Employee Spotlight: A Family Man Building Programs in Illinois

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An interview with Dwayne Pierre-Antoine, Director of the Great Lakes Region at Gordian

Dwayne Pierre-Antoine has been coaching his kids and his team at Gordian to success for years. Like any good coach, Dwayne insists on his team’s best effort on the field and in the office. He is nearing 11 years with Gordian and says he still enjoys every day. In our interview, this dedicated leader and family man shares his definition of success, how he has grown in his career and what he likes best about his work with clients in the Great Lakes Region.

“There is never an average day! Especially when you deal with the Great Lakes Region and the Chicagoland area. From Monday to Friday, every day is a busy day.”

Dwayne Pierre-Antoine

Can you explain your career transformation and success with Gordian?

I attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and majored in political science. I had no idea I would end up in the field of data and construction. After college, I was hired by State Farm and worked in insurance claims, assisting in the large-loss casualty and property division. I dealt with rebuilds of large catastrophic property losses and there lies my introduction to the construction world. I would take down, reconstruct and rebuild estimates and proposals to settle large losses.

In 2008, I started working at Gordian when I was hired as an Assistant Project manager in Chicago. I was promoted to Project Manager and after four years, promoted again to Senior Account Management. In this role, I developed and implemented several programs, like the Illinois Tollway and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Section 3 Job Order Contracting (JOC) Program, to name a couple.

I was promoted to Regional Director in 2015, where I inherited the Great Lakes Region. Taking over the region was a massive transition and step in my career. I went from managing individual clients to managing a team of individuals all reporting to me and getting to know each team member’s personalities. I went from working for two clients to focusing on 32 clients at a time.

Briefly describe your average day at Gordian.

An average day? There is never an average day! Especially when you deal with the Great Lakes Region and the Chicagoland area. From Monday to Friday, every day is a busy day. I have weekly calls with staff. Some of the staff I speak to once or twice a day. I make it a point to travel to each part of the region once or twice a month to check in and perform client satisfaction reviews.

Here at Gordian, RD has two meanings—Regional Director and “Revenue Driver.” I am always seeking new opportunities in the region where my team can help maximize client resources. We love presenting solutions for challenges in our community and helping our clients save time and work more efficiently.

Dwayne with his team at Gordian.

What do you like best about your job and career path?

I like watching something grow. Not just the growth and success for our clients but also my staff. I enjoy seeing my staff meet their goals and gain personal satisfaction. I’m excited for their wins, and I also bear the emotion for their losses. Being the captain of the ship, you have to deal with both the smooth sailing and the choppy seas.

Through my professional experiences in my decade with Gordian, I’ve grown significantly as a team member and a leader. It’s important to be slow to speak and quick to listen. Listening intently allows me to guide, provide feedback and direction for my team.

Explain how the work you do impacts our customers. How does it help the community?

Our solutions allow clients to work more efficiently. We really focus on building a strong relationship with clients and providing the best service possible. The Great Lakes Region has a need for infrastructure and facilities maintenance and renovations. There are many low-income communities as well that need assistance. We’re proud of the special JOC program developed with CHA that creates jobs and improves housing. Crucial renovations and improvements to the facilities are being made by the people who live there. It’s an incredible program.

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?

I spend as much time as I can with my family. I am happily married with three great, active children. Weekends are all for the kids. I continue to enjoy coaching them as they pursue collegiate, division I or high school sports. My daughter runs track and field for Purdue University. My son runs track and plays football at his high school and is considered one of the up-and-coming players in the state of Illinois. Just starting high school, my youngest daughter enjoys track and basketball. The kids are bright, and they know that academics come first. I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m very proud of them!

Dwayne and his family

What inspires you? Both in your career and personal aspirations.

Client satisfaction and happiness is most inspiring to me. I’m inspired by a desire to contribute to the growth of a program.

How do you define success?

Success is peace of mind. It’s important for my personal core values to align with my company’s core values. I have found that with Gordian. I value integrity, strong relationships, innovation, excellence and diversity—spot on with Gordian’s values. Success is also found in one’s proudest achievements or big wins. One of my big wins was to close the deal with Cook County, Illinois, in 2013, and we have continued to do great work throughout the county. In my decade with Gordian, I have enjoyed every day—at least most! I enjoy the culture and direction we’re developing. There are always areas of growth, but we continue to move in a great direction.

Can you give us a piece of advice that you would give others in your profession?

Always take the good with the bad and know that things will resolve themselves. Take one day at a time.