Mount Pleasant’s Jeffrey Blair discusses new position at Bowman
By Charleston Mercury Staff
Jeffrey Blair. Image provided.
Engineering services firm Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. has recently named Charleston area local and 18-year company veteran Jeffrey Blair as its new vice president of acquisitions integration. Since going public in 2021, Bowman has acquired four engineering companies, and Jeff’s focus will be smoothing transitions with their leadership and that of other acquired firms. He graciously agreed to answer some questions about business trends in the Lowcountry and what they mean for companies and residents.
CM: The Charleston region is clearly in a development boom. What do you see 20 years down the road?
JB: The people- and business-friendly Tri-County area will continue to grow for the next 20 years. This growth will also include individuals who no longer need to reside in a major urban area to work for their employers.
CM: Residents of the Lowcountry jealously protect the environment that makes the region such a special place. What challenges does this cause for a development firm?
JB: The successful developers in the Charleston market recognize the importance of protecting the environment, as this is what draws so many new residents to our area.
CM: There are a number of residents who feel the Charleston region is growing too fast. How do you respond to them?
JB: I think it’s important to always keep an open mind and listen to what others are willing to share. I especially want to take in what people have to say who grew up in our region. If someone has concerns about the growth, they should get involved on a municipal level to first understand what is planned and allowed per the current ordinances, then find a way to get involved if they desire to do so. I think it’s also important to recognize that most of the residents in our region came from somewhere else and moved into a neighborhood that was likely undeveloped before they arrived. Development cannot be expected to stop after they move in and they should think hard about why they moved here and not necessarily try to make the Charleston area mimic the place they came from.
CM: What new development policies and plans do you see that are beneficial to the land conservation movement?
JB: I think the biggest policies relate to setting aside agricultural land to remain as such and designating land to be developed, then clustering of development to avoid sprawl.
CM: What area(s) of the Lowcountry do you see as the next “boom growth” location?
JB: The East Edisto property in Dorchester and Charleston Counties. I also believe Berkeley County will continue to experience substantial growth.
CM: What are some of the developments in the area do you see as “done correctly”?
JB: I’On in Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island and Summers Corner in Dorchester County.
CM: What inspired Bowman to plan an office here?
JB: Bowman has always been a very entrepreneurial and growth-oriented firm. As an end to the recession was in sight around 2010 or so, we began looking for opportunities to expand from a geographic and market sector stance. Expansion beyond the Washington, D.C., metro area, where our headquarters is located, into the Carolinas was on our radar. Late in 2011, we learned of an opportunity to participate with WestRock, then MeadWestvaco, on their East Edisto property and were successful in securing a role to work on this property consisting of 80,000+ acres. I moved with my family to the Charleston area in 2012 to start our office upon being selected.
During his 18 years with Bowman, Jeffrey Blair has served in both key corporate and operations positions, and now as Bowman’s new vice president of acquisitions integration, he works closely with the leadership of acquired firms to ensure a smooth transition. A registered professional engineer, Blair has more than 30 years of consulting experience with site and infrastructure development projects in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern United States for both public and private sector clients.