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ms Q+A: Gary Williams

Maggie Kearns

October 8, 2018


I was born, raised, and educated in Toledo, Ohio, graduating from UT with bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering. My career began as an ODOT inspector during college. I was first hired at ms in 1993 but left for warmer climates in 1998. Two years later, I joined a start-up firm in Florida where I became a principal owner. I returned to Ohio and ms in 2014 as the Akron Office Manager. In October 2015, I was promoted to the Vice President, Business Development, where my primary responsibilities included corporate-wide marketing and sales and business development. June 2018 marked nine total years at ms and in August I transitioned to Vice President of Transportation Business Unit. 


What was your first job?
Rides operator at the Toledo Zoo


Next item to cross off your bucket list?
Hopefully a trip to the Laguna Seca Raceway in Salinas, CA for a day or two of track time.


If you had your own talk show, who would be your first three guests?
Lee Iacocca, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet


Early bird or night owl?
Early bird


As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Fireman or policeman


Last thing you read?
The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz


Best concert you’ve been to?
The Eagles – Hell Freezes Over Tour


If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color would you choose?


Who would play you in a movie?
Steve McQueen…if he were alive today


If there was a holiday in your honor, what would it celebrate?
Mentoring/helping others


Favorite restaurant?
It’s a tie between Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami Beach, FL) & Rudy’s (Toledo, OH)


If you could live one day over again, which would you pick?
June 21, 2013 – Spent the day on the road course and oval of Homestead-Miami Speedway traveling at speeds of up to 140mph. After several hours at the track the group traveled to Davie, FL, to end the day at the Tower Shops Cruise-In.


What sets ms apart from other engineering & architecture firms?
Very few 300+ family-owned firms have such a diverse offering of professional services as ms consultants, inc. does. Additionally, most 300+ person firms aren’t as nimble as ms is when it comes to servicing its clients.


What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at ms?
I didn’t think a 300+ person firm could still maintain the “family atmosphere” that is regularly exhibited both internally and externally.


If you weren’t an engineer/business development professional, what would you be doing?
Buying, selling, and restoring classic cars.


What is the best career advice you have ever received?
I’ve received two great pieces of advice that I have tried to adopt each and every day at work:

  1. Treat everyone how you would like to be treated regardless of their position. There will come a day when you need their help and treating someone poorly won’t end well in your time of need.
  2. Be constructive when criticism is required to correct an action. Being destructive only exacerbates the problem and will lead to further performance woes.


You’ve got one day in Columbus. What do you do?
Go to the ‘Shoe for an Ohio State Buckeyes football game…OH?


What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spending time with family, going for a drive in one of several mustangs I own, and traveling.


Any final words?
Live every moment as though it’s your last and never ever take loved ones for granted.