Every morning Chris Gutierrez, General Manager of AssetWorks Risk Management, steps into his Miami, Florida office and raises the curtain on another day’s nimble, supervisory balancing act. As leadership for approximately 70 staff members, and the direct manager for six, Chris has learned the maneuvers needed to keep things moving at all levels of the organization. And it’s a constant calculation.
He has the background for it, certainly. After twenty-two years with the company through mergers, acquisitions and plenty of growth, Chris gained firsthand experience in diverse aspects of the business — from property appraisal and service operations to product development and administration. In fact, it was Chris who led an internal initiative that championed the development of a certain property risk management software system that ultimately became AssetWorks’ AMP. It remains one of Chris’ proudest accomplishments at the organization, and it set the stage for his later roles in the business.
He became General Manager of the Risk Management division in 2019, when AssetWorks’ Asset Management and Surplus Management divisions split from Risk and Appraisal. Today, a typical day for Chris focuses on, not only what’s happening with the Risk Management leadership team at any given moment, but where the business should be, and the moving parts to get there. Most days start with a standing leadership meeting, but Chris adds, “I also have daily touchpoints with the sales, development, and operations teams. Then I’ll sprinkle in contract review, any tasks for the legal team, and HR.”
But Chris’ duties don’t stop there. He also oversees new technology and efficiency initiatives, overall strategy, mergers and acquisitions, resource retention, and recruiting. With an acute eye and a knack for timing, he keeps a lot of plates in the air.
His three years as General Manager have shown him that knowing how to work with people is the most important element for success. “There are way more people skills needed than business skills in this role. The budgets and sales numbers are what they are; they’re clear cut. But to get the information you need to accurately forecast sales and meet growth goals for the organization, it requires a lot of human contact. Your intuition has to come into play. So, working closely with the people in the trenches and extracting that information is a big part of what I do.”
Chris enjoys the hands-on analysis. “For me, the good stuff is in the details— the thought leadership, analyzing processes, and finding ways we can improve them. To provide something new and even better to our customers. It’s ever-changing. It’s never a dull moment, and you adapt by knowing all the angles.”
There’s one change coming soon, of which Chris is particularly gratified; the Special Education software and solutions group he helped integrate into the business in 2020 is now spinning off to become its own group. For Chris, it’s an exciting time, to see it grow and take off on its own unique trajectory.
When Chris isn’t busy putting plans (and organizational changes!) into motion at AssetWorks, he enjoys travel— exploring new locales and taking in whichever theater, symphony, opera, or botanical garden a city has to offer. But he indicates he’s also discovered a new interest much closer to home. “I’ve learned I really like gardening. I may not do it very successfully, but I like being out there in the yard. I enjoy taking a bare flower bed and designing a space. I like putting it together, whether it’s something useful like a vegetable garden or something just to please or soothe.” Currently, at his Miami residence, he has four garden areas, including an orchid garden and an arid, xeriscaping garden.
Whether it’s in the yard or in the office, Chris Gutierrez excels at creating balance, finding new ways to keep it all moving, building energy, and thriving with new solutions and greater success.