Jason Black doesn’t want to sound “hokey,” but when he met with the ABES Engineering team something just felt right.

“It really seemed like the right fit at the right time,” he says. “It was very organic.”

Black joined the ABES Engineering team in May, bringing years of engineering experience to our growing team. With a specialty in construction engineering and inspection (CEI), Black adds an important and needed element to the team, says CEO Emmanuel Tuombe.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Jason to our team. In today’s competitive job market, I’ve learned as an entrepreneur that our best recruiters are often our own team members. This certainly proved true when Brett (Dunagan) introduced me to Jason, highlighting his extensive experience as a professional engineer passionate about construction engineering inspection and administration. Given our expanding construction engineering inspection team, I immediately recognized Jason as a valuable addition who can help manage and advance our CEI projects,” Tuombe says.

“With Jason onboard, we now boast four professional engineers in Memphis and three more working remotely from Missoula, Mont., Seattle, Wash., and Fort Collins, Colo. We’re evolving into a firm resembling larger engineering firms, with a strong local presence complemented by subject matter experts from diverse locations.”

Black first met ABES engineer Brett Dunagan at the University of Memphis. He later worked at the firm SSR with both Dunagan and ABES Engineering Manager Brad Davis. Black went on to work in Arkansas for a time before returning to Memphis. His most recent position was with the City of Germantown engineering department.

Dunagan said recommending that Black join the ABES team was an easy move as he’s both a talented and experienced engineer and a good person in general. “Jason and I quickly became friends in our first semester at The University of Memphis. We connected by our shared appreciation of music, blues in general. I think he loaned me a CD by Albert or Freddie King, which kicked off our connection,” Dunagan says.

“Jason brings to ABES a knowledge of construction, project management, and project constructability that very few people have in this region. His knowledge and ability to solve construction challenges on a job site are going to benefit our team in many ways.”

Davis also feels strongly that Black’s contribution to ABES will be significant. “I’ve known Jason for a long time, and we worked together at another company in the past. Jason is a great guy. He’s a straight-shooter, very dependable and very smart. He expects a lot of himself and is always seeking to deliver the highest quality he can,” Davis says. “While he has high standards, he’s also laid back and easy to work with. I know he will be a huge asset to not just our CEI team, but our company as a whole. His work ethic and values are very much in line with the core values of ABES.”

Black says his connections with Davis and Dunagan helped solidify his decision to join ABES, as well as his impression of CEO Emmanuel Tuombe. “He’s infectiously positive,” he says.

After working for larger corporate firms, Black looks forward to being a part of an expanding company like ABES. He likes the idea of helping the company grow and finding his place within it. He also appreciates the atmosphere of the ABES team. “It’s definitely a collaborative vibe,” he says. “Everyone is great to work with; everyone is very sharp. And it has a good work/life balance.”

With the addition of two engineers in the past three months, Tuombe has high expectations for ABES. “ABES is currently experiencing a dynamic phase of growth. We’ve laid a strong foundation and are evolving into a firm where seasoned professionals, committed to making a significant impact in the community, continue to build their careers. My aspiration is to maintain a platform where professionals from diverse backgrounds can thrive while making positive contributions to our community.”

Black lives in Memphis with his wife, Megan. They have a son, Sam, and a dog named Buscemi, named after the actor Steve Buscemi.

When he’s not working, he enjoys listening to and playing music – he plays the guitar, piano, bass and banjo. And he loves cooking, fishing and being outside in general. He finds his career as a civil engineer especially meaningful, and he’s looking forward to a bright future with ABES.
“Civil engineering helps our modern society and that’s fulfilling,” he says. “And I like Emmanuel’s philosophy of using engineering to better our communities. I think this is going to be awesome. I’m already loving it.”

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