February 14, 2018

The Power of Couples at Work



Having a special someone who supports and encourages you is a tremendous gift. Having that person at work makes life a little sweeter.

Working with your spouse can have some challenges, but, often, it can be an amazing experience with many more advantages and blessings. The latter is the case for GPA Consulting power couples Andrea and Rich Galvin and Laura and Matt O’Neill. These two couples have more quality time together and find they have greater respect for one another professionally.

“I thought he was the best project manager out there, even before he joined GPA Consulting,” GPA Founder Andrea Galvin says of her husband, Rich. When she started GPA in 2003, Rich was a Senior Environmental Planner with a firm in Northern California, but he made time to help Andrea build her fledgling historic preservation consulting firm. Rich joined GPA in 2007, bringing with him additional services in environmental planning and biology and his expertise in project management. “He’s one of the people I respect the most in the field,” Andrea adds. “I feel fortunate to have him as a resource.”

Together Andrea, as President and Principal Architectural Historian, and Rich, as Vice President and Principal Environmental Planner, took a home-based business and turned it into a growing, multi-disciplinary consulting firm with offices in El Segundo, downtown Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, and Sacramento. While they strategize at work, they also find discussing issues over dinner and a glass of wine to be helpful. However, Andrea emphasizes that couples who are partners in business as well as life need to set some boundaries to allow for quality personal time.

Laura, a Senior Architectural Historian, and Matt, an administrative assistant and social media manager, find time together before work and during breaks. Matt says what he likes about working with Laura is “carpooling and having a lunch buddy.”

“We don’t actually work together because we do different things,” he says. But twice a week, when they work in the same office, their commute and lunch time are far more enjoyable.

Another seriously wonderful thing about working for the same company is that they have a better understanding of each other’s work-related issues. “We have the same frame of reference,” Matt says. And when it comes to open enrollment for benefits, it helps to have your spouse in the same room to review your family’s options. “She’s smarter than me,” Matt says laughing. “When it comes to health insurance, she just tells me what box to check.”