Consultancy, North America
Building a successful North American business is a challenge that met its match in Mace’s Managing Director Greg Parker. Since landing his first client for Mace in 2011, Greg has grown our offer across the U.S. and Canada, supporting global brands from coast to coast and developing a team of over 200 cost and programme managers.
- What brought you to Mace?
I've known Mace's chief executive Mark Reynolds for over 20 years. Early in my career, I worked at Heathrow Airport in London, and Mark and I actually sat in the same trailer - me as a quantity surveyor and him as contractor. He went on to join Mace and I moved to the U.S. In 2011, Mace was looking for someone to head up the North America business and after several interviews with the company, the way Mark tells it, he saw my name on the shortlist and the rest is history.
- What is it like at Mace?
- There’s a continuous drive and forward momentum to do the right thing, innovate and go a step further. I was here when we won our first New York job, and now we're a $35m business with prestigious clients across a range of sectors, including retail, financial services, pharma and life sciences. We have well-established Canadian operations, personnel in 15 US states and several territories in Canada. Our West Coast presence is expanding rapidly, and we’re spearheading growth in infrastructure and sustainability. As Managing Director, it’s important to me that we recruit like-minded people and give everyone the freedom and support to be bold. At the end of the day, success comes down to our people and how they are valued by our clients.
- What has been your proudest moment at Mace?
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said it was starting and growing a business from scratch. Today I would say that I’m the proudest of how we didn’t let anyone go (nor did we furlough anyone) during the pandemic. Our headcount stayed consistent, and we hit all our targets. I’m also proud of our North America leadership team, which has risen from within Mace, the diversity of the clients we serve and the people we work with in the process. We are recognised for adding distinctive value and we have seen steady growth with huge clients due to our approach, flexibility and resilience.
- What trends do you see emerging over the next five years?
New ways of working are impacting not just how we run our business, but also how we help deliver for our clients. We have to create a collaborative environment and balance it with how and where we work. The Programme Management Office (PMO) is becoming a must-have for big companies who are confronted with a significant amount of change in real estate and need to manage the complexities.
I also think sustainability will become paramount for employee attraction and retention and I hope to see rapid change across the continent in terms of committing to ambitious sustainability measures. The other major issue will now be establishing confidence in the supply chain both from a cost and schedule perspective while maintaining quality. The NA market will look at its dependency on the global market and its impact.
- What advice would you give to others looking to do what you do?
- Go for it! My number one piece of advice is that the only thing certain in our industry is the uncertainty. In 35 years of doing what I do, I've never had the whole journey mapped out ahead of me. I'd rather seize the opportunities when they come. If you’re considering the industry, there’s no better way of understanding it than getting on site to see everything in action. I also can’t overstate the importance of integrity. Try to always do the right thing and respect the people you meet on your career journey. It will pay off.
- If you hadn't got into this line of work, what might you have done instead?
- I'd have been a vet... that is if astronaut school hadn't worked out.
“I was here at Mace when we won our first New York job, and now we’re a $35m business.”