Dimitri Georgopoulos, owner of Geo Electric, prides himself on delivering high quality, trusted service to commercial and residential properties throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties. By Maddy VitaleDimitri Georgopoulos, owner of Geo Electric, 2051 Route 50 in Woodbine, keeps a slip of paper on the wall by his desk. It is a reminder of how he runs his business. Be on time. Be on budget. And always give the customer the highest quality service.“I love doing my job and I want my workers to do it to the best of their ability,” Georgopoulos said amid multi-tasking Tuesday morning. “Electrical work is really fascinating. You are taking so much power that is hiding behind a little screw.”He flipped through work orders that filled his desk, all neatly arranged in four rows. From wiring additions, new kitchens and bathrooms, to rewiring an old house, a commercial building or an apartment complex, business is booming.There was a job to rewire a senior housing complex in Atlantic City. Another job was to wire sconces in a home in Ocean City. Georgopoulos gave both assignments to one of his electricians, discussed the specifics, and off the employee went.Dimitri Georgopoulos flips through work orders on a busy Tuesday.He employs six electricians, owns a bucket truck and five work vans. And on a typical day, his fleet is out servicing homes and commercial properties throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties.The no-nonsense-style business owner, who moved here from Greece in 1991, begins his workday at 8 a.m. Often his day ends around 7 p.m., amounting to about a 60-hour workweek, which includes Saturdays, he said.But that is the price of running a successful business, he noted.Georgopoulos said he believes in hard work and building good relationships with the business or homeowner, contractors, inspectors and anyone else involved in a job.“I try to have good relationships with people, and if I make their lives easier, they will remember,” he said.Judging by the number of jobs Geo Electric has on any given week – into the hundreds – people remember.Most of Geo Electric customers are in Ocean City, Sea Isle and Avalon. But with a good reputation and 11 years in the business, word of stellar workmanship travels. So, does his fleet of work vans.Expanding beyond the company’s traditional service area of Atlantic and Cape May counties, Geo Electric is doing a big job soon in New Gretna in Burlington County.The team of skilled electricians, advised by Georgopoulos, knows how to trouble-shoot and do multiple projects. That is one of the things that helps keep the business thriving.Their ability comes in handy when there are problems with summer rentals that need to be fixed immediately.Dimitri Georgopoulos is teaching his son Niko what it takes to be an expert electrician.Georgopoulos’ son, Niko, an electrician, has been working with his dad for 4½ years. “It took a couple of years to get a grasp of what is going on. You learn something every day,” Niko Georgopoulos said. He likes working with his dad, but he really likes that he isn’t in an office all day.“I get to see the world,” he said.Fellow electrician Rich DeBevoise joked, “You mean you get to see Atlantic and Cape May counties.”The two laughed together while stripping wire waiting for Georgopoulos to give them their jobs for the day.The office and supply room were filled with everything one would expect in an electrical business, outlets, wire, light fixtures, screws, safety goggles, helmets and jackets. But everything was stacked, coiled or hung up.Niko Georgopoulos joked that his dad is a bit of a neat freak.That attention to detail helps Geo Electric deliver the best finished product and services to its customers, they said.And when it comes to training, Dimitri Georgopoulos makes sure both he and his employees have the most current training in the field. He attends monthly meetings to discuss changing specifications and requirements.Manuals on electrical design lined his bookshelf. But the latest edition was the one that counts. From spacing out electrical outlets, to different ways to wire a home or building, the work can be difficult and intricate, he said.That is why it is so important to make sure you go to a reputable company to do the work, he said. Geo Electric is licensed and insured, things that should be at the top of a potential customer’s list when looking for someone to do electrical work, Georgopoulos said.Geo Electric is equipped and ready to handle any residential or commercial project.“In times like (Hurricane) Sandy and other floods we have in Ocean City and Sea Isle, all of a sudden people appear from nowhere calling themselves electricians because they carry screwdrivers,” he said.The result can be shoddy work or even a fire hazard. Georgopoulos doesn’t always tell people what they want to hear. For instance, he gave examples of times when he turned away work because potential customers asked him to do things that were wrong and could even present a safety hazard. “Business is about money. But you have to get money the right way. You’ve got to sell your services, but at the same time, you can’t try to trick people,” Georgopoulos explained. “Safety is definitely first. We will address it to the homeowner and if they want to hire someone else, that is fine.”The best advice he ever got was from an electrician who worked into his 80s. Georgopoulos recalled, “He said, ‘Do everything by the book.’ I stick to that advice.”For more information visit www.geoelectricsj.com, call Geo Electric at (609) 628-2653 or email Dimitri Georgopoulos at: [email protected] Electric services areas in Atlantic and Cape May counties but will also travel.
IntroductionI’m delighted to be here today at the District Councils’ Network.District councils play a critical role at the heart of our communities, and in delivering the public services that local communities rely on.As Minister for Housing and Homelessness, I’m particularly conscious of the support you provide to those in housing need.Ensuring that everyone has a decent, affordable, secure home is a core priority for this government.That’s why this government has said that we will halve rough sleeping in this parliament, and eliminate it entirely by 2027.And why we’re dedicated to preventing people becoming homeless in the first place.These are ambitious goals, but it’s essential we achieve them.To meet these goals, and ensure that the most vulnerable in society have the support they need, we’ve introduced an important package of policies.We know what an important role district councils will play in delivering them, making a real difference for our communities.Homelessness Reduction ActAt the heart of our approach to tackling homelessness is the Homelessness Reduction Act, the most ambitious reform to homelessness legislation in decades.For the first time, the Act puts prevention at the heart of a local authorities’ response to homelessness, with more people – whether they are in priority need or not – receiving the right support, and for a longer period of time.New Personalised Housing Plans are intended to embed a person-centred approach, in which local authorities match support to individual needs, be that debt advice or help to find a job.It also introduced a new duty on specified public authorities to refer those who they think may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority of their choice.This will help to ensure people’s housing needs are considered and services are working together more effectively.We know there have been significant changes for local authorities, including district councils, which will take time to bed in.To support these requirements, local authorities will receive an additional £72.7 million over 2 years and our Homelessness Advice and Support Team will continue to be an expert resource available to those who would like support from the department.We have also committed to reviewing the implementation of the Act within a 2 year period, including the resourcing of it and how it is working in practice.Additionally, the department will conduct a post-implementation review of the burdens, to review our cost assessment and the underlying assumptions.My officials have already begun speaking to local authorities to gather insights into how the first 6 months overall have been. In the past 2 weeks they have held events in London and Durham with a further one to come in Birmingham. This is just the start of the conversation and we will continue to engage with you to find out how things are going.Private rented sector and housingHowever, as I am sure we are all aware here today, that while the legislation is key in our ambition to tackle homelessness, it is not enough to solve the problem.To break the cycle of homelessness, we have to tackle the underlying issues from frankly every angle. And that has to begin housing.We’re tackling it from every angle.We’re building more homes – more than at any time in all but one of the last 30 years. National House Building Council’s (NHBC) statistics out today show that just over 45,000 new homes have been registered this quarter. This is an 11-year high.We’ve invested £9 billion in affordable housing and a further £2 billion on for a new generation of social housing.We are committed to allow local authorities to build homes, which is why the Prime Minister announced the lifting of the Housing Revenue borrowing cap. This means there is nothing holding you back to fulfil your ambitious plans to build new council homes.But for many, the private rented sector is a route out of homelessness. It has the flexibility, variety and choice that people so often need.We are determined to help you and your residents, but accessing and sustaining private sector tenancies on low incomes can all too often be a challenge.We’re determined to help – I’m pleased we have launched the Private Rented Sector Access Fund. I want to see ambitious plans. Any bid I can pass, I will.It makes £20 million available for schemes that enable those who are homeless or sleeping rough – or at risk or either – better access to sustainable tenancies.The bidding process is now open and will be until the 21 November.FundingI recognise that homelessness pressures and issues are not the same across the country and each authority has its own unique problem.Whether you’ve had problems with rough sleeping or moving people on from temporary accommodation, we’ve ensured that we’ve provided funding to cover your own problems through the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant.That £617 million fund is a huge part of the government’s £1.2 billion commitment to tackle homelessness and shows how seriously we do take this vital issue.Tackling rough sleepingNothing shows how seriously this government is taking tackling homelessness more than the manifesto commitments to tackle rough sleeping.We’re committed and now working tirelessly to halve rough sleeping in this Parliament – and eliminate it entirely by 2027.We’re the first government to ever make such a commitment.And this year, we’ve taken important steps.First, our new Rough Sleeping Initiative brings together experts from across the sector.It targets local authorities across the country with high levels of rough sleeping.Funding is not only used for new bed spaces, but also for hiring dedicated staff such as outreach workers, mental health specialists and substance misuse workers.And our new Rough Sleeping Strategy builds on this for the long-term, looking across the spectrum from prevention, to intervention, to recovery.And we recently announced £34 million of provisional allocations for next year’s Rough Sleeping Initiative. I’ll be looking closely at these bids right across the country.Working closely with local authoritiesWorking closely with local authorities is imperative to our success in reaching our ambitions.You are the people that put the government’s aims and ambitions into practise on a day to day basis.However, it is important that we work closely, and nothing epitomises this more than our Homelessness Advice and Support Team.This team, made up of expert advisors, has worked with local authorities on their homelessness services and have worked specifically on embedding the Homelessness Reduction Act and have been successful in bringing down the numbers of families in bed and breakfast temporary accommodation. These are really huge reductions – this is your success and I am thankful.ConclusionIn order for us to be successful in delivering our commitment to end rough sleeping – we need the help of the sector, the support and hard work from many of you in the room today is absolutely vital in order for us to tackle this national crisis.Once again, I would like to thank you for having me here today to speak. I am very much looking forward to continuing working with many of you as we move towards creating a country where no one should face the prospect of sleeping rough.
In a series of town halls over the past two weeks, representatives from the University administration discussed updates to the construction schedule and results from the NDVoice survey — the survey that Notre Dame employees take to show their satisfaction with working at the University. Most notably, the administration discussed the survey result revealing women feel less comfortable working at the University than men. “Anytime we get a disparity like this, it makes me uncomfortable, because we shouldn’t have one division where people feel their work experience is less than people in another division,” John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president of the University, said. The NDVoice survey, a confidential survey that measures employee satisfaction and allows employees to answer questions on a variety of topics, showed generally good results for Notre Dame, Affleck-Graves said. Notre Dame scored a score of 3.95, out of five points, across all categories in all departments, he said. “So 3.95 is a really good score, and so I don’t want to play down that we’re [doing] really well,” Affleck-Graves said. “I still think we can do better. We’re Notre Dame, and we can push up that 3.95. But I do want you to know that’s doing pretty well.”The survey results revealed that, on average, women are less positive about their Notre Dame experience than men, Affleck Graves said. “OK, so there was some level of dissatisfaction, but do you know what, we were equally dissatisfied, and that’s a goal we should have,” he said. “And as we’ve gone over time, we’ve drifted up, but we can see that men have become more positive about the work experience and women have not increased at the same rate. And that’s a concern. Now there is a gap. There’s a gap of .14, which I think is a big gap. It’s growing, getting bigger over time and I am not comfortable with the fact that a woman feels less positive about her experience at work than a man feels about his experience.”Affleck-Graves said that this disparity in work experience was an issue that the University would be looking into both understanding and combating in coming months. “This is the single issue that’s going to be the major focus for me,” Affleck-Graves said. “And I’ve spoken to Fr. John [Jenkins, University President], we’ve put together a group, we’re gonna meet with you, we’re gonna hear from you, we’re gonna try to understand what’s driving this difference. … I’m very concerned about the difference, so that’s something we’ll be working on.”Affleck-Graves also said that while scores within departments are good, survey questions on the topic of inter-department collaboration got lower marks. “We get this in almost every division: people feel very comfortable about their immediate work environment,” he said. “We’ve got great results on immediate manager, we’ve got great results on coworkers, we’ve got great results on ‘we know how our work helps … the University.’ What we get a bad score on is working across departments and working across divisions.”At the one of the town halls, Affleck-Graves also discussed the timelines for various construction projects on campus, including the newly named Baumer Hall. The hall is set to open in August 2019 and will house the men from Dillon Hall while their hall is renovated. A new women’s residence hall is also being constructed on the east side of campus and is scheduled to open in August of 2020. “We have to do this residence hall because we are now requiring all undergraduate students … to stay on campus for six semesters, so we’ll have more students on campus,” Affleck-Graves said. Affleck-Graves also said the University plans to renovate Brownson Hall to create more space for the Alliance for Catholic Education, and to renovate McKenna Hall. The administration also discussed plans to add to the second phase of the Eddy Street project and to renovate married student housing off of Douglas Road, though these projects will be completed through an outside contractor. The renovation of Corby is scheduled to be completed next spring, Affleck-Graves said, and the renovation of Rolf’s as the new men’s and women’s basketball facility is currently underway. “[Rolfs has] wonderful spaces for where the team can meet, students can sit and do some work, and talk about their practice or their game,” Affleck-Graves said.These town halls were the last for Affleck-Graves, who will be retiring in June, ending his 15-year tenure as executive vice president. He said he felt he had seen the University change for the better and he addressed the staff of Notre Dame and thanked them for their role in the University’s success. “I think back this year on when I came in , and where Notre Dame is today and what’s changed the most in my view is just the tremendous opportunities we now offer the young men and women … and the tremendous step up we’ve made in research,” he said. “I hope as you look across it, you get an enormous sense of pride in the role you’ve played in making all of that happen.”Tags: baumer hall, Campus Construction, EVP, John Affleck-Graves, ND Town Halls