We’re introducing our “BEYOND THE BIO” series! Every month we going to shine a light on one of our awesome crew members at PLE Painting, and not just surface-level talk – we dive in deep. You’ll learn about their story, their WHY, and the reason they continue to ride this wave with us.
First up is Ryan Smith, Chief Site Super, and trim expert. He’ll be rounding up 6 years with us in May. Time sure flies.
Coming up to his 6 year anniversary working at PLE Painting, Ryan reflects on his career. From his first job in the trades to starting as a Vancouver painter, Ryan has found a rewarding place to work as Chief Site Super at PLE Painting.
From Contract Work to a Thriving Career
Ryan first started in the trades sub-contracting for a cabinet shop and gained hands-on experience with the detailed and fine priming, sanding and finishing required in kitchen cabinetry.
When life brought him to B.C., it was during the winter season and Ryan expected a challenge in finding work because new builds, renovations, home improvement, and painting contracts generally slow down during the winter months. When he stumbled upon a full-time job opportunity in the dead of winter, he was impressed that PLE Painting was busy enough with winter painting projects to offer him a steady job.
Over his six-year journey from a junior employee to Chief Site Super, Ryan has come to appreciate PLE’s dedication to providing job opportunities for painters year-round and leadership opportunities for painters who are willing to put in the work to a high standard.
Working for a company with high standards for quality and professionalism gives Ryan a sense of pride.
“We look professional and act professionally at all times. It just shows the type of company PLE is. They set the bar high and keep the standards to a certain level with any project.”
Steady employment, career growth, a team and painting projects he can be proud of have made PLE Painting the best company to work for in Vancouver.
An Environment to Grow Professionally and Personally
Since becoming Chief Site Super, Ryan looks back and has a little giggle (yes, giggle) about his first few paint projects and how far he’s come. With Jay and Elliot’s support, he was encouraged to develop his skills both professionally, in fine finishing and detailing for high-end painting projects, and personally through leadership skills.
“I learned a lot over the years. When I look back at just the little things, I can see how far I’ve come. Specifically, spraying trim and having more of an eye for details. I now know how things are supposed to look and the standard that PLE looks for. Throughout the years, I was able to take on more responsibilities, and they put a lot of trust in me to run these jobs.” Now Ryan has the chance to support his team in their learning and development when he’s holding PLE Painting’s high standards in supervising detailed painting projects as Chief Site Super.
Both Jay and Elliot expect a certain amount of leadership and hustle every day from the crew. They lead by example and hold their employees in that same regard when they enter the site.
Ryan recognizes the importance of Jay and Elliot’s encouraging and positive attitude on every element of the job. Most valuable was their transparency and the level of respect that is given.
Ryan has learned from the PLE Painting leadership team to value painters on the job as much as clients. Everyone makes the effort to look for and encourage the unique set of skills of different team members and help them master their craft. They don’t just hire “Vancouver painters” at PLE, they hire and develop skilled painters and there is always an opportunity for growth.
A Team That Wins Together, Learns Together and Supports Each Other
Did you know that research shows that a happy and positive workplace results in a 12% spike in employee productivity? The same study also revealed that unhappy workers and poor company culture result in 10% less productive workers. What’s for certain is that Jay and Elliot’s dedication to their team shows in longstanding employees like Ryan, as he reaches a 6-year milestone working at PLE Painting.
PLE believes in providing full support to their team and ensuring the team supports each other so that everyone is set up for success. Ryan shares, “Generally I’m working with 1-3 other guys and we have a mix of characters that work with us. It comes down to motivating guys each day, and showing them how we do things.”
The characters Ryan mentions come from all over the world – Morocco, Syria, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the list goes on. They’re all very different human beings, each bringing a different skill set. “Being part of PLE Painting means you’re part of the family, no matter where you’re from.” When you step onto a site you’re part of a team that wins together, learns together and supports each other.
Rooted in Community Building
The coolest and most memorable project Ryan has done while working at PLE Paining was the Nat Bailey Stadium, also known as “The Nat” to locals. It’s an iconic Vancouver baseball stadium located in the Riley Park-Little Mountain neighbourhood. The Nat is very much ingrained in the Vancouver community, sandwiched between surrounding neighbourhoods.
Fun fact: The iconic Vancouver landmark, Nat Bailey Stadium, has been painted twice by the PLE crew.
With Elliot and Jay growing up in the community that they now paint, community involvement is a pillar of PLE values. The crew is laser-focused on being Vancouver’s best painting company, with a duty to contribute their best to the people and the businesses in the community. This shows through the quality of their workmanship.
Ryan takes pride in the community aspect of paint projects and enjoys the versatility of the projects he’s worked on throughout the years. From residential to commercial, and high-end projects – the diversity and end-result when the paint job is finished are what he finds most rewarding. “You get to feel like you accomplished something at the end.”
A Winning Recipe For Business Success
“We’re like a family. Everyone feels supported and everyone’s doing good.”
PLE Painting provides the best opportunities for painters by providing supportive leadership, a positive work environment, a team that you can call family, and being the smoothest operation in town. It feels great to have a strong company culture but it’s also a winning recipe for business success! PLE Painting’s clients, from commercial general contractors, residential homeowners, property managers, and custom home builders have come to rely on PLE Painting because they know they have an entire team to rely on and a crew that is engaged and inspired to deliver on the promises the company makes.
It’s just the beginning for Ryan! Stay tuned. You can learn more about him and the rest of the crew on our team page. If you have high standards, a strong sense of teamwork, and you’re looking for a painting career with a growth opportunity, visit our careers page for more information!