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Gerard Moran joined Albion Reed, a subsidiary of Boral, as a marketing trainee in July 1972. Now National Customer Services Manager for USG Boral Australia, he looks back on 45 years of career highlights and changes towards better leadership, talent management, industry and community commitment.
Running up to every Easter, Gerard Moran works closely on just one of USG Boral’s many community projects. In the past 25 years, we’ve contributed over $300,000 of our products to Henley Properties’ Charity House build – along with the services of our UBL Interior Linings Contracting tradespeople. The 2018 Charity House required around 1250m2 of plasterboard for walls and ceilings, 340 linear metres of cornice and up to 6 installers over five days.
The Henley and Villawood Properties Charity Home Auction is one of the biggest contributors to Melbourne’s Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal – having raised over $13.8 million. This cause is just one of the many that Gerard throws his energies and long-standing industry connections into.
Gerard says that one of the important changes he’s seen in his long years with the company is that the wheels have turned from a sole focus on the interests of Boral shareholders. “Our focus has expanded more to our customers, staff and community, in addition to our shareholders. It’s no surprise to me that becoming a better employer and active contributor to our industry and the wider community have resulted in an increase in the return to our shareholders over recent years.”
Gerard is just as committed to the construction industry. He received the 2016 Hall of Fame Award from the Association of Wall & Ceiling Industries – Victoria plus a 20-year Service Pin from the Housing Industry Association from holding roles on the State Council and Membership Services Committee.
He also remembers career highlights as overseeing Boral Plasterboard’s involvement of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, followed by the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
With his wide-ranging responsibilities across USG Boral, Gerard has seen a number of welcome changes. “As a company, we’re much more family-friendly,” he says. “Work/life balance has become important. Our leaders now have excellent, well-rounded skills in working both internally and externally. In the past we were too internally focused, and I credit today’s leaders with the change.”
To illustrate this change, he contrasts his own experience in the early 1970s with today’s induction processes – which he is deeply involved in these days. “When I moved up to a sales role I couldn’t even drive. Pronto got a licence and the company provided me with a vehicle, keys and a street directory. That was all they considered necessary for my new role.”
As it turned out, Gerard didn’t actually need more support, rising rapidly. In January 1979 he was the first Boral employee to join Australian Gypsum after its acquisition, and was State Sales Manager by the early 1980s. It was a time of rapid expansion, as Boral acquired multiple companies – including Glen Iris Bricks, Blue Circle Cement, Origin Energy, Johns Perry (commercial lifts) and Cyclone. He says one of the many highlights of his career during the 80s and 90s was leading a winning sales team composed of passionate people with a strong customer base and rising results.
Looking back now, he sees USG Boral’s greater focus on training and personal career development. No longer just a ‘tick the box’ exercise, his involvement with inductions across the businesses is another career highlight. He also greatly enjoys coaching and mentoring existing and new staff to fulfil their potential as the next generation of leaders.
After nearly half a century in Australia, Gerard retains his strong Irish brogue. Speaking with him, it’s clear that he retains the genuine warmth of his native land. He puts it well to work – dealing personally not only with USG Boral staff and their leaders, but at a senior level with some of our most valued customers. He reckons that he now holds ‘one of the company’s most non-prescriptive roles’, and he’s obviously in his element.
When asked about his enthusiasm and staying power after 45 years, he puts it all down to his passion for the USG Boral business through its staff and customers alike and his ‘hunter instinct’ for seeking out new business opportunities. Those who work and interact with him know it goes much deeper than that…
See more industry perspectives in this occasional blog series.