Giffin & Crane’s Next Generation of Company Leaders

Eric Carlstedt and Derek Shue Take Executive Roles

From left, Giffin & Crane’s Eric Carlstedt, Bruce Giffin, Geoff Crane, and Derek Shue | Credit: Courtesy

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In the spirit of continuing Giffin & Crane’s dedication to excellence, longtime project managers Eric Carlstedt and Derek Shue have become company partners and executive vice presidents. Both have been with Giffin & Crane General Contractors, LLC, for a decade. And each brings highly refined skill sets to the highest levels of custom homebuilding, from project management and employee operations to upfront team building with clients, architects, designers, engineers, and experts in permitting and inspection.

For Carlstedt, who began as a part-time laborer while completing his degree in public policy, planning, and management (plus a minor in economics), Giffin & Crane has always been the family business.

After meeting Geoff Crane’s daughter Karrie in college, they moved to Santa Barbara, got married, and Carlstedt began managing projects while absorbing knowledge and technique from his father-in-law. “We’ve always gotten along,” Carlstedt said. “I’ve learned a lot of what I know from Geoff.” With a smile, he added, “And a lot of that has been by getting thrown into the deep end.” 

About their arrival to the company’s executive ranks, Carlstedt said, “Derek [Shue] and I have been helping to keep the company’s promises for a long time. It felt like a really organic transition. And who better to take the helm than two guys that have been involved for years?”

Shue comes from a family of builders. “I’ve been on job sites since before I could walk and started working in the trades when I was 16,” he said. “The transition period means I’m training new project managers so I can spend more time working directly with clients, architects, and Realtors.

“It’s an exciting time,” Shue added. “Taking the wheel of the most recognized custom contracting firm in Santa Barbara, Eric and I are well prepared. We’ve got the best of the best backing us, both in the office and out in the field. The excitement comes from knowing that the industry is ever-changing. Our newer generation of builders, coupled with our experienced group of master builders, makes for a powerful team.”

“These guys have been around long enough to know how to build not only high-quality homes, but more importantly, high-performing teams,” said company cofounder Geoff Crane, who plans to stay aboard as chief of operations for another five years or so. “They do it well, and they’re very good at giving our clients the best service possible.”

Crane added, “There is still much to learn, especially with the advances in technology throughout the building industry, and I look forward to finishing out my building and business career helping Shue and Carlstedt continue to carry the legacy of Giffin & Crane over the next few years and into the future. I truly love what I do, and being a family-run business will give the guys a longtime advisor even after I’m out of day-to-day operations. I know that goes for Bruce [Giffin] as well.”

“Geoff and I are really pleased that Eric and Derek are our successors,” said company cofounder Giffin, who, while seeing his current projects through to completion, will begin to step away from day-to-day company oversight in early 2020. “Derek and Eric are solid guys, and they’re wise beyond their years.

“They fully embrace the core values that Geoff and I founded the company on 34 years ago,” Giffin added. “They’ve earned the opportunity to take Giffin & Crane forward another 30 years. I look ahead to see how they will continue to make the company even better builders for our community.”

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