May 11, 2022
Peter Gray is a Vice President and Senior Hydrogeologist for MTE. He has more than 35 years of experience and has worked across Canada and the United States, and has also assessed groundwater and surface water resources in Malawi, Bangladesh and Southeast Asia.
Looking back at his career, Pete explores his path to MTE and how his career has enriched by mentorship.
Describe your career path at and prior to MTE? Why did you join MTE?
I am a proud to be an alumni of the University of Waterloo, earning my degree in Earth Sciences (Geology) in 1987. I then started my career with an engineering consulting firm, and haven’t looked back. My first job was with Trow Engineering, a name some will know. As with many large engineering firms, mergers create change and the division of Trow I worked for became Dames and Moore, Canada.
In 1995 I started a company, Frontline Environmental Management Inc. with my friend Bob Fedy. Bob and I grew Frontline over almost 13 years to roughly 20 staff, when in 2007 we were purchased by MTE. I have served as a VP and Sr. Hydrogeologist with MTE over the past 14 years and hold a Well Contractor license on MTE’s behalf.
What is your most memorable project at MTE?
When testifying at an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing on behalf of a client developing a bedrock quarry, I was being cross examined by a lawyer on behalf of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, where they told me that they were not questioning whether there was consultation with First Nations. What they were questioning was the meaningfulness of the consultation. What could I say to that? That experience has forever changed how I approach projects.
What’s been the most significant challenge for you as a leader?
As my career has developed, my role has changed from being the one collecting the data and interpreting it, to managing people, projects and clients and then running a company. It is a challenge to let go of what you love doing and grow to mentor others, while also growing technically to continue to develop as a technical expert.
What do you think sets MTE apart in our industry?
With our focus on being the leading regional consultant in the areas that our offices are located, this gives our staff a unique sense of pride in the local projects they work on. At the same time there are opportunities for staff to work on projects across the province. For those who like to travel this can be a real bonus.
MTE’s size of roughly 400 staff puts us in a unique category of companies. We have maintained a smaller company culture, while having the systems and supports found in larger companies. This, when combined with everyone’s ability to own a piece of the company as a shareholder, makes MTE incomparable to other companies.
Where would you like to see MTE in five years?
In business it is said to either grow or die. I believe MTE will continue to grow geographically and in size, while maintaining its core values and culture. I know I will look back in five years and see the people I have helped mentor in leadership roles in the company, and see them forging paths for the generation behind them.
What would you say to someone considering a career at MTE?
You won’t get lost in the company or pigeon-holed in a never-ending role. If you want a challenge and the ability to grow, give MTE a shot!
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