It’s no secret we pride ourselves on our people. This month we sat down with Mitch Garrett, one of SGA’s Principals, to talk about just that, as well as seasonal changes and hunting in rural Argentina. Mitch is a licensed architect in multiple states, and a member of AIA, NCARB certified, and also a LEED Accredited Professional.
When did your career in retail architecture with SGA start? Tell us about it.
My career with SGA started in 1999. I grew up in the Tulsa area but landed in the Oklahoma City area after college. I attempted a few times over the first decade of my career to move back to Tulsa because I really like the area and a lot of my family was still here but nothing worked out until I was hired at SGA. My entire career to that point had centered around national retail architecture, however, I was not familiar with multi-project rollout programs or prototype development. The outstanding leaders, mentors and teammates here helped me fill in the gaps in my experience and knowledge. They came to my aid which allowed me to grow tremendously.
SGA has lots of company pride. Tell us about the people and culture.
A lot of the time we think about the culture of our company as sort of the fun camaraderie we all enjoy during company events like potlucks and parties. That is certainly a fantastic part of the culture at SGA, we like to have fun and eat. I also believe an equally important facet of our culture is how we all work together toward to the common goal of helping our clients be successful. SGA’s culture is all about people, the people outside our walls that we strive to serve every day and the people and families of SGA that we care deeply about and work so hard to take care of. I think that some of that pride comes from how much we know we have each other’s backs.
Why are people the most valuable resource at SGA?
All of the people at SGA have been chosen to be here. It is not by accident. They are the most valuable resource because of the relationships they build, the expertise they either brought with them or have learned while here, the unceasing strength and confidence they display and all they achieve every day. In other words, they have been selected, taught, empowered, and rewarded not only by the things they achieve but by the experiences they get to share with one another. We spend a great deal of time with each other week in and week out solving problems for our clients. The value of what we provide for each other in those shared experiences is incalculable.
What do you look most forward to with the change of seasons this time of year?
I like to spend time outdoors and fall is a great time of year for that. I live in a rural area and very much look forward to cooler evenings so that I can enjoy spending time sitting around the fire pit on my patio soaking in nature, listening to the wind rustle in the trees and appreciating the blessings of my life.
Tell us about the most interesting trip you’ve taken?
The farthest I have ever traveled away from Oklahoma was on a hunting trip to Argentina this last February. Central Argentina is mostly agricultural so geographically very much like the great plains of the United States. As you can imagine, however, the people and culture are very different than here. It was a fantastic trip. We enjoyed a great time hunting and then were served superb cuisine cooked over an open fire on the ground by a chef. Each day we were served an extraordinary meal in the field at a linen-covered table on fine china with real silverware and crystal glassware. Truly amazing.