Greg Hippert, Project Manager of the Month, on Creating a Healthier Environment and Building Long-Lasting Professional Friendships
Tetra Tech CEO Dan Batrack created our Project Manager (PM) of the Month award to honor PMs who demonstrate excellence in supporting our clients and perform projects to the highest standards of quality and fiscal discipline.
“Greg’s high standards, attention to detail, and commitment to meeting the client’s needs each and every time has generated a steady stream of follow-on work and earned him the distinction of being one of our most successful project managers.”– Steve Ruffing, Unit President
Greg Hippert is Tetra Tech’s April 2022 PM of the Month. He has more than 25 years of experience in environmental project management. Greg uses his environmental expertise to support U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) clients on environmental projects including National Environmental Policy Act compliance, environmental condition and baseline studies, and natural resources planning projects.
“Greg has a talent for making professional friendships. He regularly picks up the phone to talk to clients and colleagues and doing so has led to lasting relationships with our DoD clients,” said Steve Ruffing, Unit President. “Greg’s high standards, attention to detail, and commitment to meeting the client’s needs each and every time has generated a steady stream of follow-on work and earned him the distinction of being one of our most successful project managers.”
Greg is skilled in managing complex projects smoothly, prioritizing open communication, and delivering exceptional quality products. His approach has earned the trust and approval of even the most exacting of clients. He also is well-versed in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers health and safety requirements and has prepared and implemented numerous site safety and health plans and accident prevention plans for project hazards, including unexploded ordnance, heavy equipment operation, overwater operations, scientific diving, and environmental drilling.
Greg has a Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is based in our Salisbury, North Carolina, office.
“I’m very grateful and honored to have been selected as Project Manager of the Month. I appreciate the recognition,” said Greg. “Thank you to Kristin Shields for the nomination and to the many team members who contributed to our project successes. Without them such accomplishments wouldn’t be possible.”
We talked with Greg about how his work supports our government and defense clients in protecting and restoring the environment.
How does your work help create healthier and more sustainable environments for communities around the world?
Overall, the work I do with my team supports our defense clients by identifying adverse impacts from defense-related projects on human health and the environment. Identified impacts are evaluated to determine measures to minimize them, which in turn benefits the installation’s mission, the installation environment, and neighboring communities.
My resources management group has wide-ranging expertise in multiple resource areas and extensive knowledge of state and federal environmental compliance regulations that support our defense clients’ goal of being mission ready while also being stewards of the environment.
How do you build and maintain strong relationships with your project teams?
Communication is the foundation of building any strong relationship. I keep communications professional, focused, and concise so that there is little room for misunderstanding. It’s important not only to make sure I’m expressing myself clearly to others, but also make sure I’m interpreting them correctly.
I actively listen to customers, colleagues, subcontractors, and others to be sure I understand what they’re asking of me. If I am not entirely clear on what I’ve heard, I’ll share my understanding with them and ask for additional clarity as needed. Over the years, maintaining routine communications with my team, led by Kristin Shields, has resulted in a close-knit group that can call on each other for project support and professional advice.
How do you establish trusting relationships with clients and maintain their satisfaction on complex projects?
For new clients, I’ll reach out to them by telephone to introduce myself as the Tetra Tech project manager for their project. I assure them that their project will be a priority and that I’m available anytime should they have any questions or project concerns. I also like to let the client know that I consider them part of the project team that will work together to complete their project successfully and within or ahead of schedule.
Through the life of each project, I maintain regular communication with all my clients, generally through telephone calls. Staying in touch and having open conversations with clients not only builds trust and fosters professional friendships, but also allows me to learn about possible project challenges or concerns and, occasionally, to hear about future work opportunities.
In addition to maintaining open lines of communication, I strive to produce draft deliverables as if they are final. This approach typically enables us to eliminate some of the interim versions of deliverables between the draft and final by eliminating the need for multiple rounds of reviews. The result is beneficial for clients since they get a final product ahead of schedule and within budget.
In working this way, I become someone my clients can see as a team member and friend rather than just another contractor. I earn their trust as someone they’ll want to work with again in the future.