Meet the Team: Erik Gorham

Meet the Team: Erik Gorham

It’s a wonderful day to Meet the Team! Today we are highlighting our Operations Manager Erik Gorham.

Erik has a hand in every project we build and keeps our construction department running smoothly. His vast knowledge of both construction and compost tea is an incredible asset to our team, and his great sense of humor makes him an absolute joy to work with. We are so lucky to have Erik coordinating and managing our construction teams. Thank you so much for all your hard work, Erik!

1. How long have you been working at Madrone?

Around 8 years

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?

At Madrone, I work with a diverse team that I get to both help shape and learn from.

3. What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on and why?

Honestly, I can’t point to one specific project. The projects I have enjoyed the most have always been with collaborative involved clients that work with our team to build their vision. I have also found that these types of jobs create lasting relationships with great people.

4. What is your favorite, or least favorite, plant and why?

While I don’t have a specific plant that stands out as my favorite, I would say plants that can serve dual purposes are my favorite. In particular, plants that can be visually appealing in the landscape and can also be served as a meal appeal to me. Asparagus, artichokes, rosemary, and fruit trees are among my favorites.

5. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

Currently most of my free time is taken up by planting and maintaining research gardens that allow me to experiment with organic fertilizers and pesticides while tracking their effects on soil biology.     

 

 

Collaboration Spotlight: Semmes & Co. Builders

Collaboration Spotlight: Semmes & Co. Builders

To wrap up this month, we at Madrone are celebrating our long-standing relationships. As we think back over our time in business, we are grateful for our many San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County business associations with whom we have created strong connections and shared common ideals, principals, and philosophies. One of these is Semmes & Co. Builders, a Central Coast contractor with whom we have had the honor of working with on several projects.

Just over four decades ago, Rick Mathews started hosting jazz programs at the local radio station KCBX; some of you might know him as the host of the weekly show Freedom Jazz Dance. At that time, Turko Semmes was the host of an evening blues program. In our small community, they quickly realized their shared interests extended beyond music, and included their day jobs: the design and build profession. Rick was starting Madrone Landscapes; Turko was founding Semmes & Co. Builders. “I found a kindred spirit in Turko,” says Rick, “With our similar values of quality, integrity, and sustainability, coupled with our similar experiences starting businesses, we became extended family to one another.”

Fast forward a couple of decades, and we have a generational transition taking place. Daniel Mazawa, Madrone’s General Manager, and Jessica Steely, Semmes’ General Manager, joined the companies at roughly the same time, and have formed a great working relationship. “The history is there,” states Rick, “Jessica and Daniel ‘grew up’ together, with many of the same core values.”

Madrone has worked on several projects with Semmes over the years, typically sustainable homes in San Luis Obispo county. The residences include rammed earth elements and zero net energy homes. “When we work with Semmes,” states Daniel, “we know the project will be highly customized; it won’t be like anything else.”

We look forward to our continued working relationship with Semmes & Co. Builders in the years to come!