From sales staff and tradesmen to behind-the-scenes troubleshooters, dozens of personnel bring a Gallagher and Henry home to life. In “Behind the Build,” the Gallagher and Henry blog celebrates spirited members of our team.
Today, we introduce Laura Finney, who first began working at Gallagher and Henry in 1990. Laura has spent much of her time with Gallagher and Henry blending a lot of elbow grease and pride to make Gallagher and Henry homes sparkle for their new homeowners. Over more recent years, she has become a pinch hitter in the sales office as well, where her knowledge – quite literally – of every inch of a Gallagher and Henry home enables her to offer compelling perspective to interested homebuyers.
How did you come to join the Gallagher and Henry team back in 1990?
My in-laws had been working for Gallagher and Henry for decades prior and they brought me into the mix. I began as a part-time employee in new construction, which meant I was cleaning and readying the houses for the new homeowners – vacuuming and washing the cabinets, cleaning the window ledges, wiping the doors, and everything else it took to make them truly move-in ready for our buyers.
The early 1990s, in particular, were an immensely active time for Gallagher and Henry given the explosive growth of the southwest suburbs. What was that like?
It was an all-hands-on-deck situation. Gallagher and Henry was building upwards of 500-600 houses each year between Orland, Palos, and Woodridge. You would finish cleaning one house and move onto the next, sometimes three in one day with a crew of people. It was nonstop.
What has been most energizing about working with Gallagher and Henry these last 30-plus years?
I can truly say I love my job. It’s not easy labor, especially now that I am 60, but I take pride in my work and doing things the right way. Every day is something different. It’s a different house or I’m meeting different people. I get to see the houses our buyers pull together – the colors they select, the changes they make, and so on. I have seen thousands of homes over the years and no two have been exactly alike.
And how have you enjoyed working within a family business all these years?
My father owned a bakery, so I understand the general dynamics of a family business and just how personal the reputation and success of the business is to ownership. I clearly saw that in [Gallagher and Henry co-founder] Bob Gallagher and it has flowed right down to the next generation. They bring a passion to their work and take it personal. [Bob’s son] John Gallagher, for example, was my boss and I watched him, just like his father, put up light fixtures or clean something that wasn’t up to snuff. He’s meticulous and is going to make sure everything meets Gallagher and Henry’s high standards.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
I love to read, especially a good mystery, and enjoy being out in nature as much as possible. I’m a die-hard Cubs fan – don’t bring the White Sox into my house – and a Pittsburgh Steelers fan during the football season.
As a native South Sider, what is your go-to local spot for a quality meal?
As simple as it seems, I’m going to The Patio for ribs.