Name: Gary Wise
Family: I have five wonderful kids, Austin, 22, currently stationed in Germany with the Air Force, Ally 18, Lauren 14, Landon 12, and Cameron 9. My girlfriend of two years is Daphne Gable, who keeps me sane.
Years in the Golden Isles: 20 years
School: Graduated from Richmond Hill High School in 1989 and attended Southern Tech for two years before transferring to Armstrong State College in 1992.
Occupation: General manager of Yates-Astro Termite & Pest Control
What are a couple of things every visitor must do when in the Golden Isles? Where do I start? If you love golf, the area has many courses that are absolutely beautiful. I would definitely suggest the Pier area on St. Simons, they have many great food options and lots for the kids to do. Also, enjoy our beautiful coastal fishing options. This area has great opportunities for those that love fishing and we have a lot of knowable fishing charters in the area. Again, we are fortunate to live in this wonderful part of the world with so many options.
What does a typical day look like for you at Yates-Astro? First thing in the morning I make sure that the techs are prepared for the day and make sure that all scheduled work is taken care of. Then it is on to the previous day’s paperwork and job reports to make sure all of it is filled out correctly. I also visit job sites periodically to be sure that the techs are following rules and making sure jobs are done correctly. Also, work with sales teams on proposals and upcoming jobs. I try to stop by commercial accounts and check with the owners to make sure things are going smoothly and to see if we can better serve our clients. Customer service is big with me and I stress that with my employees. Customers have to feel appreciated and valued. That is my job to make sure that happens daily.
What are some lessons you have learned to manage a successful business? The very first thing that I learned 18 years ago … Not everyone works like I do. I am very competitive and a perfectionist. I found out that most people are not like me. When I give someone a job to do, I expect it to be done correctly and in a timely manner. So, I have learned to be more patient and explain and teach more to get results. Every employee is different and they each handle things differently. So, it took me a few years to understand that and I had to adjust my way of approaching how I wanted things done.
As president of the Exchange Club of Brunswick, what are their missions and current goals? The main mission of the Exchange Club is child abuse prevention. It is unbelievable the amount of child abuse that goes on, not only within the Golden Isles but also throughout this country. We focus on helping children in the Golden Isles. One of the programs that means the most to me is the Powell McDonald Bicycle give away each Christmas. We give out around 80 free bikes each year to families in need. This was started by Mr. McDonald in the early 1970s, and over that time we have given out over 3,000 bikes. The fair and rodeo we put on each year enables us to help several nonprofit groups in our area that help children in many different ways.
What advice would you give a newcomer to this area? Get involved. There are so many groups and clubs that do so much work to make our community great. Most importantly, take a deep breath and enjoy this beautiful place that we call the Golden Isles. Tell us how you spend an ideal Saturday in the Golden Isles: Well, both my boys (at home) play travel baseball so we are usually at a baseball field somewhere, but if not, Daphne and I love doing projects around the house or having a brunch somewhere and usually the beach or somewhere on the water. We both love the outdoors and fishing. Marshside Grill is one of our favorite restaurants or grabbing sushi at Fancy Q. So many great options in the Golden Isles.