Director, Shared Services
“I’ve been forced to learn how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable,” says Gateway’s Director of Shared Services Steve Voogd. Since he joined the company as a Project Manager, Steve has steadily climbed the ladder, with (by his count) “roughly” four promotions over the past 81/2 years. Today he manages and oversees Gateway’s Supply Chain Management and IT Departments, as well as the Corporate Affairs Portfolio. This is a broad purview, and it means he must be as comfortable making decisions about how to manage the company’s fleet of vehicles as he is weighing in on insurance and bonding policies. It’s a lot for one man to take on.
Fortunately, he’s grateful for the trial by fire. “Having gone through this learning process, I encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zone and seize opportunities,” Steve says. “Although some days will be extremely challenging, overall you will not regret it, as this is where you will truly grow and succeed.”
Steve had already authored a varied and successful career long before joining Gateway, which surely prepared him well to take on his new responsibilities. Steve attended the NAIT Business Administration Program, as well as the Building Environmental Systems Technology (B.E.S.T.) Program. Shortly after completing these programs as well as other courses, he began working in the mechanical engineering and consulting field, collaborating closely with architects and owners on construction projects.
After four successful years in mechanical design he made his first major pivot, taking on a project management role at a prominent structural steel company. He took full advantage of the learning opportunities offered by his new position, greatly expanding his knowledge of both the commercial and industrial construction world, as well as the importance of safety, quality and detailed planning. During his time there he also enrolled in a management program through the University of Alberta, graduating in 2009.
His interest in the mechanical side of construction never fully went away, however, and via a prior business relationship he was able to secure an interview with Gateway.
“At that time, Gateway had made the decision to begin bidding and executing on medium- to large-scale mechanical construction projects, and they required an experienced Project Manager to help them navigate these new opportunities,” says Steve. He was already very familiar with Gateway going back to his days at NAIT, where the company had established a close relationship with the B.E.S.T. Program. Steve recalls that some of his classmates had family members working for Gateway, while others had goals of one day working for the company after graduation.
After a rigorous interview process which he says he will “never forget,” Gateway brought Steve on and the arrangement has since paid dividends for both parties. Steve values the sheer variety of projects he gets to take on with the company, and believes it has helped keep him at the top of his game. He takes a great deal of pride in contributing to the success of his team members across not only the departments he manages, but the entire company.
“Gateway’s culture is driven by people who truly care,” Steve says. “It’s incredible to be part of a company where the people you work alongside genuinely want to do everything they can to better the organization.”