(This week The Columbian-Progress spotlights Dungan Engineering Civil Engineer Tate Robertson.)
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in Hattiesburg on April 20, 1975.
Q: Where did you attend school?
A: I attended West Marion, Deltona High School in Central Florida, Pearl River Community College and graduated from Mississippi State in 1998.
Q: Where do you work? Tell us about your job/company.
A: I’m a civil engineer at Dungan Engineering. We are a consulting engineering firm that provides services to state agencies, local governments, utility providers and private developers throughout South Mississippi.
Q: What led you to your profession?
A: I felt like I wanted to be an engineer of some type from pretty early on. I remember thumbing through a college handbook in high school and reading about civil engineering and thought that would be something I would enjoy.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
A: We have an amazing group of people at Dungan Engineering. It’s definitely a team-first atmosphere here. It is satisfying to be able to follow each project from design through construction.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
A: As with most professions, I would say time management is important. The diversity of projects can be a challenge but also provide an opportunity. There are always new challenges on projects, and it is so great to have other people here who may have encountered that very thing and can provide feedback.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
A: One of the most important would be to always treat others how you would like to be treated. And to do this while having the client’s needs in mind through every phase of a project.
Q: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I probably wanted to be the next Larry Bird and then be an astronaut in the offseason.
Q: What was your first job?
A: When I was 14 I was a laborer for my grandfather, Irvin Pounds, who worked for Carter & Mullings. I still remember how good it felt to be able to get paid for that.
Q: Who are the people who have been most influential in your life?
A: I have been blessed with so many positive influences, but I would have to say my parents, Terry and Sherri Robertson. They provided a godly home growing up and really provided such an example of how to I wanted to live.
Q: What is your spouse’s name?
A: Lauren Robertson. She works for the District Attorney’s Office as a victim services specialist. I am so blessed to have her to do life with.
Q: Do you have children?
A: I have two girls. Macy is 12, and Bryleigh is 9. I am convinced that being a dad to two girls is the best thing in the world.
Q: If you could have anything for your last meal on earth, what would it be?
A: Anything from the kitchen of my grandmother, Joyce Pounds. She is someone else that has been a huge influence on my life. If we are going out, just take me to one of Robert St. John’s restaurants.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: My wife has a much stronger passion for travel than I do. It would be nice to give her a check and say “surprise me.” Touring Europe would be fun in the retirement years.
Q: What hobbies do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I like to read, play golf and follow the ups and downs of Mississippi State sports. Also, all the fun activities that go along with fatherhood.
Q: What do you enjoy about Columbia and Marion County?
A: I believe it’s a great place to live. My family moved to Florida when I was entering the sixth grade, and I spent six years there. It was a nice area, but there really isn’t any place like home. I enjoy this area and all that it has to offer. We are just blessed to have deep roots here.
Q: If you could have lunch with anyone from your life or history, who would it be and why?
A: The Apostle Paul. I think any believer could understand that. His books have so much application. The way God used him to display humility and wisdom through severe trials amazes me.
Q: If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do all day?
A: Probably still work here, though, I would cut my hours back to mix in some golfing and bass fishing.
Q: What moment in your life has had the biggest impact on who you are today?
A: Without a doubt, my decision to follow Christ as a young boy. It set a course for my entire life, not only securing my eternity but allowing me to see His grace and mercy in every day of my life.
Q: What is one thing you want to do that you’ve never tried?
A: It would be fun to play a golf course like Pebble Beach with my friends.
Q: Using one word for each, what are your top three morals?
A: I strive for compassion, humility and forgiveness.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: Though I fall short daily, I strive to live my life in a way that would point others to the Cross. When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus replied, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And there’s a second like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” A lot worse things could be said about a man who loved.
— Joshua Campbell