the faculty, staff, and specifically professors are there to help and use them and all the resources you can at VTC. (See VTC’s resources at the Center for Academic Success).
During his time at Vermont Tech, Gary really enjoyed how at home he felt on campus, stating, “What I liked most about VTC were the size of the campus and student body. The size allows students to get to know the faculty and students from all disciplines.” Gary was active on campus and was involved in the Intramural programs, and played on the VTC Varsity Basketball Team for two years. He mentioned, “I had a great time while there. I was the Capitan in my second year and I learned a lot from that. My basketball coach Austin Woods “Woody”, asked his team to instill hard work amongst each other and said, “lead by example,” which I still use to this day.”
Now, Gary is the Senior Principal, Office Leader at the Burlington location and Operations Manager at Stantec Consulting Services. Starting as the Construction Inspector/Technician, he will now be celebrating 44 years with the company in May of this year! His overall responsibilities as Senior Principal and Operations Manager is to assist the overall leader as he explains “we pull about $40 million a year in revenue and I help by looking at the financials; supporting all the staff, helping that person find the right staff for the project; working on project management issues; and looking at the design perspective like what’s technically correct, what needs to be adjusted, and being involved with the reviews and thoroughly checking plans as an engineer.” Learn more about Gary’s day-to-day activities at the office in the Stantec Vermont Tech YouTube video! On more day-to-day as an Office Leader, Gary helps the staff and their needs as it comes up. Gary has recently been awarded 2022 Engineer of the Year by the Vermont Society of Professional Engineers during National Engineers Week.
Gary continuously supports Vermont Tech and said, “I am proud to be a graduate as the feeling of working hard during my time at school provided me the skills to be effective at my job.” He recommends VTC, explaining, “One thing why I recommend VTC is because I look at resumes as I am involved with the hiring process here at Stantec, hiring over 200-200 candidates, and candidates with a degree from VTC are put at the top of our pile because we know VTC has a great curriculum. It is a great basis for your career. Go to VTC and then also really consider going on.” Gary is also involved at VTC as a Civil Engineering Advisory Board member since 1995. He stated, “I know what the professors are like and they are there for the students. I would encourage anyone to go to VTC.”