Employee Spotlight: Phil Sublett
September 20, 2022
Phil Sublett joined SAM in March of 2021 as a part of the John F. Watson & Company (JFWCo) acquisition. He is currently a Senior Project Manager out of our Midland, TX office and a Registered Professional Land Surveyor (RPLS). He brings over 20 years of extensive expertise to our renewables market. His day-to-day involves working with our other industry experts on renewables projects that pave the way for cleaner energy and help our clients discover innovative ways to meet their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.
What initially drew you to the renewable energy industry, and what makes you stay?
Renewable resources help provide much-needed energy to support the nation’s power grid. When I saw that there was an opportunity to diversify the energy supply, the possibilities of that endeavor really drew me in. The industry allows companies like SAM to get involved in clean energy, and I enjoy being part of the continued diversification of these critical resources.
Share your career journey with us and how you got to where you are now.
I was first exposed to surveying as a young teenager. My friend’s father was a land surveyor, and I found his work very interesting. The pay was good, and the travel was a bonus.
I have held various positions in my 20+ years in the surveying industry, including rodman, instrument man, party chief, office technician, crew coordinator, SIT, and eventually moving my way up to a Registered Professional Land Surveyor (RPLS). Looking back now, as a senior project manager, I have been involved in hundreds of renewable projects. I have always enjoyed the history behind surveying. Few people can say they have found a marked stone dating back to 1847!
Since joining SAM, have you experienced any growth or new opportunities?
Definitely. After the JFWCo acquisition, SAM opened a lot of doors for me as a new team member. Since then, there have been many opportunities for growth in my career. The main difference I have enjoyed here at SAM is having access to all of our in-house departments that can provide a broad range of services for our clients. Having a dynamic team that can offer a quality product to meet the client’s needs at any given time has ultimately helped us establish strong, long-term relationships across the country. One of our current renewables projects has allowed us to benefit from the in-house resources creating continued work for us for 3+ years and generating other turnkey opportunities for us in different states.
How have you seen the industry change, and where do you see it headed?
In its own regard, the positive shift towards clean energy has been a remarkable change for the industry. When it comes to renewables, the industry has certainly presented us with a new set of challenges, including access to transmission lines, grid power capacity, and geographic challenges. Additionally, I have seen changes in tax incentives and, much like other companies, experienced supply chain issues affecting all types of projects.
However, as far as the future goes, I see nothing but growth, not only for the industry but for SAM as well. Our team continues to grow at an exponential rate, given our ability to deploy teams and resources at the drop of a hat. Specifically, I see renewables as a competitive market sector that will continue to play a vital role in the continued success at SAM. As the industry continues to evolve, we will continue to meet the demands of our electric grid in the future.
What advice would you give to a colleague looking to transition to renewables?
You have to be a sponge. Whether on an individual or team level, be open to absorbing all the information you can to maximize value, meet company objectives, and better serve your clients in various ways. I believe that it is essential for companies to leverage their capabilities and develop strong working relationships to create a larger stable to pull resources.
Renewable projects are going to be around for a while and will help transition our industry to have a more significant social impact. If you’re looking to jump at the opportunity, there is no better time than now to invest in this market.
What is your favorite memory at SAM?
I’ve only been with SAM for a short while, but earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend CLEANPOWER 2022 in San Antonio, a premier one-week event for leaders in the renewable energy industry. It was nice to meet with clients in person and finally put some faces to their names. I also enjoyed working with fellow SAM team members to advocate for our best-in-class services and communicate to other industry experts why SAM is a reliable partner for their renewable projects.