Since its inception in 1994, ABNA has worked diligently to improve the safety, health, and well-being of the communities we serve. In the words of Principal/CEO, Abe Adewale PE, “Our clientele is everyone who utilizes public and industrial infrastructure including sewer pipelines, roadways, airports, mass transit and desires to drink clean water and breathe clean air”. In this article, we highlight how ABNA has given back this holiday season and throughout 2022.

Members of our staff regularly engage in volunteer work to share their professional expertise and experience. For example, Ray Bailey PE, RG, Ph.D., Construction Services and Geotechnical Manager, and other ABNA engineers are current or past members of the Missouri Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation (SAVE) Coalition. SAVE is a group of volunteer engineers, architects, building inspectors, and other trained professionals who aid the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency with building damage inspections. Using their training, SAVE volunteers determine which post-disaster buildings are safe to use and which should be evacuated. (For more information about ABNA’s efforts to ensure public safety, be sure to check out the reflection on Abe Adewale’s decade of service with the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Professional Landscape Architects, also this issue.)

In October Farzana Mulla, Project Engineer, Loretta Fouse, Human Resources Generalist, and Nicole Adewale LEED AP®, Principal, led “Engineering a Cure”—a fundraising effort for Breast Cancer Awareness Month ABNA has held since 2010. Farzana shares insight about the committee’s work concerning the American Cancer Society’s annual “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” event:

                   The topic of cancer is dear to most of us as we know someone in our family or friends who are affected by it. Back in 2018, one of our former employees put up a banner about the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk. I shared my interest in raising funds and supporting the cause with Nicole and we formed a cancer awareness committee along with Gayla. Abe and Nicole (Principals) have been great supporters of the cause. “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” is supported by the American Cancer Society to help to raise funds for new research and discoveries and to support people battling breast cancer. We raise funds each year in October and give all the amount to the American Cancer Society.

In the following month of November, Andrea Steudeman, Senior Field Technician, led ABNA’s packaged food drive for the Scouts BSA annual “Scouting for Food” event in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Andrea reflects on the experience and how it has become an integral part of her family’s traditions:

               My boys are Scouts and we’ve always helped out in the annual “Scouting for Food” event. Now that they are both in the Troop, we gather at the local firehouse and box up all the cans and food items that the younger Scouts pick up and bring to us. It’s a huge undertaking and takes six to ten hours depending on the day. In total, our single firehouse, which covered just the Fenton area, filled one-thousand ten boxes with cans and other foodstuffs.

At ABNA we believe in the importance of expanding educational opportunities and helping to ensure a strong, diverse future for the AEC industry. To this end ABNA staff members—including Abe Adewale, Nicole Adewale, LaWanda Jones, and Adeola Adewale—regularly participate in the monthly NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) Jr PCI (Pre College Initiative) Program events held at St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley. These events are organized by the STL Gateway Metro Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. NSBE Jr’s PCI Program provides innovative programming designed to expose youth in grades 3-12 to science, technology, engineering & math (STEM) subjects and careers. Adeola Adewale, ABNA’s newest Business Intelligence Analyst, reflects on the impact of NSBE she the following to say:

               When I envision the significant impact of NSBE, I consider the community and visibility it offers to black engineers and those in the STEM community. Through NSBE, the future generation of engineers can engage with a network of like-minded professionals and diverse companies. My career development has benefited from the engineering networking opportunities and mentorships offered by NSBE. This organization has been and will continue to be the heartbeat for black STEM professionals. 

The ABNA family is committed to lending a helping hand, both during the holiday season and throughout the year. By giving of our time, skills, and resources we strive to give back to the communities in which we work and live.