We’re All In! GMB Chooses Education
GMB takes bold business stance by committing to education, building a future of opportunity
The 50+-year-old architecture and engineering firm is focusing its business around one core area by working with communities to equip students for lifelong learning
GMB Architecture + Engineering is pursuing an unprecedented strategic business direction by centering their business around one core area: education. The firm’s new vision, to generate more for the world by working with communities to equip students for lifelong learning, unifies GMB’s team of educational planners, designers, and engineers in the pursuit of this just cause.
GMB believes education provides transformational opportunities for our communities, industries, and our world. The firm has evolved their business to foster a culture of continual learning inside and outside the organization, and is honing their expertise on projects and work that support their vision.
“As Simon Sinek said, ‘the goal is to advance something bigger than ourselves or our organizations,’” said David Bolt, GMB CEO. “We’re focusing our business around one core area, like our compass – it describes the future we want to create and are committing to help build. And at GMB, we believe that by investing in our future and creating learning ecosystems, we can provide opportunity for all and make the world a better place.”
Building upon the firm’s established core values of Learning, Growing, and Giving, GMB’s integrated team of educational planners, architects, and engineers are empowered to dedicate their expertise to this vision and roadmap for the future and collectively advance this just cause.
“This mission alignment propels our team to change the trajectory, change students’ lives. We share a common goal with our clients of doing the work we’re called to do,” said David Wilkins, higher education practice team leader at GMB. “We’re in the placemaking business and as a collective firm, we want those places to impact future generations in ways that unlock opportunity and provide resilience for our communities. We are one component of the ecosystem that supports these ideas, and when we serve as an educator’s resource and design these strong statements in our communities, we impact generations who interact with these facilities we create.”
In a 2019 strategic planning evaluation, GMB concluded that the majority of their business was centered around education, and projections showed it was steadily increasing. Internal surveys found that the business focus aligned with the passions of team members, and GMB set upon a path to realizing a new vision for the firm.
“Not many businesses are willing to say they’d sacrifice their short-term profits for people in the future. Having the courage to lead and see business as something more than just making money, is hard,” said Rob DenBesten, GMB COO. “We thought about our own family stories, the learning journeys of our predecessors, and what education has meant in our own lives. It’s the key to changing the story, having a better life, and opportunity.”
“This gives us a path for connecting our hearts to our work and the spaces we create,” said Season Gilliam, architect with GMB. “That is how our work is going to impact the world – it’s not just the building, it’s how our work influences other people and their learning journey. If we can facilitate that learning and the desire to be lifelong learners, those individuals are going to go out and be the change agents in the world. Isn’t that what we all want, for our work to have an impact and know that we are creating a better world?”
In addition to working with PreK-12 and higher education clients, GMB’s expert educational planners, architects, and engineers apply their deep knowledge to a breadth of project types within a learning ecosystem. From master planning and visioning community spaces and outdoor learning opportunities, to sourcing expertise for a specialized community college facility, GMB works closely with communities and institutions to foster learning ecosystems and instill a matched passion for perpetual learning.
Learn more about our core focus and join us in creating learning ecosystems in your community.
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