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.”
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.
Calvin Ray, General Manager Operations at Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse, comes with 20+ years of experience in the waste industry. In his role, Calvin is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Operations and Safety teams, and coordinates with drivers, other teams, and personnel to meet customer needs.
Prior to this assignment, he was General Manager for Republic Services of Baton Rouge from 2010 until 2016, before relocating to Houston to manage the Republic Services Energy Services Business Unit until 2020. He also has previous experience with Cintas Corporation.
Calvin attended the University of Houston. He has been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 44 years, and they have two children. When not at work, they enjoy traveling abroad, glamping in their RV with their dog Gracie, and seeing Broadway shows.
John Briggs, the Director of Sales, brings a wealth of waste industry knowledge and experience to our company. In his role, John supports all company sales efforts to ensure that all needs are met for both the customer and the company.
“Leaders aren’t born. They are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi
John started in the waste business in early 2008 with Allied Waste before it was acquired by Republic Services. He also has waste experience with Progressive Waste, and, more recently, with Frontier Waste Solutions. Before entering the waste industry, John spent many years in the telecom industry with companies such as WorldCom, SkyTel, and T-Mobile.
John graduated from Texas Tech University. He is a proud Red Raider, and enjoys following all Red Raider sports, as well as the Astros and Texans. John and his wife, Kellie, have 3 grown children and one grandchild.