GMB Changes Management Team

March 19, 2004
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HOLLAND — The new management team at GMB Architects-Engineers will strive to match past successes while reaching for new frontiers.

Harm Perdok and Steve Hamstra, both long-time partners at Holland-based GMB, recently began leading day-to-day operations of the architectural and engineering firm, as founder Gordon M. Buitendorp moved into the role of chairman of the board.

Perdok, an architect who’s been with the firm for 21 years, was appointed president. Hamstra, an engineer with 19 years of experience at GMB, was named executive vice president. Together they share management and strategic and business development duties of the 36-year-old firm.

“Our role is to honor the past in terms of some of the good things we do, but really, really encourage the future,” Perdok said.

That future consists of driving more value into business relationships with clients, from better integrating architectural and design services together into a project “in a way that makes it sing for our clients,” Hamstra said, to following up well after a building is completed to ensure that operating efficiencies designed into it are maximized.

The goal is to develop even stronger relationships with clients and become more acquainted with their business to assure projects are completed to their exact needs, and in turn generate more repeat business for GMB through “exceptional service,” Perdok said.

Both subtle and profound changes will occur at GMB is the years ahead, Hamstra said.

“It’s not just about design. Architecture and engineering is the medium, but the end product is our relationship with our client,” Hamstra said. “This idea of bringing value to our client is the key to us.”

A full-service architectural and engineering firm, GMB has carved out a strong specialty over the years in serving clients in several sectors. The firm is particularly well known for its work in K-12 schools, incorporating LEED principles into building designs and designing highly efficient, eco-friendly energy systems.

Higher education and health care are among the sectors where GMB wants to grow its presence, Hamstra said.

GMB is now in the midst of a strategic planning process to provide direction for the future. Presently employing a staff of 70, GMB plans to add personnel, although not to drive growth. The plan is to enhance the firm’s capabilities to do more for clients.

“Our goal is not growth itself. It’s to strengthen what we’re doing and provide better service,” Hamstra said.

Hamstra and Perdok’s promotions in January followed a multi-year succession period leading up to Buitendorp’s eventual retirement. Buitendorp, who turns 64 this month, decided to move into the chairmanship, leaving behind the day-to-day administrative duties, and begin the succession process after “a lot of discussion that had been taking place over a period of time,” Perdok said.

“It’s just the natural course of events,” Perdok said.

In addition to the top management team, GMB made other changes. Tung Do, Tom VanDeGriend and David Wilkins were appointed vice presidents. Robert Botting was named a director and board secretary, and James Vanderveen now serves as chief executive officer/treasurer.    

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