In 1976, Steve Sharpe was looking for more growth opportunities than the companies he was then working for provided. So Steve made a choice – create his own opportunities by starting his own company, and Sharpe Interior Systems, Inc. was born. Today, Sharpe Interior Systems, Inc. is one of Southern California’s premier drywall firms led by a management team that also includes Keith Costanzo, Sharpe’s President/CFO.
But the story of Sharpe is not about Steve, Keith or any other individual members of their executive team. The story of Sharpe is about all of the people who have made the choice to join the Sharpe team and all the people and organizations that Sharpe has interacted with along the way. Just as Steve started his own company because he wanted more opportunities for success, every member of the Sharpe team is afforded the opportunity to grow and be successful. Sharpe has built a culture that allows people to thrive and take pride in the work they perform and the company they work for.
The Sharpe employees are highly-skilled tradespeople who are proud to have their craft displayed in their local communities. Many of Sharpe’s projects are built in communities where employees live, allowing them to look at buildings and landmarks in their day-to-day lives and say, “I helped build that.” Sharpe ensures their employees have all the training and resources they need to be productive and to produce the end result they and their company take pride in.
“People working for people” is a key focus for the Sharpe team. They don’t hire just to fill a slot. Sharpe’s local hire program, for example, provides training and work opportunities for disadvantaged folks living in the community where their projects are built. Implementing these types of programs aren’t always the easiest route to take, but the end result is a high-yield outcome for the builder, community and employee.
When asked how Sharpe meets the constant stream of challenges that face signatory contractors, Steve and Keith said “from top to bottom, every employee at Sharpe believes in working together to meet any challenge that arises.” Sharpe believes strongly in being a committee-based organization. Whether it’s a client, affiliated organization, inhouse challenge or project, everyone involved is included in the conversation. Sharpe takes pride in turning organizational activities into learning experiences and opportunities for growth.
Members of the Sharpe team value the opportunities available through their relationships with associations like FCA International, AWCI, AIA and others that leverage their communities to influence the industry. Sharpe employees have taken advantage of those opportunities by helping guide industry organizations, pension funds and training funds as committee members and local and national trustees.
Sharpe greatly values the opportunities in relationships with their employees, clients and communities. The Sharpe team is heavily involved in philanthropic efforts that help change lives, families and communities for the better. The team proves they’re “more than just drywall,” as they strive to make sure community support isn’t just what they say, it’s what they do. In addition to impacting their local communities, these philanthropic efforts forge stronger bonds with employees and their clients.
Forty-four years after its creation, the community at Sharpe continues to learn, grow and figure out solutions to new challenges that arise. Steve and Keith are confident that, just as Sharpe has met past challenges (recessions, job types, the COVID-19 pandemic, etc.), their team will be able to meet any coming challenges together.
Get To Know the Sharpe Team – Community Involvement
The Sharpe team is active in their local communities and is proud to make a difference through charitable events and partnerships.
Sharpe “SleevesUp” Campaign
At the end of 2019, Sharpe launched a campaign to support the American Red Cross with blood and cash donations. That campaign was well timed, as the Red Cross saw a 95 percent drop in their blood drives when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Sharpe had three goals in mind when starting this campaign: (1) provide lifesaving blood for people in need, (2) provide financial support for one of the biggest humanitarian organizations in the country, and (3) provide educational information to Sharpe’s network of employees, family, friends and industry partners. Sharpe also hoped the campaign would continue beyond its timeline, impacting volunteers in a way that would change their lives and their understanding of community service.
The response and support from employees, family members, friends and industry partners has been amazing. The Sharpe SleevesUp campaign is literally helping save lives. The need for blood is never ending, and it is because of these reasons that Sharpe has decided to extend the campaign through the end of 2021.
Aids / Life Cycle Charity Bike Ride
Sharpe put together a cycling team comprised of employees, clients and industry partners to participate in the AIDS / Life Cycle, a 7 day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness and funds for aids research. Sharpe’s team, known as the “Drywall Cowboys,” raised over $90,000 (contributing to the 2019 overall total of $16.7 million).
Build a Bike – Developing Leadership Skills
Several Sharpe employees took part in a “Build a Bike” event, which is part of a leadership program focused on growing leaders, engaging teams and overcoming challenges. Each class comes with challenges to encourage the teams to try new ideas. One of the team challenges is working together to assemble children’s bikes while blind folded.
This 40-minute event represents the stress and challenges of the job site where depending on teammates for information and collaboration is paramount. Stress brings out different things in everyone, but leaders have to understand that the product matters even when you’re frustrated. Someone is going to receive your work, so your attitude matters, a lot.
Although this training program was geared towards creating better team work and stronger leaders, the end result also provided a positive outcome for children battling cancer and supporting the local community hospital.
Visit www.sharpeinteriorsystems.com to learn more about Sharpe Interior Systems, Inc.!