"I don't consider myself a legend, I'm just a vehicle..."
Steve Sharpe, Founder of Sharpe Interior Systems, Inc. since 1976.
In the early 1970’s, as a young man living and working in the San Fernando Valley, Steve worked various jobs, doing different tasks. The companies he worked for had a common theme; little to no growth opportunity. One day, during a work shift, a customer made a comment regarding Steve’s ability to work quickly and efficiently, stating “you are very fast, you should be in the drywall business”. In Steve’s quick-witted style, he replied “how much does drywall installation pay?”. The customer replied, “fifty cents more per hour” and just like that, Steve made the decision to get into the drywall business.
If you ask Steve what stands out the most about his life journey, he would say “I have been blessed with many legends in my life”. Steve’s story is about all the people who shared their experiences with him, and who mentored him along the way. He recalls interacting with union leaders, business owners, competitors, financial advisors, architects, engineers, fellow employees, clients, the list goes on and on. His recollection about events, lessons learned, knowledge gained, and how he was able to accomplish his life’s work runs very deep. Steve tells stories about being in his early 20’s, sitting on committees, attending health seminars, pension trust meetings, labor negotiations, and listening to leaders and industry participants at the local and national level sharing their business perspective. Steve does not like to speak about himself but rather share stories about his experiences and the people he met and worked with along the way... “legends in his life”.
Steve has worked alongside many union leaders who care about their fellow contractors and their union members, but there are a few that stand out. He recalls one of his best experiences, working with Steve Etkin at the AWCI. “Steve (Etkin) is a brilliant man, who shares his knowledge without opinion and with-out judgment”. He remembers fellow contractor, Clyde Bell who was one of the first board member representatives he sat with on union negotiating committees. He also has fond memories of Carl Raymond of The Raymond Group and a gentleman named Dan Dillman who taught Steve drywall installation and the importance of tracking production. Jim Bowles is a labor attorney who provides brilliant council, and Maxene Andrews (of the musical group "The Andrews Sisters") who early in Steve’s life mentored him, sharing her wisdom through her life experiences.
In his personal life and career, Steve has applied everything he has learned from the long list of legends and people he has interacted with. He now pays it forward by passing on this knowledge to others. Currently, at Sharpe Interior Systems, Inc., Steve has created a culture of lifelong learning with the idea that opportunities can be created through personal interaction, involvement and strong guiding principles. Sharpe team members in their own right, are legends in training who continue to be involved in local and national industry organizations, support their local communities and charities, and leave their mark by constructing some of Los Angeles' most iconic buildings. Collectively, they share Steve’s vision and passion for addressing future opportunities and challenges, establishing and fostering relationships and developing individuals within the company for a rewarding career and experience that result in a style of service and quality for their clients.
Steve Sharpe “I don’t consider myself a legend, I’m just a vehicle”.