Jay Maupin launched Maupin Engineering, Inc. three years ago with one simple focus: to create a niche engineering firm focusing on client satisfaction through excellent engineering. Today, he and five employees work on a myriad of civil engineering projects, ranging from residential homes to large commercial shopping centers. During his 15-year career, Maupin has been the engineer of record in both the public and private sector on projects ranging from a few thousand dollars to more than $20 million.
Maupin was one of the first engineers in Savannah to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and most recently designed the new location for Two Smart Cookies on White Bluff Road. He also established a second company called Sweet Pea Properties in January 2006, which works to develop blighted historic properties at risk of ruin into thriving residential and small business centers. His first project, The Cottages at Blair, noted as historic “railroad housing,” was featured on Savannah College of Art and Design’s Vernacular Architecture Tour in March 2007. Maupin is a member of Leadership Savannah, the Telfair Museum, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club International. His community involvement also includes his support of educational institutions with a focus on math and/or engineering with his company’s “Math and Engineering Initiative,” as well as establishing a “Commitment to Excellence” student award at the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus.
Q. What key career decision did you make that led to your present success?
A. Relocating to Savannah more than 10 years ago was more critical to my career path than I realized at the time. Having been welcomed into the fabric of life in the Savannah business community makes it enjoyable to go to work each day. Success can’t be achieved unless you work with great people inside and outside your organization. The greater Savannah area has a business infrastructure in place which allows companies like mine to excel.
Q. If you had to start over again in some other field, what would it be and why?
A. Starting over in another field has never really crossed my mind. Engineering is in my blood, so to speak. My father was a cartographer and surveyor, my mother a cartographer as well. I enjoy the tangible nature of what I do. To drive around town and see others living, working, and enjoying the projects I’ve designed is a great joy. This is one reason why I became LEED certified. A green project being used in the manner in which it was intended, and adding a bit of beauty to our community is very fulfilling.
Q. What keeps you awake at night?
A. This doesn’t keep me up, it just annoys me. We are paying the price now by being forced to redevelop properties built 20-40 years ago, because designers focused solely on initial building costs. The long-range impact to the fabric of our community was not really considered as heavily as the pocketbook. The ability to produce a sustainable project is critical to the way people live and work and view their community for years to come.
Q. Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
A. I would like to focus more of my and my team’s energies and skills in the charity and education fields both locally and abroad. I want my company to be known for improving the quality of lives, those of my team and those we come in contact with.
Q. If you were mentoring a student who wanted to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you give?
A. Actually, one of my employees is a student who I mentor. He wants to pursue an engineering career, and we discuss various aspects of his school life and my work. In your career and in your personal life, it is important to remember, whether you are 9 or 99, and whether you want to be or not, others are watching you as an example of how to conduct yourself, not only in the professional arena but the personal and family roles as well. I want my employees to see that I value my family and my work. Finding and achieving that balance is important, and that is the work that lasts.
– Mary Beth Spence