Burt Odom named Chief Executive Officer



Burt Odom, President of EMJ Corporation, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer in addition to his current role. Jay Jolley, EMJ’s current CEO, will shift to the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

This transition is part of EMJ’s strategic approach to executive succession, which is designed to develop strong leaders that will ensure continued success for the corporation.

As President and CEO, Odom will be responsible for the overall success of EMJ and the family of companies. He will work with executive leadership, as well as the Board of Directors, to establish and execute the overall strategic vision of the organization.

“Throughout his career, Burt has proven himself to be a strategic visionary and servant leader,” said Jay Jolley. “He has the perfect combination of knowledge, operational experience and personal integrity to lead EMJ and the family of companies.”

Odom began his construction career in 1983 when he served under Edgar M. Jolley, after graduating from Auburn University. During his more than 30 years of experience, Odom has held various positions—most notably, as the Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Dallas office and the Chief Operating Officer before being appointed President of EMJ in 2010.

Jay Jolley, the son of Edgar M. Jolley, began his career at EMJ in 1983 as a project manager after graduating from Tennessee Tech University. Jay served EMJ in various roles including as its Executive Vice President and President before becoming CEO in 2010.

“Jay’s creative energy, strong work ethic and hands-on approach have left an indelible mark on EMJ,” said Burt Odom. “He boldly led EMJ during a time of diversification and growth. I am excited to work with him as he continues to help guide and inspire the company for many years to come.”

Odom will remain in the Dallas office but will continue traveling to and working in the family of companies’ corporate office in Chattanooga, Tenn.


For more information or media inquiries, please contact Dottie McCallen at dottie.mccallen@emjcorp.com or 423.490.3289.


Scott shines through servant leadership

EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.

Since Cissy Scott joined EMJ in 2011 as a Contract Expeditor in the Chattanooga office, she’s excelled in all of her endeavors.

With almost 13 years of experience at a transportation company as a National Account Representative, Cissy decided to “step out in faith” when she accepted an administrative position at EMJ. Soon, she was promoted to her current role as a Contract Expeditor. Her responsibilities continue to grow—her most recent being administering EMJ’s qualification package process.

Cissy uses the four client-focused steps of EMJ’s C2C approach in all aspects of her role as Contract Expeditor. When she interacts with subcontractors, suppliers and insurance agents who are unfamiliar with certain procedures and processes, she finds that the “Ask, Listen, Think, Do” process enhances communication and improves the end-result.

Recently, she notably helped her team tackle a challenging situation. Her colleagues stated that when she joined the conversation, cooperation and collaboration ensued.

“Just having her involved in the conversation helped achieve the desired result,” said James Tyson, Senior Vice President of Estimating.

He says her efficiency and attention to detail are exemplary. “Cissy helps others within our office—as well as other offices— to manage tasks more accurately and efficiently.”

With her background in customer service and servant leadership mindset, Cissy calls the ability to help others “the most rewarding part of her role” at EMJ. She says she’s proud to be a part of the team at EMJ, and her favorite part is the “family atmosphere.”

“My co-workers recognize my efforts and contribution to the team, and I see the positive impact that my job has on our success as an office,” Cissy said.

She enjoys the chance to work on “many unique and meaningful projects” in the office. While considering her impact on others, she reflects on her greatest mentors: her parents—who taught her values, work ethic, strengths and showed her unconditional love.

Now she’s the mentor, and Cissy sees the same values, character traits and strengths in her niece, a high school senior, as she “prepares to enter her own journey.” Cissy says it’s a wonderful feeling to have helped in some small way—similar to the way she helps her EMJ family.

Learn more about our EMJ team and how to become a part of it here



Van Dolson serves community through computers

EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.

Ryan Van Dolson, an IT Support Technician in the Chattanooga office, joined the team in 2012 with a desire to combine his technology skills, EMJ’s purpose of servant leadership and his personal mission to serve the community.

Shortly after starting at EMJ, Ryan discovered a free visual programming language called Scratch, which allows children and adults to easily create animations and games, providing a stepping stone to the advanced world of computer programming. He introduced Scratch to his wife, who home-schools their two sons, and the boys immediately loved it.

While assisting employees in setting up new computers and preparing the old ones for recycling, Ryan developed an idea: team up with EMJ to provide laptops to any homeschooled student who had an interest in programming. With previous experience teaching at Christian school in Taiwan, Ryan felt that he was up to the challenge of teaching a programming course—but first, he had to get his boss onboard. Ryan talked his supervisor, Sarah Kirby, who loved the idea.

“EMJ’s culture promotes serving each other and the community, so when an employee takes initiative and wants to use EMJ as an additional resource, we couldn’t be prouder,” Sarah said.

Ryan began teaching a Scratch programming class for local children using the laptops donated by EMJ. “They love it, and I think the laptops have opened doors for these kids that otherwise would’ve remained shut,” Ryan said. So far, EMJ has donated six laptops for his students to use.

Ryan says the class encourages them to think programmatically and gain a solid technology foundation that could launch future careers for those who are interested. “Who knows, maybe someday, one of these kids could be in EMJ’s IT department—it’s pretty cool to think about.”

As a mentor to his programming students, Ryan reflects on his mentors growing up— his grandparents, a former high school teacher and an uncle. He says they shared a focus on listening, positivity, and being unafraid to show humanity—something he consistently focuses on.

“This program—and all of the work our team does in Chattanooga— shows that EMJ isn’t all about building buildings, but also building our community and its people,” Ryan said.

Learn more about our EMJ team and how to become a part of it here


VIDEO: EMJ leaders discuss servant leadership

EMJ President Burt Odom and Chief Operating Officer Doug Martin discuss the importance of mentors throughout their careers and what makes EMJ a leader in the construction industry—its people.

EMJ works to distinguish itself from other general contractors by its dedication to creating a culture of servant leadership and mentorship.

Though servant leadership can be defined in many ways, at EMJ, the term means that servant leaders put others’ needs ahead of their own. EMJ believes that servant leadership ensures that each employee within the family of companies works toward its goal of “growing together.”

Servant leadership is closely tied to mentorship, as both are essential to EMJ’s ultimate success through fulfilling clients’ needs and reaching our maximum potential.

Mentors continually offer guidance, support and feedback to their mentees, who develop into the next generation of leaders.

EMJ’s Mentoring Program creates relationships within all levels of the company in order to identify “blind spots,” which resolve problems and push mentees toward success. From one-on-one mentoring to group mentoring sessions, EMJ is dedicated to the growth and progress of each and every employee.

EMJ team members care about each other and the clients they collectively serve, showing “we are only as good as our people.”

To learn more about Working at EMJ and our Career-4-Life objective and programs, click here.


EMJ recognized for safety at Bass Pro in Florida


Left to right: Caleb Hammontree, Project Manager; Bill Stidham of Bass Pro; John Scanlon, Superintendent; Neil Forell, Level II Superintendent; Ken Boyd, Lead Superintendent; and Keith Brown, USF OSHA Consultation.


EMJ Construction received the Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award for its work on Bass Pro Shop in Gainesville, Fla. This award, given by the University of South Florida’s Safety Consultation Program, was developed to motivate and support employers who emphasize safety through the implementation and maintenance of effective injury and illness-prevention programs.

Opening this fall, the Bass Pro at Celebration Pointe is an 80,000-square-foot tilt-wall project that includes a boat sales and service department, polished concrete floors, and a 12,000-gallon indoor aquarium. After an inspection by consultant Keith Brown, the team was recommended for the award.

“These guys truly went above and beyond to fulfill EMJ’s promise of a safe jobsite for all team members,” said Clint Dean, Executive Vice President, EMJ Construction.

This is the second time this month and the third time this year that the EMJ family of companies has received this recognition. It is also the third Sunshine State Safety Award for Lead Superintendent Ken Boyd, who has received the safety recognition on his last three projects.

“We are so proud of Ken and his leadership,” said Jack Bowen, Vice President of Construction, EMJ. “His repeat recognitions are a testament to his commitment to safety and to a job well done.”

Congratulations to the team members responsible for this project’s success: Ken Boyd, Lead Superintendent; John Scanlon, Superintendent; Neil Forell, Level II Superintendent; and Caleb Hammontree, Project Manager.




Related stories:

Accent Construction awarded Sunshine State Safety Recognition

EMJ receives Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award

Working at EMJ: Beyond just reading blueprints

intern Stacy Reppond

By Stacy Reppond


When I walked out of the University of Louisiana at Monroe coliseum with my undergraduate degrees in hand, I didn’t know what to expect for the future (much less the summer). I moved to Fort Worth in June before my first semester at Texas Christian University as a graduate student in Strategic Communications. I hoped for, but didn’t expect, a summer job that actually pertained to those degrees. What I ended up with was so much more.

I’d heard about EMJ from my brother Scott (an EMJ Estimator), so I applied for a summer internship in the Dallas office’s marketing department. When EMJ offered me this opportunity, I expected to grow as a professional in a corporate setting. Because of the EMJ culture, it exceeded my expectations.

I’ll admit—I didn’t know much about construction going in. (What does “augercast” even mean?) I also didn’t know EMJ would “build me” into a more professional and confident person than when I started.

EMJ entrusted me with meaningful and challenging tasks. I helped with the launch of EMJ’s new website, drafted press releases, blogs, social media posts, internal announcements and other pieces. I collaborated and created, and I did so in an industry that was new to me.

I was encouraged to interact with EMJ employees in the field—I interviewed superintendents, project managers and other vital team members for project case studies. I learned what our people actually do in the field to generate value for clients. They’re dedicated to using C2C with EMJ’s vision of changing the industry by changing the overall client experience.

I discovered my passion for the field and for writing. I gained confidence and absorbed all of the feedback I could, and the internship served its real purpose—solidifying my plans for the future.

It doesn’t matter that I didn’t read blueprints and had to learn what “augercast” means. EMJ molds professionals in many different areas: administrative, sales, marketing, operations, estimating, construction and more. The Dallas office family welcomed me with open arms, helped me adjust after a life-changing move and caused me to wish that summer didn’t end so soon.

Stacy Reppond is a graduate student at Texas Christian University studying journalism and mass communications.


Andrew Lackey

Andrew Lackey interned with EMJ Construction during the Summer of 2016 and will join the EMJ team in Dallas as a full-time Project Engineer in December of 2016.


Want to work at EMJ?

We hire interns and Co-Ops throughout the year at EMJ and our family of companies. Summer and Fall Co-Ops and interns are typically selected February through March, and Spring Co-Ops and interns are selected September through October. And, of course, we’re always hiring for other positions. If you are interested in joining the the EMJ family, check out EMJ’s open positions.

If you are currently in college, here is a list of Career Fairs we will be attending this Fall. Our recruiters would love to meet you!

Texas A&M

College Station, TX
Construction Science Career Fair – Sept. 15-16

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Knoxville, TN
Engineering Expo – Sept. 15-16

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Boston, MA
Fall Career Fair – Sept. 20

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Chattanooga, TN
Fall Career Day – Sept. 28

University of Tennessee Knoxville

Knoxville, TN
Construction Science Fair – Sept. 29

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
Building Science Career Fair – Oct. 5-6

Texas A&M Commerce

Commerce, TX
Fall Career Day – Oct. 12

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Chattanooga, TN
UTC Engineering and Computer Science Career Day – Nov. 2

Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS
Career Information Session – Nov. 9-10


Nate Shorman

Nate Shorman interned in the Dallas office of EMJ Corporation during the Summer of 2016.


Accent Construction awarded Sunshine State Safety Recognition

Accent Superintendent Ray Alamo (left) and USF consultant Pat Stark


Accent Construction Services, a subsidiary of EMJ Corporation, has received the Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award for its work on a 7-Eleven in Orlando. This award, given by the University of South Florida’s (USF) Safety Consultation Program, was developed to motivate and support employers who emphasize safety through the implementation and maintenance of effective injury and illness-prevention programs.

The construction of the 7-Eleven consists of a 3,000 square-foot building, two 20,000-gallon belowground fuel storage tanks and an overhead canopy—all on one acre. After an inspection by Pat Stark, USF Safety and Health Consultant, the team was recommended for the award.

“Safety is always a priority at Accent, and we appreciate when external resources acknowledge our team’s commitment to a safe and efficient workplace,” said Chas Torrence, Vice President of Accent.

Congratulations to the team on this project—Ray Alamo, Superintendent; Hannah Holcomb, Project Engineer; and Jared Erwin, Project Manager.

This is the second time this year that a member of the EMJ family of companies has received the Sunshine State Safety Award for their impeccable management of a safe workplace for field staff. In April, EMJ Hospitality was recognized for the Spring Hill Suites and Residence Inn in Clearwater, Fla.

7-eleven Orlando


EMJ receives Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award


EMJ | A Construction Services Company

EMJ President Burt Odom and Chief Operating Officer Doug Martin discuss EMJ Corporation’s purpose and its collaborative approach to construction projects.

EMJ’s purpose is to serve. We serve our clients, our employees, our communities and our industry.

The company’s mission to serve the industry began in 1968 and extends to every project across the country and to all project participants, from clients and architects to insurance companies and subcontractors.

Our vision is to change the industry, and while we can’t change the world overnight, we believe we can transform the construction industry— one client experience at a time.

After years of practicing traditional construction models, our team recognized that major changes were needed in the way construction projects were done. With each issue that arose, we worked to find a solution, which led to preventative measures, which led to our client-focused approach, Concept-to-Completion (C2C®).

C2C uses four client-focused steps: ask, listen, think and do. These steps help our team understand what our clients value most and their goals, then cater our delivery to match that vision.

C2C involves collaboration and trust among all members of the team. We define collaboration as a group of people—the owner, general contractor, subcontractors, architect, engineers and others—who work together toward a common goal. Collaboration and transparency create trust, which improves a project’s process.

EMJ believes that the client is the most important part of a team—the center of our attention. Team members join together to share creative ideas throughout the project to create value for the client— and all project participants.

Click here to read more about EMJ the company and here to read more about EMJ’s approach to projects.

Dean speaks with Chattanooga Civitan Club

Downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. | iStock.com | John Neff
Downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. | iStock.com | John Neff


Clint Dean1 LR_320x320
Clint Dean

On Friday, July 8th, Executive Vice President Clint Dean spoke with the Chattanooga Civitan Club about EMJ’s involvement both commercially and civically in the Chattanooga area and the company’s ultimate mission: to serve.

The Civitan Club is a service organization dedicated to helping the Chattanooga community. EMJ’s team shares this commitment, having provided 850 hours of community service in 2015.

Clint noted that EMJ employees “are continuing to stay focused on our community and being involved” even as the company expands its national presence and is “projected to cross the $1 billion dollar threshold.”

He also discussed the company’s goals and outlook for the coming years.

“Our vision is to change the industry,” he said.

“We feel like the construction industry is broken and that there’s a better way to do things. … We just think through collaboration and early involvement there’s a better way to go about construction.”

Read more about Clint’s presentation from Chattanoogan.com.


EMJ hosts annual training, honors team for safety


During Construction Safety Week, EMJ hosted the first of four annual Summer Safety Meetings to teach and review protocol for all field staff in the family of companies. 

At the meetings, EMJ recognized the following individuals for their exceptional work in maintaining safe and injury free job sites. Todd Crawford of EMJ Construction and Josh Phillips of Accent Construction Services both received the Outstanding Safety Award. Receiving the Outstanding Superintendent Safety Award were Ray Alamo of Accent Construction Services, John Massetti and Michael Grammer of RedStone Construction and Kevin Reece, Rex Vice, Wayne Ritter, John Hapka, Steve Laningham and Greg Thomas with EMJ Construction. Joe Woolums of EMJ Construction was presented the Outstanding Estimator award. The final award was presented to Christopher Palmore of EMJ Construction for Outstanding Project Manager.

These awards are presented to individuals based on their efforts to ensure a safe jobsite, the ability to plan ahead and include safety in the pre-construction phase, and their ability to engage others, including subcontractors, in safe behavior and practices.

Please join us in further recognizing and congratulating these individuals for their continued hard work!