From Designer to Shareholder at Sain Associates

Today, we are excited to highlight Jeff Stephenson, P.E., PTOE, has been promoted to Principal Shareholder at Sain. Since becoming an Associate Shareholder in 2021, Jeff has expanded his business development activities to grow our traffic engineering and transportation planning practice. One example is an expansion of Sain’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) practice area. Since this expansion, Sain has been awarded contracts for ITS planning and design for the Gadsden Metropolitan Area and for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge project. Jeff has also been instrumental in the planning and establishment of our new branch offices in Auburn and Mobile. We had the privilege of interviewing Jeff and learning more about his journey to becoming a shareholder, the challenges he faced, and his vision for the future.

Jeff started his career at Sain as a Designer/Analyst in the Traffic Team and has been with the company for over 25 years. He serves as Transportation Team Leader and oversees several types of traffic engineering and transportation planning projects, including feasibility studies, traffic forecasting, roadway safety audits, at-grade railroad crossing safety audits, traffic impact studies, traffic operation studies, traffic signal/signal system design, traffic signal system retiming, traffic simulation modeling, and ITS planning and design. When asked what inspired him to become a shareholder, he expressed the opportunity to become an Associate Shareholder with the start of the new ownership program was an honor and an easy decision for him. Jeff mentioned, “Sain is on its third generation of leadership, all coming from internal transition. I have been blessed to be at Sain long enough to experience all three generations.”

As a new shareholder, Jeff faced the challenge of being one of the newbies in a seasoned group of shareholders. However, he quickly overcame this challenge as the senior principals fostered a collaborative environment within the shareholder group. Jeff shared, “This tremendous opportunity would not exist without the belief and support of my team, mentors, friends, and immediate family. Having them in my life has been a blessing personally and professionally.” When asked about the company’s future, Jeff believes Sain will continue to evolve and diversify its services. He credited the company’s top-notch approach to corporate strategic planning and its history of remaining relevant with its services, markets, and within the workplace itself.

“While becoming a shareholder does have individual reward potential, I see that as an outcome. The type of success that aligns with our corporate goals and objectives requires good leadership and I believe a large part of good leadership is setting your team up for success. At Sain, our employees are our greatest asset.”

Jeff Stephenson, P.E., PTOE, Transportation Team Leader / Principal

Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, and occasionally binge-watching shows with his wife. Jeff’s strategy for balancing personal and professional life involves having a half-hour commute, which provides a good transition to help separate family and work. Sain has always provided a flexible environment to staff, which helps him maintain a healthy work/life balance.

As a leader and shareholder at Sain, Jeff has learned to remember and operate under two main thoughts to influence his approach to leadership. The first is remembering employees are the company’s greatest asset, and the second is having consistent and genuine connections with team members. He noted, as the common saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When your team knows you care, it takes things to the next level!