Michael Godbehere and Gabriel Gavriilidis, founders of GCON, first met at Ironwood High School in Glendale, Arizona. Acquaintances at the time, they continued and grew their friendship into college, where they both attended Arizona State University. Gabe’s original major was in Civil Engineering, until Mike convinced him to change it to Construction Management, like his. Shortly after graduating, Mike was hired on at J.A. Mardian, where he then hired Gabe on as an intern. Little did they both know, this would be where the story of GCON first begins.
A few years later, on their own career paths, Mike got a phone call one afternoon from his longtime friend Gabe, with the crazy dream of starting a Construction Company. While the two had remained in touch, Mike remembers this call being “out of the blue”. At this time, Mike was working for a large tech company and Gabe was working for CORE Construction (Target General at the time). “You’re nuts!” was the first comment from Mike’s mouth. “There is no way I’m doing that with you… but I will help you”. And so he did. The two got together and started working out the details. Mike was sure it would be nothing more than a hobby – something he could help his friend with. But much to Mike’s surprise, this wouldn’t end up being the case at all.
While others pushed the duo to put a board together and hire attorneys, Mike and Gabe were not yet sold this was more than hobby, and chose to keep things in-house. For the first five years, the only goal was the company’s survival. When asked by their Accountant for their starting capital, Mike responds “Well… we have this laptop and it’s worth $2,500”. With this, they never had to put a single dollar from their own pockets in to start-up the company.
*FUN FACT: If you were to look at any of GCON’s financial statements, the laptop is still listed as the only starting capital*
On to the fun stuff. When choosing the name of their new company, the only specification in mind was that both of their last names started with the letter G, and wanted to incorporate that somehow. The two spent hours at the Scottsdale Community College Library, hunched over the desktop researching potential company names. They bounced around several ideas, until one stuck. The decision was made at a California Pizza Kitchen one night, where they fell in love with the name “GCON”, as it could be known in many different ways – General Contractor, Gentle Contractor, etc.
And so GCON began. And grew. And thrived. And grew some more…
Looking back over the last 20 years, Gabe says he is most proud of seeing all that GCON has become. Mike couldn’t agree more, stating that the opportunity for GCON to work with a fortune 500 company has been one of the biggest accomplishments GCON has had to date.
Looking towards the next 20, Mike is most looking forward to seeing where the next generation will take us. “The company is set up with some really, really amazing talent and I am excited to see how that talent takes the company forward”. Collectively, they are looking forward to seeing GCON continue to grow in size, but ensuring the core family values that they built the company on 20 years ago remain intact, as they are imperative to the company’s success. In the words of Mike, “There is no desire to grow GCON to a particular size. There’s a desire to grow the company around great people, around good values, who make a difference in their community”.
There you have it, folks. The story of GCON. Here’s to 20 more! Congratulations Mike and Gabe.