Brian Gabriel: A Technology Sponge and Order Facilitator

20180504_131924Brian Gabriel didn’t plan on becoming a professional Project Manager, but right now he is glad things turned out that way. Brian received a degree in engineering from Washington State University. A love of the West Coast and the opportunity to live out there made it his top school choice. He made a lot of friends and still gets together with classmates annually. After graduation, he landed a job for an engineering test lab working with automotive products. He would take projects from front-end engineering all the way to proof of concept. After a few years, he began looking around for a new challenge and ultimately landed with us as Project Manager this past July.

The Appeal of Project Management
During the time with his previous employer, Brian had begun to make regular contact with customers and found that face-to-face communication had grown on him. His position here provides him with more opportunities to explore this area of business.

He explained that his job basically involves “keeping projects moving and preventing things from falling through the cracks.” This includes being straight with the customers and getting them an answer in a timely manner, even if it’s not exactly the one they want to hear. “Be honest. Don’t dig yourself into a hole you can’t get out of,” he suggests.

On the internal side of the situation, Brian has come to learn that his projects are not the only ones in production. Each team member in the shop has their own multiple sets of pressing deadlines that need to be met. Brian knows that a careful blend of understanding, diplomacy and persistence is needed to maintain harmony and still move products out the door. “Establishing priorities and communication are essential elements of the job,” he says.

An Engineering Sponge
Brian finds the workholding coming out of our operations in the US, Germany and Italy remarkable. After being immersed in the automotive industry for several years, he is enjoying the chance to see how engineering principles are applied to a whole new field. “Even though I’m not involved in the process, it adds to my database of knowledge and I’m becoming a more well-rounded engineer by soaking up as much information as I can about chucks.”

1709A Global Family
Brian’s previous job was at a small company, so he enjoys being part of a worldwide organization. His first trip to IMTS this September was an eye-opener, as he met SMW Autoblok employees from Germany, Italy and Japan. While the corporation is large, he finds the US headquarters to be very family friendly and has already begun to feel at home in the closely-knit community.

Off the Job Pursuits
A one-man film festival, Brian can be found going to the movies, watching rented movies and hanging out with his friends talking about movies.

When not glued to the big screen, Brian loves to travel (which is made easier by having family members in the airline business). He tries to manage two trips a year, his most recent excursions to London and Columbia (where he visited family).

His favorite place so far? Japan. He finds the people and the culture fascinating and, naturally, loves soaking up the awesome technology. He says he’d go again in a heartbeat.