It’s time for another installment of Get to Know Our Hylan Family! We are wrapping up the eventful year of 2020 with Blaine Dunbar, the Division Manager of Data Centers at Down Under Construction (DUC).
What led you to your position at Down Under Construction (DUC)?
I was working in the oil industry for about 17 years before my brother, who owned DUC before Hylan acquired us, enticed me to come work for him. I had been mostly working overseas and he convinced me to come work for him while I was in between projects. He said it was very busy and he could use my help and that it would be a good fit for me. I had the right skills from my drilling experience in the oil industry and it was a good opportunity to apply those skills in the construction business. Turns out, there are a lot of similarities between the two industries, so that’s how I wound up here.
How long have you been with the company?
I have been with DUC for 15 years now.
What does your role as Division Manager of Data Centers entail at DUC?
Basically, I am the customer liaison. My role consists of estimating, customer project management, material procurement, coordinating scheduling for manpower and equipment with the DUC construction manager and other project managers, among many other things like sweeping the floor if needed! Here in Northern Virginia, the data center business has exploded over the years and DUC has really been able to expand working directly with the data center companies and with other companies such as service providers as well. Our customers know DUC for being dependable and experienced in the work we do whether that’s construction, fiber optic splicing, cable installation or design work. DUC has a great reputation in the area, so we get a lot of referrals from customers of our customers.
What do you most enjoy about working for DUC, and Hylan as a whole?
I have thoroughly enjoyed working at DUC and Hylan in general! We have a great bunch of folks that we work with here with great work ethics and common goals. Our business can be very challenging and diverse. We don’t do just one thing; we have a multitude of services we offer. It’s a great environment to learn new things. I love that it’s always challenging and never boring. There are lots of tight deadlines, and I thrive off of that kind of environment coming from the oil industry.
In this year of many challenges for the nation – and the world as a whole – what project and/or accomplishment are you most proud of with your work at DUC?
Well, I would probably have to say just building and keeping customer relationships. It is great to contribute to our company’s reputation of being dependable to all of our customers both current and new. Somehow, we have been able to keep working through the pandemic, and I’m sure everybody feels the same way. We are lucky that we have been able to do that.
You know it hasn’t slowed down in our business; if anything, it has gotten a lot busier. The first thought when this all started happening was that some of us might possibly be on the unemployment line so it’s pretty amazing and I’m very proud to work with a group of great people we’ve had through the years. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been very challenging to stay safe and keep all our workers safe and working so they can provide for themselves and their families. I am so glad our company has been able to do this through the years and the current situation with pandemic.
What are you most looking forward to in the future at DUC?
I would have to say just to continue growing the business and continuing to work with the great people that we have here. You know, just keep doing that as long as I can.
Where do you live?
I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada originally. I currently live in Herndon, Virginia.
Where did you go to school or get training?
I went to school in Nova Scotia. All of my training came from on-the-job work experience from the oil industry and DUC for construction. I went to trade school and was a cook for 10 years prior to my oil industry life.
If you could address young college graduates or apprentices who are interested in a career with DUC or a similar company, what’s the best advice you can give them?
I would tell them our industry/business is very diverse with a lot of opportunities to grow, you usually don’t do one thing, so you have the chance to develop a lot of skills. I would also advise that dependability and open mindedness are key. When somebody new comes in, they should remain open minded to learn from experienced personnel in the trade.
Now, just to get a little personal! Tell us what you like to do in your free time.
I love spending my off time (when we can get it!) with family and friends traveling and eating, I’m a big foodie. When traveling a lot of the stories I tell about our trips are about where we ate. I’m also a big music guy; I love music! I love going to live shows and really miss that since the pandemic hit. I am eager and looking forward to continue traveling, going to music events and finding new places to eat when it is safer to do so!
As you can see, the Hylan Family is filled with interesting and hard working individuals just like Blaine. We are so lucky to employ a staff with such diverse knowledge and experiences who are so dedicated to growing the Hylan name. What a great way to close out a challenging year!
We look forward to 2021 where we can continue to show off our incredible Hylan Family. We’ve said so often that the reason we are so successful is largely because of our incredible Family, and this blog series gives a wonderful opportunity to see for yourself. Until next time!