Fueling Ambition

24 April, 2023

If you want to know how Bohler creates opportunities for employees, just ask Greg DiBona. Greg has capitalized on Bohler’s growth and commitment to empower the ambitious ever since he joined our Warren, New Jersey, office as a landscape architect in 2007. Now, he’s Branch Manager of Bedford, NH, one of Bohler’s newest offices.

From the start, Greg’s success has been tied to the opportunities that Bohler creates for employees. Just a few months into his job as a landscape architect, he realized he really wanted to be on Warren’s engineering team. “I actually went to school for engineering and then transferred to landscape architecture after about two-and-a-half years, so I have an engineering background,” Greg says.

But how could someone who, at that time, had been with the firm for less than a year make the leap from the landscape architect to the engineer?

In Greg’s case, he started by ingratiating himself with the engineering project teams, offering to help when his regular work was done. “I would walk the halls and raise my hand and say, ‘Hey, I’m still around if you need help with anything,’” Greg recalls. “That’s how I started getting involved in passive design and then site design and so on.”

Greg quickly made a name for himself among the engineers in Warren. So, when he met with his boss and candidly expressed interest in switching to engineering, the engineering project managers advocated for him. Greg recalls them saying, “‘Why doesn’t Greg just come join our team? He’s always working for us anyway.”

Once he joined the engineering side of the business, Greg took advantage of Bohler’s willingness to give him on-the-job training. During his nine years in Warren, he sought the advice of different managers and soaked up all he could while working on one of Warren’s biggest accounts at the time. In the process, he progressed from staff engineer to senior design engineer to assistant project manager and then project manager.

All was going well not just professionally but also personally. Greg and his wife welcomed their first child and purchased a house in Warren. Then came a call that he wasn’t expecting: The branch manager position had opened up in Bohler’s (then new) Mount Laurel office, and the New Jersey partners asked Greg if he wanted the job. Greg’s response? No.

Bohler Associate Greg DiBona with his family.

Seizing the Opportunity

It’s not that Greg didn’t want the job. But he and his wife had just a baby and had just purchased a house in Warren. They weren’t interested in disrupting their family and moving the more than 50 miles southwest. “The very first phone call we had, I was actually horribly against it,” Greg recalls. “And my wife was like, ‘Absolutely not; we’re not doing this.’”

But, as Greg tells it, the New Jersey partners are pretty persuasive. They knew he was ambitious. That’s why they tapped him for the position in the first place. After a couple more conversations, Greg committed to Mount Laurel. “I felt like it was an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss,” he says.

Right away, Greg dove in. For the next year, he continued to live in Warren and commute to Mount Laurel, spending some nights in a hotel near the office as he figured out how best to support the team. After learning that they were expecting their second daughter, Greg and his wife officially moved the family to Mount Laurel.

It was a lot, but Greg was thankful that Bohler gave him the opportunity. “I was growing that office and learning what it means to be a small branch manager in the process,” he says. “Along the way, I was promoted to Associate and Branch Manager.”

By year five in Mount Laurel, Greg was finally in the groove of leading the office. “We had some good structure and some folks with good tenure who had been around for five years or longer,” he says. “I easily could have stayed there and been happy doing what I was doing.”

That’s when another opportunity presented itself.

Bohler Associate Greg DiBona with his family.

Opening a New Office

In 2021, Greg’s wife was offered a new job in New Hampshire – where he was born and raised. They knew it would be the right step for their family. The question was whether Greg could make the move and still stay with Bohler.

Eager to explore the possibilities, Greg got on the phone. He called Grayson Murray, Regional Manager of New Jersey, and then Matt Smith, Managing Partner of the Northeast Division, to see whether Bohler had any opportunities in New Hampshire. “Unknown to me, they had been kicking around this idea of opening a New Hampshire office for a while,” Greg says.

In fact, Bohler has been working in New Hampshire since the ‘90s, but, according to Matt, we delayed opening an office there because we didn’t want to pull resources from the Southborough, MA, office to do it. “When Greg expressed interest, it was a perfect fit given that he’s a seasoned Branch Manager and Associate with family roots in New Hampshire,” Matt says.

As the process of establishing our New Hampshire office got underway, Greg transitioned to the Southborough office. From there, he continued to manage Mount Laurel remotely throughout the second half of 2021 before officially opening our New Hampshire office doors as Branch Manager in January 2022.

Greg had a hand in everything from selecting the furniture and carpeting to hiring team members for the office. Now, the office has six employees, including Austin Turner from Southborough, who spends part of his time leading the office alongside Greg. “Opening an office isn’t something that everyone gets a chance to do,” Greg says. “It’s been fun to be a part of it.”

As he continues on this new chapter, Greg says he’s grateful for this and the other opportunities that have come his way as a result of Bohler’s expanding footprint. While they haven’t all been expected, he says, they’ve all been rewarding.

“I’ve always been personally ambitious, and Bohler has given me the opportunities to chase my ambitions,” Greg says. “You can come into pretty much any role at Bohler, and as long as you’re willing to work for it and have open dialogues with your manager, the opportunity is there to grow your career. My story is proof of that.”

Stay in the Know

Get our insights and latest news straight to your inbox.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.