You never know WHO you could be sitting beside in that next planning meeting or conference… THE ENGINEER: SAMUEL “SAMMY” POWELL, P.E. Vice President – Long Engineering, Inc. “A Full-Service Firm Providing Creative Engineering Solutions” In his capacity as VP for Long Engineering, Powell oversees transportation design and construction services. His career history includes a number of impressive firms, but he is particularly proud of his 11 years as President of J.B. Trimble, Inc. During his free time, Powell is a Scout Master for Boy Scouts of America with 40 boys in his troop. His wife, Alyson, is a middle school history teacher at Whitefield Academy in Smyrna. They have two children: Olivia, who will be attending her first year at the Medical College of Georgia in fall 2015; and Ethan who plays keyboards and trumpet in his high school jazz band. THE MUSICIAN: GUITARIST AND BUSINESS MANAGER FOR ODD MAN OUT Like many teenage boys in the 70’s and 80’s, Powell was in a number of garage bands including The Roadies and The Garbage Men. That love of classic rock, 80’s hair bands and 90’s alternative stuck with him into adulthood and in 2006, Powell and fellow engineer musicians Denny Meier of Atkins and Mike Wright of Cobb County DOT decided to form their own band. The name “Odd Man Out” is derived from the fact that the band was originally made up entirely of engineers, with one exception – front man Travis Riker, who is an insurance executive (and who happens to be married to Sally Riker, a principal at Lowe Engineers). The band plays a wide variety of music at gigs that run the gamut from car shows, weddings and business conferences to the Cobb County bar scene. Odd Man Out will also be the headlining band at the 2015 Georgia Engineers Summer Conference at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in June. HOW DOES YOUR ALTER EGO IMPACT YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE? “It is not my natural persona to be a showman,” said Powell. “My role as guitarist in a rock band has made me more comfortable in front of a group at presentations. Because anything can go wrong at any moment musically during a show, it’s also helped me to go with the flow and think on my feet quickly. On the flip side, the fact that I’m a naturally organized person and problem solver in the real world has helped me in my role as business manager for the band.” ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ENGINEERS ABOUT STRIKING A BALANCE? “It’s important to have a nice outlet,” insisted Powell. “Whether you love playing a guitar, gardening or hitting a ball around a golf course, you gotta feed your soul. Work isn’t always fun, pretty, nice or clean – it can be stressful. At weekly practices and gigs, that’s the only time when I don’t think about work. An alter ego needs to be nothing but fun – a complete escape.” Do YOU know an engineer with an interesting hobby, skill or “alter ego”? Nominate them for a future spotlight by sending their name, title, company, contact information and a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published by American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia. View All Articles.
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