Up to the Challenge
G&M Services, LLC combines knowledge, experience and true customer care to stand apart
Nothing says trust like being authorized to work in the nation’s capital. “Our company goes through an extreme vetting process for government projects, and all of our employees have security clearances. We have been a trusted government contractor for over 20 years. In fact, I don’t think there’s a government building in Washington, D.C., we haven’t worked in—from the Treasury to the U.S. Capitol to the White House,” says Todd McKee, Senior Vice President of Concrete Operations at G&M Services, LLC.
Headquartered in Hanover, Maryland, G&M Services is a trade union contractor that specializes in concrete cutting, core drilling, firestop system installation, and thermal and moisture protection. “We create openings and pathways through concrete, wood, drywall and other surfaces for things like ductwork, piping and wiring. Any cutting, drilling or sawing work that a tradesperson like a plumber, mechanic or electrician requires we do,” Todd says.
That often involves taking on challenging projects others can’t or won’t do—like creating a pathway through 6 feet of granite.
“These are difficult jobs where others in our industry either fail to deliver or get kicked off a project when the client discovers they don’t understand what they’re doing,” Todd says. “At G&M Services, we know the right questions to ask when we’re bidding a job, we’ve got the right equipment to perform difficult tasks, and we understand what it’s going to take to get through challenging surfaces.”
When it comes to providing a fire rating to those openings and pathways, G&M Services has clients covered. Its Firestop division provides a fire protection system that treats openings and joints in fire-resistant walls or floors. The company’s Firestop division is FM 4991 certified and UL qualified and is able to provide a UL Master Audit Certificate of Compliance when performing all the firestopping for a building. “A good firestop system keeps the building and the people inside safe from the spread of fire and smoke,” says Mike Kaspersky, Vice President of Life Safety Operations.
“By combining concrete cutting, core drilling, sawing, cutting and firestop installation, and soon 3D laser scanning and projection modeling, we offer clients an end-to-end solution,” says Andrew Tomlinson, President/Manager.
In 2018, G&M Services added thermal and moisture protection to its array of services. “An effective envelope system protects against rain and heat and provides air and vapor control. These are critical to a building’s environmental and energy performance,” Andrew says. The company’s services include thermal insulation (including board, blanket and reflective insulation), weather barriers and air barriers like sheet metal membranes and fluid- applied membranes.
With 75 employees, G&M Services works with commercial, industrial and government customers across the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to government buildings, employees can be found in offices, shopping malls and hospitals. “We do a lot of work on renovation projects,” Andrew says. “G&M Services is the largest contractor in the area that specializes in this type of work.”
“We are the ones called in to clean up other contractors’ messes,” Andrew adds. “We’re not always the cheapest, but we are the best at what we do.”
A Company on the Map
While projects average $200,000 in size, the company is insured and equipped to take on multimillion-dollar jobs. “Our biggest project to date was for MGM National Harbor, a new hotel and casino near Washington, D.C.,” Andrew says. The $1.8 million project included concrete cutting, core drilling and firestop installation.
When another contractor failed to qualify for the job, the customer called G&M Services with an urgent request. “We normally have two to three months to mobilize, but the client was already behind,” Mike says. The company doubled the size of its normal project crew, and within two weeks, 96 employees were on-site and ready to work on the hotel and casino, which took two years to build.
“That project really put us on the map and opened us up for larger projects,” Andrew says, noting that the company is bonded to work on projects up to $4 million in size and has the working capital reserves to handle virtually any size project in the market. “There is no job within our scope of services that we cannot handle,” he adds.
That’s a philosophy that’s been reinforced since the company’s inception.
Creating a Better Life
G&M Services got its start in 1999, when Founders Anthony “Tony” Manning, Owner, and Chris Gilliam struck out on their own. “I’d known Chris since I was 18 years old,” Tony says.
In their early 30s, Chris and Tony had young families and dreams of a better life. “We weren’t making a lot of money, had no health insurance, and we both had mortgages. We wanted to do better for ourselves and our families,” Tony says.
The two initially started G&M Services as a demolition company. “Chris knew all the commercial customers. We’d rip out walls and do interior demolition,” Tony says. The two provided hauling services on the side to earn extra money. “Chris would sell the work, and we’d both do the work. I remember days, nights, weekends, holidays, even Christmas that we’d be out in the field working. Our families understood though.”
As the business grew, so did the calls for saw-cutting and core-drilling services. “Demolition is brutal work and it was hard to compete with other companies. A couple of years into the business, we bought a few core-drilling machines,” Tony says.
He recalls G&M Services’ first big job. “We were contracted to work on a fast-track, core-drilling renovation project for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. We put our demo work to the side and hired the guys needed to get the job done during the summer months when school was out. I remember that was a big check for us then—$30,000. That’s where core-drilling rose and demo faded out,” Tony says.
As the company grew, Chris and Tony committed to taking only what they needed to pay their bills and support their families. “We never got greedy; we always put that money back into the company, investing in new equipment and providing better benefits for our employees,” he says.
Tony recalls the company’s first “office.” “I remodeled a shed out in the backyard where we kept all our equipment. We’d work all day, and I’d do maintenance on the saws and other equipment at night. Eventually we rented a small space, and that was our first official shop. It was basically a 10-foot by 10-foot shed that we had to put a roof on before using. It looked like a chicken coop,” he says.
“Chris and I didn’t want to blow our money. I drove an old beater that you had to get into from the passenger side, and Chris drove a beat-up white truck. We stayed humble. That’s how we always were,” Tony adds. From the glorified chicken coup, the company upgraded to a barn in 2006. “We were up to six crews at that point,” he says.
"At G&M Services, we’re extremely knowledgeable and experienced, and it shows. We are led by a strong management team, we have the ability to take on large, multimillion-dollar projects, and we stand by our work.” Andrew Tomlinson, President and Manager, G&M Services, LLC
One of the Hardest Moments
As business continued to grow, Chris and Tony relocated to Hanover, site of the company’s present-day headquarters. “The company really took off. I ran operations, and Chris managed administration and sales. We cross-trained in everything so we knew what each other was doing,” Tony says.
When Chris passed away in 2014, Tony was confronted with one of the hardest moments in his life. “It was so hard to come into the building after Chris died,” he admits. Tony stepped up as sole leader, supported by a well- experienced management team in Todd and Mike. The team also included Andrew, who was serving as an outside adviser at the time and had been working closely with Tony and Chris since 2011.
G&M Services honors Chris by staying true to his commitment to create a better life for employees. “Good employees stay with you if you treat them right. Chris was deeply committed to taking care of people,” Tony says.
G&M Services not only has a zero-tolerance policy toward drug and alcohol misuse, conducting random drug tests, but also seeks to help employees overcome these challenges. “We’ve enrolled employees in drug and alcohol rehab programs and really tried to be there for them,” he says.
The company also promotes this culture of caring through its safety program. “Our safety program is like no other,” Tony says.
“Every single new field employee receives four days of safety training before ever setting foot on a job site,” Andrew says. Employees receive Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour construction training and are trained in accident prevention, silica safety, electrical hazards, and the operation of the scissor lift and other equipment.
The company’s in-house Safety Manager, Dave Hamilton Jr., conducts weekly toolbox talks to share safety tips, monthly safety meetings and job site safety audits throughout the week. Further, all supervisors receive OSHA 30-hour construction training.
“At one point, I became an OSHA-certified instructor,” Tony says. “People get hurt and have died in this industry. To me, it would be a willful act if I didn’t provide them with the knowledge needed to protect themselves and others.”
“We take good care of our people and provide employees with excellent wages and benefits. Our doors are always open, and we have one of the best safety programs in our field,” Andrew says.
Growing by Leaps and Bounds
In December 2017, Tony handed the reins over to Andrew, who joined the company as President and Manager. “Chris loved Andrew. He’s done such a great job,” he says.
Under Andrew’s leadership, the company continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In just three years, the company’s sales have gone up by nearly 100%. “In 2017, we did $6 million in business. This year, we’re looking at $11.5 million,” Andrew says.
“At G&M Services, we’re extremely knowledgeable and experienced, and it shows. We are led by a strong management team, we have the ability to take on large, multimillion-dollar projects, and we stand by our work,” he notes. “The true measure of success is when an owner can remove themselves and still have a strong, profitable, sustainable company. I am proud to be a part of Tony and Chris’ success story and am privileged to have leaders like Todd and Mike at my side.” If the past is any indication of the future, G&M Services is on a path to continued success for many years to come.