Ambit Team Member Spotlight: Allen Cummings

At Ambit, we recognize that team members are a company’s greatest asset. We create and support a culture that cultivates lifelong learning, teamwork, and leadership development. Every member of our team offers a unique and valuable perspective and set of skills.

This month we got the chance to sit down with Allen Cummings, Ambit Field Manager, and get the inside scoop on how he was introduced to land surveying, the weirdest thing he’s experienced working at Ambit (it’s not what you expect) and a few lesser-known facts about what you can catch him doing in his free time.

But first, we got Matt’s perspective:

“I probably have more stories about Allen than anyone else on the team and most of them are hilarious. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t the appropriate audience for those, and some statutes of limitations have yet to pass. What I can say about Allen is that he never lets the team down. Whether it’s flying halfway across the country last minute to cover for a teammate and keep a client happy or staying late after an Ambit party to ensure everyone makes it home safely, Allen has always stepped up.

We hired Allen more for potential than experience, and we’re very grateful that we took a chance on him. His rapid professional growth over the past eight years has been exceptional to say the least, today he sits in one of the most demanding positions at Ambit. The fact that he and his team can successfully handle the pace and volume of telecom, scheduling and managing crews operating all over the Western US, keep clients happy, keep our PMs happy, deliver quality products on time if not early, all while maintaining balance and equanimity is pretty amazing. I’ve seen persons in less demanding roles in this industry be broken to the point of nervous breakdowns. I’m serious.”

– Matt Ford, Ambit President  

As Field Manager, Allen oversees all field operations and coordinates everything on the field side of the company. His job has taken him to some incredible places, some of which he shared here in this interview.

So, let’s dive in…

Allen Cummings Team Spotlight

Q: When you were young, what did you imagine doing when you grew up?

I really didn’t have much of an idea of what I wanted to be. My dad was in construction, so I started doing construction from the time I was able to hold a sheet of sheetrock over my head. I did like doing construction. There’s not much better than the feel of a hammer in your hand.

Q: When did you learn more about the land surveying world?

I did construction with my dad until I turned 18. Then I moved from a small town to Tempe (chasing a girl) and had a hard time finding decent construction jobs. 

I was working at Circle K – which was perfect since I was younger then and partying often – but decided one day I wanted more than working at a gas station. 

My dad told me about a job fair that the state was having, so I was applying for road jobs that I thought I’d be qualified for while my dad started talking to a lady that was involved in the survey division at ADOT. 

I went and interviewed without knowing anything about surveying and was offered the job on the spot. 

Q: How did you hear about Ambit, and what made you decide to apply to the team?

I worked for ADOT for 6 years when John Marshall, a crew chief at ADOT that Matt knows, was like ‘hey are you interested in another job? I have a buddy who has his own company and is hiring, and I feel like you’d be a good fit.’ He gave me Matt’s email, I did an interview and got offered the job. I started the day after my birthday. Been with Ambit for 8 years since last July. 

Q: What do you feel sets Ambit apart from other companies in the industry?

Ambit takes a lot of pride in what we do. Everybody involved with Ambit just has a huge sense of pride in our work. It shows in everything – our quality, our knowledge, our customer service. 

Other companies try to farm stuff out and don’t care about their products. We see our products and surveys as a representation of ourselves and put a lot into it.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Ambit team?

Probably the day-to-day interactions with the team. I just really enjoy working with the people I work with. It really feels like everyone is a part of a team. It’s not some BS like at other companies. We really truly feel that everyone has your back.

Communication has been tricky with the pandemic and going virtual, it was rocky at first but I can’t say it’s been negatively impacted. In a lot of ways it’s brought us together and strengthened our communication. I think in the end it’s brought us all closer.

Q: If you could change one thing about this industry, what would it be?

The only thing I wish there was more of is a bigger talent pool. There aren’t a lot of people getting into surveying. 

Telecommunications, I especially wouldn’t change anything. It’s super chaotic and you want to slam your head against the wall a lot, but I really thrive in that chaos. So I wouldn’t change that.

Q: What’s the coolest thing about working with Ambit?

Some of the places I’ve been able to go. I’ve been on mountaintops with locked gates that no one else can go to. I’ve been on skyscraper buildings in most major cities in the Northwest, California and Arizona. I’ve been in military bases, surveying next to people training in tanks. 

I’ve seen views that most people don’t get to see. This job has really taken me everywhere. For me that’s the coolest stuff. 

Q: Has anything ever caught you off guard with your job?

I can say that I’ve seen my fair share of naked people. I’m in remote areas where people have houses that are built way back, and they’re not expecting anyone to be walking around in the woods. And there they are out on their balconies living it up.

Another time, a few years ago I was on the top of a skyscraper in Seattle when all of the sudden about fifty people started piling onto the roof where I was working. Apparently, there was a solar eclipse they were trying to see. I was like, don’t mind me, I’ll just be working over here…

Q: What could we typically find you doing in your free time?

Trying to think of legal stuff…I like to make whiskey. There’s one I’ve been trying to perfect for a couple years. It’s an apple brandy that I age with some cinnamon sticks in it. Tastes like a holiday type of drink – I call it the “Christmas Spirit”. I have a half gallon that I’m finishing up, hopefully in time for the holidays.

Q: What is the last show you watched?

I just watched Cowboy BeeBop last night. It’s an anime that they just remade with live action. They don’t usually do a good job of remakes with live action, but they did a pretty good job with this one.

Q: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Sayulita, Mexico. It’s about an hour outside of Puerto Vallarta. It’s the most beautiful place. I’ve been there just once, two years ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. We’re already planning another trip back.

Q: What’s your drink of choice?

Bourbon. Neat. Can’t water it down.

Q: What is something only those closest to you know about you? 

I tell everybody everything, I’m kind of an open book. Anything that people don’t know about me is probably stuff they shouldn’t know about me.

Q: What’s one of your guilty pleasures?

Apple pie. I just can’t help myself. If someone asks what kind of pie we’re gonna get I always say “apple pie or die”. They don’t ask me anymore.

To learn more about the Ambit team, or to apply for an open position, visit our About page here: