When he reflects on his legal career, Matt Geekie jokes that he calls himself a 55-year-old millennial.
Geekie is senior vice president, secretary and general counsel for Graybar Electric Company, Inc. in St. Louis.
Like his millennial counterparts, Geekie’s career path included stints at a few different companies.
He got his start in law as a trial attorney, his initial goal, working for Moser & Marsalek in St. Louis. Eventually, he decided to go in-house, working for companies like Siegel-Robert Inc., Emerson and XTRA Corporation.
He said he advises others against that kind of path.
“Don’t do as I did,” he said. “Find that company with that culture that fits with you and stay there. I think it’s far more rewarding over the long haul.”
In 2008, he joined Graybar, a decision he said he wished he’d made earlier. Geekie said Graybar’s employee-ownership model is unique, and makes a difference in how the company makes its decisions.
“It is a fantastic company in terms of its culture,” he said. “It takes a long-term view on things, as opposed to a short-term view. It’s an easy environment to work in.”
The company is a distributor of electrical, communications and security products and related supply-chain and logistics services.
Geekie leads Graybar’s legal department and serves on its board of directors. He’s also responsible for risk management.
During his tenure with the company, Geekie said he is most proud of moving the needle on employee satisfaction with the company’s governance structure.
He explained that every 10 years, company leadership asks employees whether they want to renew the company’s voting trust. This year, employee support was 81 percent, up from 76 percent 10 years ago.
Geekie said he played a role in meeting employees across the company and discussing the matter ahead of the vote. He visited 25 to 30 branches of the company to do so.
“It gave me the opportunity to visit branches across the country,” he said.
Of his work for Graybar, Geekie said he most enjoys the variety from day to day.
“Any one day, I’ll be hitting real estate, manufacturing, FCC work and legislative initiatives,” he said. “It’s that variety and rapid pace that I really enjoy.”
Geekie also said the collegiality within the legal department and overall company is another thing he likes about his job.
One of the challenges in his work is finding ways to make things more efficient and easier for his coworkers at Graybar, he said. Finding new ways to implement technology is part of that, from using artificial intelligence to blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, a digital currency.
“We’re looking at software that can help our business colleagues work through contracts more quickly and efficiently,” he said, referring to AI.
Beyond his duties with Graybar, Geekie serves on a number of community and regional boards, including those of the Saint Louis Zoo Association, The Oasis Institute, St. Louis Community Foundation and St. Louis/Chicago Regional FM Global Advisory Board.