Noble Carl, President of Gainsborough Waste, does not just have an eye for details, but a mind for them as well. While others are satisfied with big-picture information, Noble wants to know the mechanics and processes behind every situation, down to every “how” and “why. This way, he can figure out a better way to handle every situation. The drive to “know” ultimately led him to create Gainsborough Waste, though entering the waste business was not exactly on his radar when he graduated from Texas A&M in 1987 with a degree in Construction Science.
After graduating from college, Noble moved to the Virginia area to work in commercial construction before joining his father to run Carl Construction back in Houston. The process to remove construction debris from his high-end residential job sites was unreliable and inefficient at best, so Noble came up with a better way to get the job done. And the Gainsborough Waste concept was born. He started off servicing his own job sites with a converted old Montalbano Lumber truck and 15 containers, and was able to quickly grow the business to other contractors through word-of-mouth.
Today, Gainsborough Waste is one of the largest privately-owned waste removal companies in Houston, and Noble has learned a lot in the 22 years his company has been in business. He has worked every single role in the company at some point along the way, from driver to dispatcher to mechanic, and he is passionate about running a company that is both clean and safe.
“One of my pet peeves is, when we are rolling down the road, I want us to look good. I want everyone in a uniform and I do not want us looking like a bunch of ragamuffins. It is an image that we are projecting.”
As a business owner, Noble describes himself as an excellent decision maker and prefers to operate with a “rule by reason, not by fear” mindset of reason versus fear or emotion. He goes the extra mile to make sure his customers are taken care of, no matter what.
“If we mess something up, we are going to fix it. If there is one thing that I want our customers to know, it is that we care, we want to do a good job for you for a fair price. We do not want to be the cheapest solution out there, but we do want people to know we are willing to go the extra step to take care of you.”
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
“Probably a rancher. That is why I can speak Spanish pretty well. So, when you have a choice to make in sixth grade, I knew at an early age that Spanish was going to be important, whether for lawn maintenance, construction, or ranching. There are not a whole lot of Frenchmen out there filling those positions!”
Before owning your business, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had?
“The best job I had was ranch work. I worked for the V8 Ranch, which is in Hungerford, Texas. Sloan Williams got into a business partnership over a telephone call, and they bought 7,000 head of commercial cattle in one summer, and we worked all those cows. It was an awesome experience. I guess I worked for him for four different summers. We did a lot of driving because he had lease land all over the place. It was great.”
Paul Carl, President of Texas Outhouse, grew up in a family where owning a business was the family business. As a child, Paul’s father owned and operated a bank, and Paul had the unique opportunity to learn about many different types of businesses from his dad. Intrigued by this, Paul started his own construction business, PGC Builders, after graduating from Texas A&M in 1993 with a degree in Construction Science. PGC Builders specialized in homebuilding, then Paul eventually merged the company with his father’s construction company, Carl Construction.
Texas Outhouse was created when a need for port-a-can services arose after Paul’s brother, Noble, started the roll-off container business, Gainsborough Waste, in 1994. The two rented port-a-cans as an additional service to any roll-off container rental, and the business quickly took off.
“It was then that I decided that there was an opportunity to stop building houses and really focus on Texas Outhouse. I put all my energy into Texas Outhouse, and fortunately it began and continued to grow. We continued to make a lot of decisions, some good, some bad, but in the end more good than bad, because it continued to grow and continues to grow today.”
Paul credits his past experience in construction as a step toward helping him get to where he is today. He is passionate about being part of a solution to people’s problems, and wants his customers to know just how sincere the service is at Texas Outhouse.
“I want them to know that once they call us, and we have committed to providing service, we stand behind it. And that we are not perfect, but we will make it right. If someone is not happy with our service, I am the first to say we have got to make this right. I want them to know that our determination to meet and succeed their expectations is sincere. And know that they can call me anytime. We truly are all about providing an outstanding experience.”
One of Paul’s favorite parts about owning Texas Outhouse is providing service to special events. He loves being behind the scenes and making the difference in a great, memorable event experience. Though Texas Outhouse is a provider for many of the Greater Houston area’s most well-known special events, Paul’s favorites are Wings Over Houston and the Lone Star Rally. Through his disaster relief work at Texas Outhouse, Paul has also had the chance to assist with several major natural disasters across the country and loves the challenge of helping people in very difficult situations.
“You have no idea how bad our services are needed when there is no plumbing. To be a part of that relief effort is exciting, and it is moving fast and it is so satisfying to be part of a very much needed solution.”
“I had odd jobs. My jobs growing up were maintaining dad’s businesses. He had lots of rental properties, commercial and residential. I installed sprinkler systems at office buildings, at his bank, at rental property houses. It was always easy for me to have a job because there was always lots of stuff to be done growing up with my dad. And in college when I needed money, I would just throw my name in the hat at a staffing company and they would send me different things to do.”
“I like having a business where people like to work. That means a lot to me. Many of our employees are very happy that they have landed here. I have heard a lot of them say that they wish they would have found us sooner. I like providing a place for people to work where they choose to stay and can support their families.
“I am also very passionate about being the company that people call when they have a problem. Even though it may not be exactly what we do, we accept the challenge and take pride in solving the issue for them.”
“On weekends, I love doing different outdoor things with my family, whether it is going out to our country home, or the bay or the beach. We are fortunate enough to have a variety of different places to go.”
Although he is most noted in the Houston community as a broker, developer, and builder of high-end custom homes, what few people know is that William Carl is also a builder of dreams.
As the patriarch of the Carl family, William spent his life developing dreams into reality, including those of his two sons, Noble and Paul. He made it his mission to ensure that they had a chance to succeed, laying the foundation for what would one day become waste industry powerhouse Gainsborough Waste.
Though William helped lay much of the groundwork for each business by building their sales base and connections with local business owners, he credits the companies’ success to the hard work and dedication of Noble and Paul.
“They both learned to work at an early age. A child that doesn’t learn how to work or have chores by the age of 12 is not going to have the enjoyment and love of a job well done. So those kids were both working when they were nine or 10 years old. I think that was the most interesting thing for both of them. They both enjoyed working and seeing a job well done. They wanted to do what’s right.”
As for his own success, William enjoyed a career as a broker, realtor, and builder spanning several decades, instead of going into the family business of becoming a lawyer.
“I am the first person in my family in three or four generations not to be a lawyer. I worked in my father’s title company and law firm and didn’t find it all that exciting. I met all the developers, and they drove better cars than the lawyers.”
That was enough to convince him to start a career in real estate.
While most builders were going broke during the economic slump of the 1980s, William saw a need for high-end townhomes that were well-built and modeled after homes in which he himself wanted to live. Each one featured high ceilings, large dining rooms, master bedrooms with vaulted ceilings and his-and-hers bathrooms. This proved to be a blueprint for success for William; he would go on to eventually build more than 300 homes, all in upscale Houston neighborhoods. He welcomed the opportunity to negotiate long-term leases as well.
“I was always eager to lease a home to keep as an investment.”
Despite all of his success in the homebuilding business, William still lists his two sons as his greatest accomplishments. When he’s not spending time with his family or attending weekly Tuesday morning meetings with Noble and Paul at Gainsborough Waste, William enjoys driving his horse-drawn carriage at the family place in Waller County, and going to his home on Galveston Island, his birthplace.
Donna Hunt, the CFO/Controller for Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse, is responsible for overseeing the accounting, financial, and treasury functions of our company. Donna holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Delaware.
Donna started in the waste business in 1991 working for Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She worked for BFI and Republic Waste in roles from accounting manager, senior auditor, manager of financial services, finance manager to controller. Donna then joined the Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse team in 2013.
Donna was instrumental in supporting the acquisition of our current property and home office on McCarty Street. Her industry experience and acquired skills prepared her for that game-changing task for our company.
One of the most interesting aspects of Donna’s career is how many areas of the business she is involved in. She loves to be close to the action and looks forward to jumping in the cab of every new truck when it arrives on the yard. She also likes to get to know the company drivers as much as she can. She enjoys close interaction with the company owners and the rest of the management team.
Donna is married with two teenage daughters. She enjoys traveling, scrapbooking family vacations and memories, water sports, and being active in her church parish and her daughters’ activities.
Diedra Hlinsky, the Customer Service Manager for Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse, oversees the day-to-day dealings with customers.
Diedra believes in working hard and going above and beyond for her customers. She once drove out to a residential jobsite to ensure that a portable toilet was removed before her customer’s client returned home for the weekend. She has also collected trash in a pickup truck when extra hands were needed.
“Respect in that no one employee is more important than another one. The guy that is spraying the cans down and washing portable toilets in the yard is just as important as the owner of the company. I really do believe that. I do not have a job unless we have a driver.”
Diedra got her start in the waste industry by accident. While earning her business degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake, she was invited to interview for a job in the industry and never looked back. Since starting in 2004, Diedra has worked for multiple companies in roles that include productivity & compliance manager, pricing manager, customer service manager, management consultant, and analyst.
Personally, Diedra and her family enjoy visiting different parts of Texas, such as state parks and museums, while also participating in activities such as hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, and birdwatching.
Larry Wheeler, the Corporate Revenue & Sales Manager, brings a wealth of waste industry knowledge and experience to our company. In his role, Larry supports large bids to ensure that all needs are met, the customer receives a great product and customer experience, and there is a clear path to success from the initial customer point-of-contact to billing.
“The key to this business is providing great service. A promise is not worth anything if it does not happen.”
Larry started in the waste business in the early 1990s with BFI (Browning-Ferris Industries) after spending many years running his parents’ sporting goods business in Corpus Christi, Texas, and a stint working for Miller Brewing Company. He also has waste experience with Republic, Allied, and WCA Waste.
Larry has many business connections in Houston and throughout Texas. Personally, he enjoys following the Texans and Astros professional sports teams and the Texas Aggies and Oklahoma Sooner sports teams. Larry and his wife, Beverly have 3 grown children and 10 grandkids, adding to his sports portfolio by regularly attending youth soccer & baseball games as well as “Cheer” events and Band concerts.
Jessica Flores, the Safety Manager for Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse, has more than a decade of combined experience in safety management and compliance, operations, administration, and logistics.
As the safety manager for our company, Jessica has enhanced our driver safety program and developed other safety programs to ensure compliance and accident prevention.
Jessica set up an all-encompassing safety program, established performance metrics to meet safety ratings, and continues to ensure that we adhere to local, state, and federal rules and regulations.
Because of her skills developing and implementing written policies, SOPs, and training curriculum, Jessica is the right fit to elevate our company’s safety culture.
“I am excited to help drive our company’s safety culture. It’s a team effort at Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse and it’s exciting to see everyone come together to embrace safety.”
Jessica is proficient in regulatory and safety compliance, information systems analysis, financial and performance metrics development, and client vendor management. Prior to joining our company, Jessica managed fleets of service vehicles in the transportation logistics industry.
Educationally, Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi and a Master’s in Business Administration from University of Phoenix.
Steve Lowe, General Manager of Operations, has more than a decade of waste industry experience, and he handles the day-to-day operations for Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse.
Steve believes in managing with respect, leading by example, and setting the standard. All while maintaining a positive work environment and keeping himself, team members and coworkers accountable. He is always trying to improve the company from yesterday, whether it be with new processes or changing with the times as this industry always is.
Steve was raised in the industry in the early ’90s. As a young child, Steve would go to work with his brother and step-father, who worked for one of the largest family-owned portable toilets companies on the West Coast. In his free time, Steve enjoys building, diagnosing, and repairing computers, and vacationing with his family to Disney.