Meskel & Associates Engineering PLLC celebrated a decade in business Tuesday with its president, Antoinette “Tina” Meskel, becoming the JAX Chamber’s 2019 Overall Small Business Leader of the Year.
“This really couldn’t happen for us at a better time,” Meskel told more than 230 attendees at the chamber’s 6th Annual Small Business Breakfast at the Schultz Center for Teaching & Leadership.
She said her group was “in the middle of some wonderful projects, and important projects, in our community,” including the Jacksonville Regional Transportation Center Downtown, the Northbank repairs at Liberty Street and Coastline Drive and The District mixed-use project proposed on the Southbank.
“2019 is going to be a very good year,” Meskel said in remarks after her name was announced as the winner.
Meskel, an engineer, represented the chamber’s Transportation & Logistics Council, one of 12 councils that chose small business leaders of the year. An overall leader was chosen from among the dozen.
Meskel credited the chamber for advocating for small businesses and she said support was important from large businesses and the city to hire small businesses, buy their products and “to think of us” when making policy.
“The chamber carries the torch for us in that arena and it is vitally important.”
Meskel thanked her business partners, employees, colleagues, mentors family and friends.
“You could be a business of one, or a business of 25, like we’ve grown to now, but you need the support of people around you,” she said.
“They have given me their experience and their advice, whether I asked for it or not. They’ve given me that smackdown when I’ve needed it, and the stay-in-your lane speech when I’ve needed it, which I need on a regular basis,” she said.
“They’ve given me their friendship and their shoulder, and it’s made a tremendous difference for us.”