When Blake Thames graduated from Auburn University with a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2012, a career in the fire protection industry wasn’t really on his radar. However, after working for a few years with a large oilfield services company in technical support and new product development, Blake was looking for an opportunity to get back closer to friends and family. According to Blake, “What sold me on Securiplex was having an opportunity to apply the technical skills I had acquired but also to be able to have some broader areas of responsibility in the overall business.” It has been our good fortune to attract such an outstanding engineer.
Blake grew up in Loxley, a small town about 20 miles from Mobile, Alabama. His family was in the farming business – primarily sweet potatoes and peanuts – and he has many great memories from growing up on the farm. Of course some memories are a bit fonder than others. “There’s not much of anything you can spray to control the weeds that doesn’t also kill the sweet potatoes so the only way to do it is manually using a hoe,” he says. “I did a lot of hoeing potatoes when I was a kid and that can be brutal in the summertime.” He also remembers how his grandfather could repair just about anything that broke down on the farm. As many farmers will tell you, “If you can’t repair your own tractor, you’re going to have a hard time making any money farming.” Blake’s grandfather was also very innovative, receiving several patents for equipment he developed for harvesting sweet potatoes. “I think growing up in that atmosphere probably had a lot to do with my career choice,” says Thames. “I was fascinated with all of the equipment and amazed at how my grandfather seemed to know how everything worked in great detail – and how to fix it when necessary. I knew by the time I was in middle school I wanted to be an engineer.”
After high school, Blake enrolled at Auburn University in Mechanical Engineering. However, you wouldn’t say he exactly fits the stereotype of your pocket-protector-adorned engineer. To the contrary, he played lead guitar in a rock band all through school. They were evidently a pretty darned good band as they played in juke joints and clubs all over the southeastern US from North Carolina to Texas and most all the states in between. For several years while living in Houston they were one of the feature bands at MS 150, a large fundraiser event for multiple sclerosis. He also played in bands at other popular events/venues such as Minute Maid Park (Home of the Houston Astros), Houston Rodeo Hideout & Barbecue Cook-off.
When Blake isn’t working, he really enjoys taking advantage of the fantastic fishing and hunting resources in the Mobile area. Several years ago, he had a fantastic trip with his grandfather to “the fishing house” his grandfather had purchased after deciding he was getting too old drive his RV 4500 miles for a fishing trip … in Soldotna, Alaska. “That was just an awesome trip,” says Thames. “We had a great time and caught a ton of fish on the Kenai River where the scenery is just unbelievable.” Nowadays Blake does a lot of kayak fishing but he and his dad recently purchased a 22 ft bay boat. He’s looking forward to catching lots of redfish and speckled trout up in the delta north of Mobile Bay and around the mouth of the bay near Dauphin Island. If he’s desperate, you might even see him with his guitar on the boat serenading the fish. Fishermen will do some crazy things to catch a fish.