Name: Jamil Newell
Profession: Vice President at Engineered Design Services L.L.C.
Social Media: Instagram: @Jamwell1906 | Facebook: facebook.com/Jamil.Newell
One Word That Describes You: Focused
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
The segment of the market that I specialize in (power delivery engineering) is an extremely small niche; with the portion made up of African Americans being an even smaller percentage. Because I believe that you “can’t be what you can’t see,” I strive to be as visible as possible to the youth and young adults in our communities, so they can see that being an owner of a successful business—in STEM—is possible and readily attainable.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
I grew up in a household where my parents subscribed to Black Enterprise and made sure that my sister and I read its pages each month in order to be exposed to and inspired by the men and women gracing its pages. To be considered as one of Black Enterprise’s Men of Distinction all these years later is incredibly humbling and an experience I’ll not soon forget. In addition to being a huge honor for me, it also shows the reach and impact of the magazine on guiding our youth toward better and brighter futures
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Like everyone else, my life has had its fair share of struggles, but I believe the one that was hardest for me to overcome was self-doubt. I’ve always been extremely ambitious outwardly, but inwardly struggled to believe in my abilities to attain these lofty goals. This was not an easy struggle to overcome since there was no external antagonist or situation to blame … just myself. Through it all, I never let the doubt stop my progress. I always pushed forward and allowed the doubt to be my fuel to make sure all “I”s are dotted and “t”s crossed so I have no other option but to succeed.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I look for integrity and drive. Integrity is essential; if I am inviting someone into my family’s life and home, I must feel confident that they are genuine and come from a place of honesty. I also look for the folks I surround myself with to be driven individuals, never complacent. When you talk to people with a strong internal drive, the subject matter of your conversations graduate from the latest gossip to the newest venture or investment. If we are the average of our five best friends, I want my average to be as high as possible!
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
My next project is working to expand my company, Engineered Design Services, into new sectors of the market, helping to further diversify the company’s influence and capabilities. Outside of EDS, I am also involved with an internet based startup looking to launch later this fall.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve received is important for most people, but especially critical to those in STEM related fields: “Technical expertise is not enough, being willing and able to clearly and concisely communicate with others is the most valuable skill you could ever possess.” This advice helped me to realize that being the stereotypical introverted engineer won’t get me where I’m trying to go.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Just do it! It is human nature to put things off and find reasons why the time is not right. At some point you must realize that the conditions will never be perfect, you will not be infinitely wiser or better prepared by waiting another year. Just get out there and get going, moving forward toward whatever goal God has laid on your heart.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
One of the most critical parts of preparing for an important meeting or event for me is not so much to rehearse speeches or presentations, but more to:
- Identify my purpose for this meeting—why am I doing this?
- Identify my audience and what their needs/interests are, and how that coincides my own motivations.
- Identify what I want the audience to take away from the meeting, not just key pieces of information, but also what do I want their perception of me and/or my team to be. They will always remember how we made them feel over what we literally said.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I like my vacations just like my life: dynamic and exciting. While on vacation it would not be uncommon for me to go from SCUBA diving 100 feet underwater on one day to zip lining from a cliff on the next, while relaxing on a beach or next to the pool during the times in between. Extreme excitement and extreme relaxation. One example of such a vacation would be my trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. My wife and I were able to find a great hotel off the beaten path and since Isla Mujeres is a small island, we were able to rent a golf cart and explore the entire area without the need for shuttles, taxis, or Uber. That freedom allowed us the opportunity to really experience the local culture and customs in between zip lining and swimming with dolphins.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Despite traveling to 40+ states, numerous countries, and four continents, my choice of places to travel right now would be Hawaii. The beautiful beaches, waterfalls, lush vegetation, and vibrant culture draw me in more and more every time I see pictures or hear stories.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I’d like to say thank you again to Black Enterprise for this honor. I have gone back and read countless other BE Modern Man profiles and have become even more inspired with every word. These men’s stories have spurred me to work even harder to continue to impact our community.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.