The History Behind Our Surveying Services

Earlier this month, I chatted with former Sain team member Jerry South about the history of Sain’s surveying services. It was amazing to relive stories from the past and revisit memories from decades ago. I thought I would share an overview of our conversation which will give a better background of the history of Sain’s surveying services.

In 1972, Charles “Hack” Sain founded Sain Associates with a goal to do what no others were doing: uniting engineers, architects, and contractors in seamless communication, planning, and execution. Determined to give clients his best, Sain created ways to contribute from the first strategic phases of new hospitals, landfills, roads and bridges, golf courses, power plants, water systems, and schools. Diversifying the firm was always in the back of Hack’s mind, so he decided to expand the company’s services into land surveying with a goal of branching into residential work. In 1978, Hack and Jerry South founded Sain South to operate as a standalone company to support internal and external engineering and surveying needs for residential projects. Hack was a dual licensed professional engineer and land surveyor, which is rare in the engineering field.

Sain South acquired the Hoover, Alabama engineering firm, Goss Engineering, in 1978 and hit the ground running. Over the years, Sain South established relationships with developers all over the southeast. The company’s projects primarily focused on residential work and Walmart developments. In 1985, Sain South was as large as Sain Associates. I joined Sain South in 1987. I was the first staff member licensed as a professional engineer in 1989, in addition to Hack and Jerry.  

Jerry served as the minority partner of Sain South until his departure in 1989, when he left to form his own consulting practice. That is when Sain South merged with Sain Associates. Today, our company offers engineering surveys to external clients as well as to support our in-house design disciplines. We have provided surveying services in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Our team provides services for municipal and government agencies, architects, commercial and retail developers, universities, and manufacturing plants. 

I’d like to thank Jerry for his hard work while working with Sain Associates and Sain South. We would not be the company we are today without his expertise and leadership during the early years of the company. Surveying has been an integral part of the success of our company for the last 50 years.