In our world of referrals – on Yelp, Google, and between friends - a glowing review means everything. Not only because it helps people understand the value of exceptional, memorable service (which we aim for at BGIS), but because it satisfies the feeling that our hard work had a purpose, and that purpose was achieved.
“Gloria Haigh is nothing short of a superstar,” says Tony Alloway, Director of National Operations for Tech Services with BGIS in North America. Tony’s not the only one who’s in awe of Gloria – who’s completed over 60,000 service calls during her 30-year tenure in the trades with not a single on-the-job injury, who’s licensed as a gas technician, in refrigeration and AC systems, HVAC, plumbing, welding, water meter installation, ozone depletion prevention, and more.
“Gloria exudes all of the BGIS values to the fullest extent to ensure the Team is successful and our clients get the white glove treatment. She left her urban London, Ontario home to relocate to the Thunder Bay area [approximately 1,365 kilometers (850 miles) away, and a 14-hour drive]. To her credit, the area is now booming with three technicians providing groundbreaking service excellence in the small northern hub to all clients,” says Steve Boissineau, her Regional Operations Manager for Technical Services. “She is so proud to be a BGIS Team member that now her two sons Trevor and Tyler are also working with the organization. Her continued display of leadership, innovative solutions, cost effective frame of mind and above all full attention to HSSE will only allow us to grow and continue our leadership in the CRE industry as a leading provider of Facility and Facilities Services.”
Gloria has been with BGIS for two years, providing mainly refrigeration/air conditioning, unlimited BTU heating repair, and plumbing installation services across BGIS accounts in the financial, utilities, and retail industries. She is part of a team of BGIS technicians who number 2000+worldwide. Gloria grew up in a technical, trades-oriented family – her father was a welder and her grandfathers for six generations were plumbers. Gloria initially became an electrician because she wanted to travel, and joining the navy allowed her the opportunity to do her apprenticeship and travel simultaneously. After getting an honourable discharge from the navy in 1982, Gloria moved onto a job at Union Gas (later becoming Union Energy), which she stayed at for 16 years, until she founded her own company with her ex-husband.
“I’ve actually saved people’s lives in the gas industry,” says Gloria. During her last hour (11PM on New Years Eve) working at Union Gas, she had to ring a 5-alarm on an entire neighbourhood, which was 50 per cent explosive. If even 5 per cent more gas seeped into the homes, the entire neighbourhood would have blown up: so everyone had to evacuate immediately. “Nobody liked the call I made at the time, but I’m glad I made it.”
Through her years interacting with customers, Gloria built up a charming disposition and thick skin in an industry that can be difficult for women. “I believe being comfortable with yourself can ease any situation, even if you’re in the one per cent of women who are technicians. Once [when I was at Union Gas], a house had 13 service calls before they sent me. The man said, ‘I don’t want you to touch it if you don’t know what you’re doing.’ So I waited, and let him rattle off his worries, then said, ‘I think at this point you’ve seen that men can’t do the job, so they sent a woman.’ When you’re comfortable with yourself, you make others comfortable.”
“In this industry, it’s the satisfaction of being that person walking into a stone cold environment who can supply comfort. Every day is a new day,” says Gloria. “There’s nothing routine about being a tradesperson. When I go into a building, I want to make things right and focus on the accomplishment: I just restored your cooling or heat (although, most people love cooling more). I loved the rapport I had with people. I had some invigorating situations where people have been very complimentary of what I’ve done for them. There’s certainly a high level of gratification in solving someone’s problems.”
In short, “Gloria is a superstar” and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her as part of our team. Her inspirational story and true passion for her work is the reason why BGIS can keep clients so happy: because it’s not just about the work. It’s about how the work gets done, what kind of experience the client has, and what kind of rapport you can build: that’s the true BGIS way.
Thank you for your incredible stories, Gloria, and thank you for making us look so good.