We recently spoke with Gregg Kruse to learn more about his new role as Vice President. We asked him about his background, what he enjoys about working at Braun Intertec in his new role, and his advice for those just starting their career.
What is your current role at Braun Intertec?
I am a Vice President and currently lead our Operational Support Services (OSS) group, which provides financial management services to engineering and testing, environmental consulting and technical services at Braun Intertec.
I also support operations for our Environmental Consulting group across all geographies. This group has experienced historic growth over the past five years throughout many areas including, investigation and remediation, permitting and compliance, natural resources, industrial hygiene and safety. I work closely with Nic Andreani and Tim Lenway, who lead our Environmental Consulting practice.
What is your professional background?
I started my career at Braun Intertec as a teenager, doing everything from cutting the grass, to eventually working in the materials laboratory, as a drilling assistant, and in the construction materials testing field. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, I was lured back to Braun Intertec to help the fledgling environmental consulting practice. I have also had the distinct pleasure of being mentored by past and present leaders of the company for the past 30 plus years.
What interested you about your profession?
When I began my career, environmental consulting was a relatively new and different practice. I liked the idea of an occupation where I could contribute to the greater good, while also seeing the results of those contributions in tangible things like new schools, businesses and housing which bring improved opportunities for education and jobs as well as cleaner air, water, and land.
What is your favorite aspect of your role or the most rewarding part of what you do at Braun Intertec?
My favorite aspect is playing a part in the success of the various teams at Braun Intertec. I enjoy the challenges and developing solutions with our diverse clients and employee-owners. Then, add in the great people who work here and the constant variety of consulting, and you have my ideal role. There’s never a dull moment at this company, one day I am working with a project team to deliver on a complex environmental remediation site and the next day I am helping with the integration of a new business unit.
What is your favorite thing about working at Braun Intertec? What do you feel makes it unique?
Which comes first, the people or the culture? Clearly, when you have a group of people with common values and purpose dedicated to providing excellent service, you are going to find a great culture. There’s no doubt that’s my favorite thing about working at Braun Intertec. The unique aspect of this organization comes from the members of the team. We have always been focused on service and dedication to our clients. In many companies, that level of service requires great personal sacrifice. However, at Braun Intertec, the team supports you in these efforts and picks you up when needed, so you have the flexibility to spend time with family and pursue other things that bring you joy.
What technical specialty/service(s) do we offer that you feel differentiates Braun Intertec from other firms?
We have a complimentary mix of consulting and testing services that differentiate us from other firms. Combining different disciplines such as environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, structures evaluation and building sciences can be challenging to deliver as one cohesive team. At Braun Intertec, our client service managers oversee the provision of these services and the focus on quality allows us to do them well. Our clients recognize this and it is one of the reasons they continue to include us on their project teams.
What is your approach to client problem-solving?
Too often consultants think they know the solution before fully understanding the problem. I believe the best approach is to listen to the client and see the problem from their perspective, ask the right questions to better understand the issues and their big picture, and then bring in a qualified team to develop creative, cost-effective solutions to their problems. Throughout the process, we need to communicate with our clients and oftentimes educate them so they are part of the solution. Many of our best client relationships were born out of a problem-solving event.
What traits do you look for in your team members?
I am looking for team members who match the culture of Braun Intertec, have a drive for results, client focus, ethics, values, integrity and trust. I also look for individuals with a service mentality who want to be part of a winning team and demonstrate the ability to communicate and develop relationships both internally and externally. We are looking for critical thinkers with the aptitude to translate those thoughts into quality writing. If they have these traits or the capability to develop them, we want them on the team — we can teach the rest.
What should new Braun Intertec employees know about working here? Do you have a piece of advice for someone entering your profession?
Come with an open mind and a willingness to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. It’s important to spend some time in the trenches to fully understand what we do and how we do it. Be a sponge. Soak up everything you can. Find a mentor or two. Ask questions. Know what you don’t know. Volunteer. Take on challenging projects. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try to see the big picture. Make safety a priority.
What are some of your hobbies or interests you like to do outside of work?
Now that my kids are grown, you can find me in the woods or fields hunting, on the mountain skiing, or out on the water doing everything possible before the sun goes down. After the sun goes down, you may find me in the crowd at a sporting event or listening to live music. If you find me on the golf course, beware. I can’t resist all that green grass and beautiful landscape.