Co-founder & COO
Location: St. Louis, MO
Gary Wood believes that leadership starts with authenticity.
“When you authentically share your true self and show up every day showing compassion and care for your employees, they are going to care enough to show up for you in a much more productive way,” he said.
Wood is the co-founder and COO of Stryker Construction, a commercial construction company that specializes in renovating buildings and interior spaces.
He got his start in the industry at a young age. In high school and college, he helped his mother manage the family real estate portfolio, managing about 35 single-family rental homes and flipping two to three properties a year.
“She was successful because of her hard work, her drive to succeed, her attention to detail and her passion for real estate,” Wood recalled. “This laid the foundation for me to become the business owner that I am today.”
After college, he went to work for a commercial construction company, but after a drastic pay cut due to the 2008 housing crisis, Wood decided to strike out on his own. According to Wood, this decision to leave an existing, stable, company was the most important risk he has taken in his life. Without this gamble, and the blind conviction in his abilities to create a better business, this dream would have never come to fruition.
“I felt I could deliver a better product to the market and decided to take my shot. It was a bold move at the age of 30, but I saw an opportunity to focus on delivering a better product to clients and delivering a superior building experience,” he said.
Wood and his company have received a number of accolades over the years, including multiple recognitions as an Inc. 5000 business, as a Blueprint magazine Company to Watch in 2018 and in the Innovate St. Louis 2019 edition as one of the most innovative construction firms in the city. The vision for Stryker Construction is to keep building deep-rooted relationships with clients that value a superior building experience. As clients grow in their career or business journey, we want to be there for them, delivering whatever construction services they may need by building out separately focused and specialized divisions, including quick response service, ground up, tenant finish, and multi-unit facilities.
In addition to Stryker Construction, Wood started two other construction-related subsidiary businesses: FastTrac Rentals, providing construction equipment sales and rentals, and Total Warehouse Solutions, providing loading docks and doors, racking, and material handling equipment to those who move and store products in the St. Louis region.
I am obsessed with habitat improvement and management at my farm in Bismarck, Mo. I love making improvements that draw in and support the wildlife population.