With years of experience across a range of sectors and locations behind him, Rick Gray is currently working to deliver some of the UK's most complex nuclear reprocessing and nuclear new build sites. As if that didn't keep him busy enough, when he's not at Mace he's hard at work helping thousands of people through his charitable foundation, 'Stick'.
- How did you get into what you do?
- My degree is in construction management. Both during university and afterwards I worked on a range of major projects and have benefited from having several industry leaders as mentors and role models. One of my mentors was Jason Millett, Mace's COO for Major Programmes and Infrastructure, and I joined Mace in 2013 to be part of his business unit. A lot of my career has been spent working on complicated, high-profile projects that have given me a real breadth and depth of experience.
- What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?
- Mace is a company that allows its employees to take ownership and make decisions. If you have a great idea, the company will say "OK, go for it." I'm lucky to be able to look after all aspects of my accounts with a lot of autonomy and it gives me a real sense of purpose.
- What’s your proudest achievement at Mace?
- I'm quietly proud about what my team and I are achieving right now actually. We've come on to a highly regulated site and built a team from the ground up. It's not just Mace people, we have a host of partners and stakeholders that we're working with. We are working on a highly complicated, confidential and secure site where the stakes are high. It's all about collaboration for us, and I'm proud of the relationships we've developed. That's the magic dust for me - the strength of the team.
“I’m lucky to be able to look after all aspects of my accounts with a lot of autonomy and it gives me a real sense of purpose.”
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- Invest in your career properly in the early stages and don't pigeon-hole yourself. The lessons I learned working internationally, working on different projects and in different roles, has given me a real quality of experience that is valuable to my clients. Also, get a good mentor, or several mentors, and gain the benefit from their support and guidance as your career path unfolds.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I have a really positive family life with my fiancée Joanna and our young daughter, Holly. I also donate my time to help people safely run outdoor charity challenges through my foundation, Stick (www.thestickmen.co.uk). We help people maximise the money they can donate to charity by offering our time and expertise for free and we've helped various organisations raise nearly half a million pounds over the years. One of the best charity events I've helped support was the Mace Foundation's 'Tour de Mace' in 2015 where the team raised over £100k by cycling from Manchester to London.
Rick's profile features in our Northern Powerhouse section.