Happy National Volunteer Week! To celebrate the occasion, CSI would like to give a resounding round of applause to all of our current and past volunteers. All week, we are putting the spotlight on CSI members who go the extra mile for their friends and colleagues.
Today’s spotlight is on Steve Gantner, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, SCIP, AGCMO. You’re invited to learn how to become a CSI Volunteer or opt in to the CSI Volunteer Pool to easily apply for opportunities that are a match for your interests and availability.
How did you first decide to volunteer, and what is your particular area of expertise?
Answering the second question first, I am a licensed/registered architect in the state of Missouri. I started out intending to be a traditional architect, but was drawn to the construction side of it and soon found myself doing construction administration. That is when I became interested in CSI, the standard formats and CDT. As most people doing CA, I found flaws in the specifications, which led me to writing specifications. Currently, I am a full time specification writer and loving every minute of it.
A good friend asked me if I would be interested in running for 2nd Vice President of the Greater St. Louis Chapter. I was relatively new to CSI and thought it would be a great way to learn how the organization worked, meet people and give back to an industry I was proud to be in. This eventually led to being President of the Greater St. Louis Chapter. While preparing to become President, the North Central Region began offering President Elect Training, which I eagerly attended. This led me to meet many others who volunteered their time. Seeing what they did inspired me to want to continue volunteering after my term as President. I eventually became involved in many Chapter committees. After, this I asked to get involved in the Region, and eventually became Secretary. Today, I’m working on the Academic Program Committee for Institute. I believe this is some of the most important work CSI can do right now. The number of specifiers is going down and this is an opportunity to show young folks who are interested in construction that there is more than just the traditional roles.
Why is the work you do as a volunteer important to you?
I love working with others, seeing how they think and work. It helps me improve myself and hopefully inspire others the way they inspire me. This past year of not having meetings and seeing people is killing me. I can’t wait to meet in person again.
What impact have other volunteers had on your career?
Most people I run into who are active volunteers have the best outlook on life. Pleasant, easy going people who are willing to give back to others what they have received.
How might other AECO professionals volunteer in their community, and why might you encourage them to do so?
Listen! Almost every organization, CSI included, will say, “We need help.” Jump in and help. If there is something you are interested in, ask to be a part of it. I remember when I wanted to get involved in the North Central Region. I called Lynn Javoroski, who was Chair of the Awards Committee, and asked if she needed help. “Absolutely,” was her response. Eventually I became chair and she moved onto another committee that interested her. It was a win/win.
If you are interested, don’t be afraid to ask if you can help!
Favorite podcast or book?
Book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus is my favorite character. I wish I was more like him.
Podcast, If you haven't read the bible, try “The Bible in a Year.” I always wanted to read through the entire bible, but couldn’t. I am currently on Day 105. Also, I love listening to “The Way I Heard It,” with Mike Rowe, in a similar form to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”—true stories about real events. If you’re a Mel Brooks fan, start with episode 6.
Do my kids count? I love camping, hiking, backpacking, and fly-fishing. Really anything that gets me outside and away from pavement, traffic, and buildings.