Mark De Gaye Building Maintenance Supervisor

Published on : 10/5/21
  • When reflecting on his journey through Sodexo, Building Maintenance Supervisor Mark De Gaye shares one of his most terrifying, and yet empowering, experiences he had just one month into the job.

    Attending the site’s prestart – a daily morning meeting to set safety goals for the day – the supervisor who was giving the daily notices called on Mark to finish the address. 

    New bloke on-site, Mark felt out of his depth, but despite his discomfort, Mark values this experience and the many other opportunities he received to ‘step up’. He is now a leader who continually inspires his own team. 

    “I think my life experience has meant that I can bring a lot to the table, in respect to getting the best out of my staff in managing and supporting them,” Mark said. 

    “I’ve been working 34 years and what I can say is that I really enjoy my work with Sodexo, especially how it has given me the chance to empower others to come in and love their job too.”

    Leaving school in Year 12, Mark went straight into the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry through an apprenticeship in refrigeration fitting in 1987. Having felt he’d found his calling, Mark declined offers to move across to the computing and I.T. industries. 

    Within a decade and a half of being a certified HVAC serviceperson with various exposure to mine site and maintenance of commercial / industrial air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, supervision roles and management, Mark started his own business which he ran for 13 years before joining Sodexo in mid-2018.

    Mark said

    The challenges of running a business were stressful, particularly towards the end, where it began to take a toll on my health, finances and my family, Sodexo presented itself at the right place at the right time. Four of my ex-employees decided to leave to work for the business. I’d thought if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for me.”

    Mark wanted to join a business that shared his values of family, collaboration, and hard work. His subsequent experience and dedication made him an amazing candidate, and an employee who has excelled through the ranks. 

    Over the past six months Mark has experienced enormous learning and change, stepping into his current position as Building Maintenance Supervisor. He now oversees the day-to-day operations and organisation of the trades on-site and conducts the very pre-start meetings which inducted him into the business.

    “I am lucky that the allied trades to HVAC are plumbing and electrical. Stepping into a management role, I have had experience in and an understanding of how the trades that I oversee work,” Mark said. 

    One aspect of working with Sodexo that Mark appreciates is the value that is placed on safety. 

    “When you start your shift, the business wants you to go home safe in the same condition as when you started. And it all begins with getting people in the right mindset through leadership,” Mark said. 

    “Being forthright is a very good attribute to have. If something isn’t right, you have a responsibility to speak up about it in a positive and respectful way. Sodexo actually promotes this. 

    “At my stage in life, my goal is simply knowing that I’ll be working a number of years until my retirement, and that I would want to spend that time in a happy and safe environment where I can make a change and maybe have a positive impact in some people’s lives in the process,” Mark said.

    “I also want to make sure my fellow Sodexo colleagues are empowered to do the same.” 

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