What truly differentiates J.S. Held is our people — world-class talent driven by a common set of core values. Together, these shared values inspire a culture of integrity, excellence, teamwork, and service.
There are times where words are simply unable to create the same level of energy that accompanies a person in a physical space. Such is the case for Michael Abi Aoun, whose introduction would require text in all caps, with each word showcased in its own font and color. But even still, words would not deliver proper justice.
Michael brings tremendous energy and excitement to all that he is a part of each and every day. His knowledge of the construction industry, passion for finding solutions to complex situations, and natural team-first attitude embody the culture of J.S. Held and our mission – to provide high-quality technical expertise, deliver an unparalleled client experience, and be a catalyst for change in our industry.
“Whether laying trunk main in the streets of NYC or presenting a multimillion-dollar completion estimate to a surety claims manager, Mike’s experience and character enable him to succeed in whatever is set before him,” added Tony.
Michael grew up building things. From a young age, he would find satisfaction in completing a project and seeing an idea come to life. He also had an uncle and two cousins in the construction industry that he had always admired. So, when it came time for him to start his own career, he naturally chose construction.
He started on the ground floor working within multiple trades as a carpenter, bricklayer, and cement mason, while also learning how to run the machinery. After a few years in the industry, he transitioned into estimating and project management for heavy and highway construction contractors. The logic of construction, time required to execute each aspect of a construction project, and what it costs to get the job done right are all key things Michael gained an understanding of during the early stages of his career.
In 1997, Michael met John Lovett and Tony Lardaro, both of whom are now leaders in J.S. Held’s Surety Practice, while on a project in Inwood, New York. The three immediately hit it off and kept in close communication following project completion. Over time, Michael began handling a few projects for John and Tony on the side, apart from his day job running his own construction company. Slowly but surely, his “side work” became his everyday job.
“One day I woke up and found myself working for John and Tony at Lovett Silverman,” said Michael. “I’m not sure exactly how it happened but I’m glad it did.” All in all, Michael worked with Lovett Silverman for over 18 years before the firm was acquired by J.S. Held. February of 2020 will mark three and a half years since both organizations joined forces.
Based out of New York City, Michael is engaged on surety termination issues from across the globe. In his role, he works to provide project takeover assistance and cost to complete estimates. On projects that enter into dispute, he is also regularly retained for litigation support.
Being able to manage large, complex projects and anticipate any long-term impacts without losing sight of the day-to-day details is both a science and an art, learned over many years in the field. What Michael enjoys most about the industry is that each day presents unique challenges and opportunities to learn new things in pursuit of delivering reliable and comprehensive solutions.
When asked about where his energy and passion come from, Michael was quick to point out the people he is surrounded by. He shared stories about his colleagues all coming together to achieve a common goal, his mentors inspiring him to reach new levels every day, and his wife and three children challenging him to always be the best version of himself.
One way Michael is staying sharp physically and mentally is through his Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, which he takes part in four days a week. If you would like to see him in action, there is an upcoming bout on pay-per-view where everyone will be able to see Michael crushing a bag of peanuts while he watches the real professionals go toe-to-toe.
Michael is also involved in his community where he volunteers his time as a little league baseball and youth football coach in West Hempstead, NY.
Interested in learning more about Michael Abi Aoun? Give him a call at 917-807-8826 or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.