Time is Ticking!

GILBERT FAMILY ON DISPLAY: Louis Maldonado

Louis Maldonado has been with the Gilbert family for the past 12 years, serving as our purchasing manager. Originally he worked in the high-stress hotel industry performing administrative work. When he came to interview with Gilbert, they were impressed by his ability to handle stress and multi-task! They gave him a shot, and for that he is very thankful.

Urgency and efficiency is central to Louis’ daily success.  The first thing he noticed upon working at Gilbert was the fast-paced environment. He mentioned how the calm aesthetic of the building was deceptive. He said, “I saw the madness and wanted it!” Part of his job is completing projects when there is a fast turnaround time as well as finding out how to get materials in as quickly as possible. He enjoys the thrill of the time crunch and can’t sit still for too long without doing anything. Louis remarked,

“There aren’t enough hours in the day. The moment I come in at seven, the clock starts ticking. We never think we are above one another. Whenever in a bind, we help each other out. We are a team!”

When asked about the future of Gilbert, in regards to the new year beginning, he responded, “I see success, improvement, and the company growing into different areas and different fields.” There is one thing, however, that will always remain the same- our values. They include, “Service, passion, always strive for excellence, no excuses and love. That’s very important. You have to love what you do.” Here at Gilbert we surely do!

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Everyday is Different!

GILBERT FAMILY ON DISPLAY: Paula Alvarez

DSC_7372_edit_2.jpgPaula Alvarez has been with the Gilbert family for the past 11 years and currently works as our Logistics Manager.  With her position, communication is essential, as her and her team are in contact with every department in the company. Paula remarked on how the first people she encountered at Gilbert were super friendly and for her, that set the tone of what the rest of the company would be like.

When talking about inspiration, Paula mentioned Barry and his success story.  She remarked, “He started as truck driver. What he’s built is amazing.”  The will to succeed in a project and seeing that vision come through is what keeps Paula motivated.  She truly appreciates her team and the way they come together to achieve their goals and make things happen.  She loves the thrill and the feeling of pride she gets when they have accomplished something.

Of course there are challenges along the way, like strict time constraints, but that never stops Paula and her team as well as the rest of Gilbert from getting their job done. When discussing the most rewarding part of her position, she talked about her coworkers and the experiences she’s had with them.  She said, “I like to see them enjoy what they’re doing.” It makes her job all the more better.

When asked what the best part about working with the Gilbert family, she responded:

“Nothing is ever the same. Every day is different! It’s almost like you’re putting on a different show every day! We’re not a regular manufacturer where you’re making thousands upon thousands of something that is the same.  We are unique!”

 

 

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Person of the People: Pat Bonda

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Pat Bonda is one of our Senior Account Managers and has been with the Gilbert Family for the past 20 years. In fact, she was the first account manager that Barry, our CEO, hired back in the day when we were still based in Hicksville, NY. Pat truly admires Barry, and is thankful for the friendship they have developed over the years. When discussing leadership she remarked, “You have to have a leader you can follow, that you respect and that you want to work with to do the best you can do.” From the beginning, Gilbert Displays stood out to Pat not only because it was a growing company but because of Barry’s passion for the industry and what he does.

When asked about the most rewarding part of her position, she replied, “It’s knowing not only that our clients trust us, but that they know we truly have their best interests at heart. It’s all about relationships, whether it’s with clients or internally.” The family aspect of this company is something Pat holds close to her heart. To her, not only are the employees family, but her clients as well. She stressed the highest concern for taking care of her clients, and that she is proud to say that service is a companywide priority as well.

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According to Pat, the most important part of her job is communication—transmitting key information quickly and accurately. She spends a decent part of the day speaking with clients, assisting them in getting what they need. She is the “go-to” person between client and the Gilbert team. She works collaboratively with Design, Estimating, Project Management and about half a dozen other internal teams every day to ensure her clients always get the best of what they’re looking for. As an account manager, Pat enjoys her unique position of dealing with every department in the company. Working together is a huge aspect of a successful team, and Gilbert knocks that out of the park!

Pat is constantly motivated to do the best she possibly can and to be confident in knowing that she has done everything possible to give her clients an unforgettable experience. In her impressive career, she has never missed a show, and has never had a major problem she wasn’t able to resolve before showtime. How, you ask? Here are some of her words of wisdom:

“There are always issues and always problems, but the result is a matter of how you react to them and how you solve the issues. Focus on getting those results.”

When discussing Gilbert’s 30th Birthday and the years to come, Pat believes Gilbert will see nothing but growth in every aspect and sees unlimited success in her company’s future. She also said, “Our commitment to our clients is and always will be our primary focus. That’s what makes this company, I think. How our clients view us is extremely important to our company. It’s all about great relationships, trust—and family.”

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Gilbert Family on Display: Silverman’s Style

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Chris Silverman is our Creative Director and has been with us for the past 14 years. He is a SUNY Fredonia alumnus, with his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Scenic Design for Theatrical Production. Because of this, his approach to our projects is quite unique. Chris likes to imagine an environment has a storyline within itself. In this modern world, he believes an environment is more effective when it is attached to an experience.

Chris shared how, at Gilbert, he has been allowed to be the Creative Director he always envisioned himself being. Over the years, he’s helped turn the Design department into an exciting and enjoyable place to be. Chris’ philosophy is work hard, play hard!


“You spend more of your life in your workplace than you do at home. It should be an awesome place to be! It’s within our power and grasp to make it as such.”

Chris then reminisced about the times that he, Marshal (Director of Architectural Interiors), Lauren (Senior Designer), and a couple of other designers would be at the office very late working on a major project. “One time we worked 36 hours straight-through. It was hard work, but we laughed through it all. I enjoyed the 3am runs to 7/11 to get Doritos and soda. We got the job done!”

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When it comes to running his department, Chris doesn’t like to think of anyone as his “employee.” He enjoys working with the other designers and watching them grow along the way. Gilbert is a collaborative environment, and he truly values his colleagues’ ideas and opinions, as they differ from his own.

 

“If you don’t have a strong opinion, then you’re useless as a designer. You need to be able to state it with conviction. If you don’t believe it, why should anyone else?”

Communication is key, and it is a skill that is necessary in becoming a successful designer. Learning new information and making beautiful things is what motivates and inspires Chris. He says that what you need to know is how to find out what you need to know.

Chris has been an asset to the Gilbert family and continues to serve as an inspiration to all. When asked what he would like our clients to know, as Gilbert celebrates its 30th birthday, he responded, “We’re just an approachable company! We’re a company that’s big enough to get it all done in the most awesome way possible. We’re a company that’s relatable, personable, and down-to-Earth. None of us are ‘too important,’ and we are all here to do something remarkable!”

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Gilbert Family On Display: Meredith Posner

Meredith Posner has been with the Gilbert Family for the past two and a half years as a Junior Designer. It was a big adjustment coming from her previous job as a visual merchandising coordinator for Tiffany and Co. Rather than focusing on execution and production, her job here at Gilbert allows her to be more behind the scenes.

As a designer, Meredith controls the first step in a project’s process. Her position mainly involves conceptualization. Her designs go back and forth between her and the client a few times until the client feels that the design is right for them. She will then draw up an estimate package that our Estimators will use to come up with the projected cost of fabrication. Finally, her renderings go to the Detailers and Project Managers who prepare the project for fabrication! When talking about her process she shared, “It is an incredible resource to be able to just walk right into the shop and see how they are implementing the designs we create.”

 When asked about what inspires her, Meredith spoke of installation art and its similarity to what she likes about exhibit design. To her, an exhibit involves storytelling and creating an experience. Similar to most stories, there’s an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

 

“The way you design your booth kind of tells that story. What kind of story are you going to tell?

 

Meredith also mentioned how intriguing she finds the nature of certain marketing environments. There is a space that feels so solid and permanent, yet after a certain amount of time, it is taken down, never to be experienced again. Giving people that type of exclusive “experience” is what keeps her motivated and inspired. She enjoys working with her teammates and bouncing ideas off of one another, and the excitement of seeing their creativity unfold and occur. Meredith then shared, “It’s a unique thing to be in an environment where you can feel comfortable to throw out ideas without being judged.” She truly appreciates the fact that everyone’s ideas are taken into account. Even if the contribution is a small piece of a puzzle, it’s rewarding to be included in the projects.

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 In the two and a half years Meredith has been here, she has made a great impact and we look forward to what she will bring to Gilbert in the future. When asked what she would like our clients to know, as Gilbert celebrates its 30th birthday, she responded, “We have high standards here. We build things the right way, and we demonstrate efficiency. We don’t push anything out that we don’t see as being high quality – we always put the best of the best out the door.”

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Gilbert Goes Green

Here at Gilbert, we are strong advocates for the betterment of our planet, and take our role in this cause very seriously. Whether it is our sustainable resources, our environmentally friendly technology, or the education we provide for our team members, we are proud to say that Gilbert continues to GO GREEN!

The RRR policy, or reduce, reuse and recycle, is at the very core of what helps us in becoming a more sustainable company. By recycling our materials like metal scraps, plexi glass, and cardboard packaging, we have eliminated approximately 85% of our manufacturing waste! This is extremely important as this lowers our need for landfills, reducing harmful gases in the air. In addition to reducing our waste, we also make it a priority to use ecofriendly materials in our manufacturing. For example, all of our Formica laminate comes from contractors who fulfill all of the FSC regulations. We are also committed to using formaldehyde free wood and adhesives that give off less VOC emissions, or toxic gases! In addition, we are big enthusiasts and users of Light Emitting Diode, or L.E.D., illumination. With its crisp effects and small physical footprint, it leads against its competitors with its energy efficiency.

We’ve taken action to made our building itself greener. To heat our facilities, which total 200,000 sq. ft., we use natural gas, as opposed to oil – natural gas gives off about 30% less carbon dioxide, 64% fewer nitrogen oxides, and no sulfur dioxide or mercury. We also reuse our ink and toner cartridges, recycle our electronic devices, and always purchase partially reused printer and copier paper. In addition, we have implemented a policy that our office will be cleaned solely with all natural, chemical free, and sustainably made and packaged products that smell great!

We’re not only committing ourselves to green action, we are dedicated to green education as well. We support team members to become well-versed in the LEED and USGBC construction standards. In turn, those individuals inform the rest of the staff in the hopes of reducing the impact of our work on the environment. Keep calm and green on!

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Gilbert Family on Display: A Day with Dean

Hello readers!  My name is Emily, and I have been working with the Marketing Department as their summer intern.  The Gilbert family has been incredibly welcoming throughout my first few weeks!  It’s been so wonderful getting to know everybody and I want to share my experience.  Every other Monday, I will release a new story from the “Gilbert Family on Display” series, highlighting a different team member each time.

To kick off the series, I’d like to start off with Dean Lambros, as he was one of the first people I was introduced to and served as a friendly face from the very beginning!  Dean is the Graphics Manager here at Gilbert and has been working here for almost 11 years.  When he first started he said, “It was humbling!  This building is intimidating, and the projects are intense.” Dean started off doing vinyl work with some knowledge of Photoshop.  He quickly moved on to become a graphic specialist, doing production, for four years before being offered his manager position.  Dean’s often said that being at Gilbert was the best education he could have ever received.

“I’ve learned more here than I ever would’ve at college and they gave me a career…something when I was younger I never thought I’d have.”

He is extremely dedicated and proves to be immensely passionate about not just the production of his work, but the quality of any project he works on.  Dean talked of the high standard set by Gilbert Displays and the employees’ unwillingness to break that standard.  He said, “Never, ever accept mediocrity. Never settle for less.”  He also discussed that the most rewarding part about his position and working at Gilbert is the sense of accomplishment.  When asked about the most rewarding part about being a member of the Gilbert team, he responded, “The friendships.  I’ve made some really good friends in this place. A lot of the people in this place have been there for me.  I lost my father while working here, and received so much support from my Gilbert family.  I’ve been through a lot and they’re always there for me.”

Dean is one of the many incredible employees we have here at Gilbert.  When asked what he would like our clients to know, as we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary, he responded:

“I would want them to know that at the core of the company is a personal investment in the well-being of our clients.  We genuinely care about the projects we work on. I’m proud to say I’m part of the Gilbert team.  We do amazing work!  There are some pretty amazing people here.  Not only do we work on top-notch products for top-notch clients, but we do it with a top notch-team.”

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