Andre B. Ameer, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of EIC Associates, was recently named an Outstanding NCE Alumnus.
In life, as in work, there are no problems -- only solutions to problems.
That’s been the mantra of Andre Ameer for many years. And for many years, in life and work, it served him well.
Ameer is the owner and Executive Vice President of EIC Associates, a construction company that does major projects in the New York metropolitan region. He graduated from NCE with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 1978 and soon took a job working for EE Cruz & Co., a public works construction company. He stayed there for 16 years, working his way up to Division Vice-President.
EE Cruz & Co. is owned by Edward Cruz, an NCE alum (1963, civil engineering) who hires many NCE graduates. One of them, Joseph Branco, (1974, civil engineering), worked closely with Ameer on projects and the two became friends. Both dreamed of one day starting their own business. And in April of 1998, they did precisely that: They founded EIC Associates.
“We talked about starting a business, so we decided to stop talking and do it,” says Ameer. “All we had was our engineering knowledge but more importantly engineers have a certain mentality. We are problem solvers, whether it’s in business or in construction. We never throw in the towel. We always get the job done. That’s what helped our business.”
Ameer characterized EIC as a medium-sized construction company that excels at specialty construction projects. Recently, for instance, the firm constructed a park, called Pier C, which extends over the Hudson River on the Hoboken waterfront. The project involved doing considerable marine work, an EIC specialty. EIC also dredged and cleaned up a polluted track of land in Bayonne; that land is now the Bayonne Golf Club.
As an owner of EIC, Ameer said he focuses on construction operations in the field. But good management really comes down to forming teams, he says. “You must have a good management team and a good labor team in the field,” adds Ameer. “How you form your teams will determine your success.”
Today, EIC is a successful firm, with 120 employees and job projects valued at $80 million. And Ameer is a successful entrepreneur and engineer. In that regard, NCE recently named him an Outstanding Alumnus during its Salute to Engineering Excellence dinner.
During the dinner, Ameer said NCE prepared him well for the real world of work. He was able to leave NCE and enter EE Cruz and begin working on construction projects. A college education like the one he had at NCE gives one an opportunity, but you one must capitalize on it, he said.
“In life you are given opportunities but it’s what you make of them that is important,” said Ameer. “Life is all about opportunities and hard work.”
He said the NCE students he met at the Salute dinner were brilliant. They just need real-life work experience, which is what all engineers need, he said. EIC has hired NJIT interns in the past and will hire more in the future. “You learn so much when you actually work in engineering,” he said, “and each job is a work in progress.”
Ameer said he never expected to be named an Outstanding NCE Alumnus, but that he was grateful for the award.
“I think I was chosen for the award because I’m an example for the students,” said Ameer. “Not that I’m brilliant but because I set a goal – starting a business – and achieved it. I worked hard and took the opportunities I was given in life, starting at NCE.”
(By Robert Florida)