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Updated: August 7, 2020 / 2020 40 Under Forty Honorees

Jacob Blanton


Jacob Blanton

Age: 37

Company: Burns & McDonnell

Title: Transmission & Distribution Regional Operations Director

No. of years with current company: 14½

Town where I live: Killingworth

Town where I work: Wallingford

College: Texas A&M University

Highest degree: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering

Jacob Blanton is regional operations director in the Northeast for the transmission and distribution (T&D) group of Burns & McDonnell, a 100% employee-owned engineering, construction and architecture firm.

Since joining the firm in 2006, Blanton has designed and managed more than 140 transmission and substation projects, helping design more than 1,000 miles of transmission line across the nation. Today, his Wallingford-based T&D team supports more than 250 projects generating more than $30 million in revenue.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

In 2019 I was promoted to our firm’s principal group, a senior level of leadership held by only 2% of Burns & McDonnell employees. This heightened level of responsibility has afforded me additional opportunities to help nurture and grow my colleagues’ careers — an opportunity I strive to maximize every day.

How are you involved in the community?

Each year, I champion an annual fundraiser for our firm’s annual United Way campaign. Since 2018, our office has raised more than $300,000 for United Way of Meriden & Wallingford. I am also the founder of Feel-Good Barbecue, a volunteer group that provides meals to local families facing hardship.

What do you like to do outside of work?

My passion for barbecue can be traced back to my childhood days in Texas. Growing up, my parents both worked long hours during the week, so I was often responsible for cooking dinner for my siblings. Today, I enjoy barbecuing for my own family at our home in southern Connecticut.

How did dealing with the coronavirus pandemic help you grow as a leader?

Recent challenging times have strengthened our team even further. Working remotely has helped me dive deeper into each person’s unique perspective and vision, making me a better co-worker, mentor and leader. As we move forward together, our drive to make our clients successful is as strong as ever.

Four reasons why you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty:

In 2019 I founded Feel-Good Barbecue, a volunteer group that provides meals to local families facing hardship.

Since starting in my current role, I have helped expand our regional T&D team from 46 to 99 employees — 115% growth in two years.

Throughout my career, I have successfully designed and managed more than 140 projects nationwide.

I helped build a robust internal training program in our Northeast offices, comprising 90 courses tailored to current needs.

Fun Fact 

My brother and I own 80 cows on our family ranch in Texas.

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