Meet Gary Tate: The Man with a Project Plan

If there were one word used to describe Gary Tate, AssetWorks’ Quality Control Manager in Pittsburgh, that word would be “thorough.” It’s his acute attention to detail — and the critical thinking behind it — that drives everything he does.

ThGary Tate Boatingis thoroughness is expressed in important and often subtle ways throughout his workday. While it stands in the spotlight as he audits appraisal data — catching the red flag data points that less experienced eyes might overlook — it’s also revealed in other more behind-the-scenes ways. Like his rigorous, regular updates of the training materials he develops for AssetWorks’ newest valuation associates. Or the quarterly webinars he creates on ISO construction classifications and COPE data, ensuring key details and processes remain fresh in the minds of even seasoned valuation staff. He’s always on the lookout for new ways to remove any room for error, while also making the associates’ jobs more efficient. “If I can make a field form better, I will,” he said, referring to the data collection checklist the valuation associates use at customer sites. “I want to make sure that every data point that needs to be on there is there, so you just can’t forget anything.”

Gary makes it his business to remember. But he also remembers what it was like seventeen years ago, when he started at AssetWorks as a fledgling appraiser himself. “The job is overwhelming and there’s just so much information. But if you figure out which pockets to put that information in… To know, ‘I snap a picture as soon as I get to the building. Then I take the GPS coordinates. Then I go inside and break things down into smaller categories…’ You discover that if you build a routine for yourself, it makes an enormous difference. I’ve been consistent with how I approach my work, and my goal is to bring that consistency to everyone on the team.”

This well-honed sense of order and responsibility made him the ideal candidate to develop AssetWorks’ project plan procedure. “Every project should have a project plan,” Gary stated. “Even if you’re the only one on the project. It’s important to go through the proposal and record every task that should be completed. That way you can look back on the plan, years from now, and see the documentation and what changed over time.”
Gary Tate with KidsGary takes the time to read through every project plan with the appraisers on that job, helping to ensure everyone’s on the same page and that no feature is missed. “I’m big on accountability,” he admitted. “So once I do my part, then I can say, ‘Now it’s in your hands.’” With this strong communication, training and quality assurance in place, internal audits are revealing that the process is getting results.

When Gary’s not at AssetWorks, fielding the many details of the day, he’s at home planning culinary creations. “I like experimenting with things and I love to look for a good recipe and make it.” His favorite go-to meal when his daughters Allison (“Alli”) and Esabella (“Esa”) are home features a roast with gravy, homemade bread and French fries. But he also waxes enthusiastic about an impromptu stew in a red wine sauce he and his girlfriend Shannon recently discovered. In addition to his gastronomic adventures, Gary enjoys outdoor ones like running — a hobby he shares with his daughters — and, for the first time this year, boating on Lake Milton in Ohio. With the presence of COVID-19, boating became a great way to have a safe mini-vacation and he’s looking forward to next summer and more time on the water, balancing his rigorous quality assurance with quality family time.