Succeeding from the Ground Up
By Scott Schulte
May 9, 2009
Rob Galloway has always had his eyes set upward. Perhaps that’s why in his free time, Galloway can be found hiking, camping or rock climbing in the mountains of central Utah—always seeming to be moving toward the sky.
A 42-year-old married man and father of three small children (and one due this summer), Galloway always anticipated working in the aerospace field. Rockets, space, stars and such, Galloway never thought his career would take him in a total opposite direction. But that’s what happened 11 years ago when Galloway joined the team at Orem’s US Synthetic, a company that supplies diamond drilling technology to energy companies exploring for oil and natural gas.
“I always expected to have a career in aerospace,” Galloway says. “That’s where my education had been and what I was doing before coming on here.”
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, Galloway began working as a research technician at Hughes Christensen and for Lucas Aerospace in Park City.
In 1998, Galloway was promoted to research and development engineer and customer manager. Four years later, Galloway founded and managed Sundance Diamonds, US Synthetic’s gem diamond business division. In 2004, he was promoted to the position of production manager and eventually became the vice president of operations in 2006.
“One of the nice things here at US Synthetic is that we are about developing our people inside and helping each other reach one another’s full potential,” Galloway says. “People here really work closely with each other to cultivate one another’s strengths.”
Galloway currently serves as the company’s chief operating officer and is expected to become CEO in January 2010. This will give Galloway the opportunity to learn the position from the man he will replace, Louis Pope.
“I am learning how to be an effective CEO by having the opportunity to shadow Louis,” Galloway says. “It’s the best training a person could get because he is allowing me to do the job, but he is watching me and making sure I am doing it in the right way.”
Galloway has noted the similarities of being an effective parent to that of having a successful career as a top executive.
“You learn as a parent that with the right kind of cultivation your children and family can be successful and happy,” Galloway says. “It’s pretty much the same thing in the position of CEO. If you do a good job, other employees will be successful. You get a chance to see their potential and it’s very exciting.”
With such a major change less than a year away, Galloway has no trepidation concerning the future. Rather, he sees it as an opportunity to grow with the people he has come to know on a personal and professional level.
“I’ve been asked by a lot of people if I’m nervous about becoming CEO and I really am not,” Galloway says. “I know the kind of people I’m surrounded with here. They are good people and when you’re surrounded with and work with good people, there’s no need to feel nervous. I’m excited. I feel very secure.”