Employer Profile: GATE Inc. wins 'Fastest Growing in North America' award
For Grant Gibson, Founder and CEO of GATE Inc., it's hard to believe that it has been 15 years since GATE was started on Michigan Street in Houston with a plastic table and desktop computer from Sam's Club.
"I was 28 years old with a Nokia phone, AOL dial-up, and the price of oil was about $15/BBL. My mom loaned me the money to start GATE and she doesn't let me forget it either, even to this day," Gibson said. Fifteen years later, GATE is an award-winning oil and gas engineering consulting firm offering numerous services in the areas of commissioning, engineering, marine services and marine construction around the globe.
As GATE has continued to evolve over the past 15 years, it has developed a reputation as a company that provides realistic and achievable solutions for its clients, from concept selection of new oil and gas developments to troubleshooting of operating platforms.
It also has built a reputation with a staff of over 250 employees and contractors as one of the best places to work for.
Most consulting firms have the same mission - engaged employees, trust-based relationships with clients, growth and profitability. But Gibson felt that in order for GATE to succeed, the focus should be on how to best implement these, versus focusing on some mission statement that no one can remember. The bottom line is that it starts with the people, investing in them via training and development, creating a culture for them to succeed, providing a respectful place to work and interesting/challenging work, mentoring by senior staff, comparable compensation, empowerment, and a path toward meaningful ownership. These became the values and belief system on which GATE is based.
To measure the success of these fundamentals, GATE competes in the Best Firm to Work For and Hot Firm competitions sponsored by the Zweig Group. For the last six years, GATE has placed in the top 10 Multidisciplinary Engineering Best Firms in North America.
"GATE was set up from day one to be a Best Firm to Work For. This means that we are able to attract and keep motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic staff in an industry that is otherwise famed for its high staff turnover and mobility. By maintaining this culture, we have developed a reputation for being an easy company to work with, that is highly responsive to the needs of our industry, and which is recognized as a technical leader in supporting upstream projects from design, through to commissioning and operation," said Lee Jordan, operations manager.
Recently, GATE was recognized as the No. 1 fastest-growing firm in North America in 2015 through the Zweig Group Hot Firm awards. The Zweig Group Hot Firm list recognizes the top 100 fastest-growing firms in the U.S. and Canada.
"Being the No. 1 Hot Firm has been a goal of GATE. This represents the commitment of our staff to our clients and the value our clients place on our work. Winning the Hot Firm, as well as placing the Best Firm to Work For yearly, proves that you can run a high performance organization and create a best firm culture," Gibson said.
But GATE has not stopped resting on these successes.
GATE has taken the next step to becoming an industry leader with the acquisitions of Viking Engineering, Greenwood Groupand Kane Kompany. Ultimately, these partnerships bring additional expertise including well design, deepwater construction, installation, and decommissioning and diving operations.
In the end, helping engineers become professional, successful and trusted engineers allows GATE's slogan, "Make It Work Right The First Time," a reality to its clients. Profitability and strong client relationships are a result of having employees who are proud to represent GATE.
GATE clients continue to expect and receive exceptional customer service, technical skills, and projects executed safely and successfully.
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