Leading a New Regional Office in a Pandemic

Photo collage of BGE’s Atlanta office and setup during the pandemic.

Many of us are taught to be strategic and anticipate potential shortfalls in the corporate arena. But what happens when you’re asked to help open and manage a new office from scratch for a rapidly growing company and the world turns upside down?

Things Changed, But We Adapted

Our team’s reality in Atlanta was when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic. Everything shut down, and the five of us at the time packed up our stuff and worked from home for a few weeks. Then we realized there was enough space in our office to work six feet apart.

The office itself was more of a makeshift workplace at the time because it was physically new. The construction team set up a semi-permanent wall and upgraded everything behind us while we sat around folding tables to work. Despite the uncertainty, my team and I quickly settled into a “business-as-usual” mindset.

So, we plowed on with all of us back in the day-to-day of BGE business. We kept up with the news and stayed in close communication with the leadership team. We also had “insider information” from my colleague’s wife – a nurse – regarding best practices.

Our Team Grew

By the end of 2020, our team had grown from five people to nine. Since then, the office has become one of several business hubs to fly BGE’s flag in the Southeast region. We now have 24 people.

Our recruiting strategy during the pandemic – and even now – involved finding people with a strong work ethic that fit the culture we were trying to create and paying them fairly.

It was important for our team to remain in the office because we were just getting started. And this early stage allowed us to build solid relational and cultural foundations for what we wanted things to look like and build the future on that premise.

Despite BGE’s new position in the Atlanta market, we have attracted new team members by selling the culture of a one-team, people-focused firm with family values. If these qualities resonate with prospective employees and they exhibit traits that complement the culture we’re building, that’s how we know they’ll be a good fit.

We surrounded ourselves with good people who were flexible and adaptable to wear whatever hat we needed in the wake of the pandemic, which we continue to do today.

Chuck Davis, PE

Chuck Davis, PE

Chuck Davis, PE, has more than 20 years of professional experience, with a demonstrated history of exceptional civil engineering services. He is an associate and serves as senior director for Land/Site Development in BGE’s Atlanta office. Chuck has worked for multiple engineering firms across projects, including land development, mixed-use, residential design and planning. He graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology.