Dec 15, 2022 | 2 min read

Leadership Amid Growth with James Gray

By: Patrick Emmons

Leadership Amid Growth with James Gray

Adaptability is an essential skill for anyone navigating their career in a company experiencing growth. Chief Information Officer James Gray curates his teams with this priority due to REEF’s exponential growth in recent years, especially as the neighborhood-focused company saw the desire for the proximity of goods and services increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this episode, James Gray shares insight into the importance of articulating your needs as an employee, addressing company-employee value mismatch, and managing vertical and horizontal growth. James discusses REEF innovations, like “ghost kitchens,” and the opportunities for those interested in working with the mobile, modular, and smart company.

  • (01:31) – What is REEF?
  • (03:22) – Ghost kitchens
  • (06:20) – Growing REEF
  • (11:26) – An entrepreneurial company
  • (15:40) – Acceleration from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • (17:12) – Curating a team in a growth company
  • (20:40) – Addressing company-employee mismatch
  • (25:25) – The biggest surprise of the past year
  • (26:48) – Mitigating inflation and product capability

About Our Guest

James Gray is the Chief Information Officer of REEF. His expertise in data, product management, artificial intelligence, IT operations, software engineering, and sales has led to high-level roles at Microsoft, Aspen Technology, and Chevron. He hosts the podcast Career Strategy Coach. James earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, a master's degree in information and data science from the School of Information at UC Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Union College.

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.

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We interview leaders from early-stage start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises who distill their lessons from their victories and their failures. Learn how these high-performing leaders organize their teams, establish a growth-minded culture, and leverage new technologies such as DevOps and Cloud.