What We Do

A Family of Companies Committed to Client Relationships 

EMJ

Company History

In 1968, Edgar M. Jolley founded EMJ on the philosophy of delivering exceptional construction projects with impeccable customer service. This vision to serve led to a business reputation of collaboration and long-term relationships.

In the early 1990s, President Jim Sattler expanded EMJ’s client base and diversified its sectors, which positioned the company for steady long-term growth. Since that time, EMJ has built projects in 47 states in the continental U.S. in a variety of sectors. EMJ’s growth has continued to expand as it branched into specialty organizations, creating a vast family of companies which serve clients nationwide.

Since our inception, EMJ has built over 280 million square feet of construction projects across the nation. Today, you will find EMJ’s name as the builder of record on a wide variety of projects. Our diversity, success and reputation result from our commitment to maintain the principles on which we began and the vision of leadership throughout the years. Most recently, EMJ was ranked #86 out of the Top 400 Contractors in the nation by Engineering News-Record.

Our Foundation

Purpose:
To be People Serving People

Our purpose is to be People Serving People. For 50 years, we have charged our nationwide team of more than 500 employees to be servant leaders who lead by example and inspire and serve others. Whether in an office, at a meeting, or on a job site, we perform our work by serving others.

Mission:
To Deliver Unique Value

Empowered by our purpose to serve and guided by our core values, we aim to deliver unique value to our clients, partners and colleagues. We bring together employees of various specialties to steward construction projects, which cultivates collaboration and enables us to deliver our best work.

Values: Selfless,
Trustworthy & Gritty

These core values represent who we want to be. | Selfless - We support and invest in others. | Trustworthy - We are truthful with ourselves and accountable and work to be good stewards for our clients. | Gritty - We are courageous, of strong character, and are more interested in doing what is right than what is easy.

Learn More About EMJ

EMJ

Our Leadership

Chairman of the
Board of Directors

Jay Jolley

Chairman of the
Board of Directors

Jay Jolley

After graduating from Tennessee Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Jay Jolley’s tenure with EMJ began. He first served as Project Manager for six years during which he led over 35 projects. Jay was then named Vice President and was challenged alongside Burt Odom to open a new office in Dallas with the goal of building 42 grocery stores in 42 weeks. After successfully completing the challenge, Jay led the office and helped it grow its client base, project diversity and revenues to become one of the most successful construction offices in the Southwest.

After relocating back to Chattanooga, Jay assumed the role of President and oversaw all office and field operations for the Chattanooga, Boston and Dallas offices as well as corporate policies and procedures.

In 2010, Jay was named Chief Executive Officer, and in October of 2016, Jay transitioned to his current position as Chairman of the EMJ Board of Directors. As Chairman of the Board, he works with executive leadership, as well as the Board of Directors, to establish the overall strategic vision of the organization.

In his spare time, he enjoys building and flying planes and spending time with his family.

Chief Executive Officer
and President

Burt Odom

Chief Executive Officer
and President

Burt Odom

Burt Odom began his construction career when he served under EMJ founder, Edgar M. Jolley, after graduating from Auburn University. Having worked more than 30 years in various positions including as an estimator and project engineer, Burt’s unique perspective in all facets of the construction process is an asset to the entire EMJ family of companies.

Burt helped establish EMJ’s Dallas office and played a key role in growing its client base, project diversity and revenues to become one of the most successful construction offices in the southwest. Burt now serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of EMJ Corporation, his role since October 2016.

Burt’s favorite part of leading the organization is growing our talented team and inspiring them to do great things. He instills a servant leadership mentality by leading by example and is actively involved in EMJ’s mentoring program.

Burt is active in his local community and connected to the construction community nationwide. He is on the committee of International Council of Shopping Centers and attends events for the organization annually. He is on the board of Coppell Bible Fellowship and Faith Christian School’s Building Committee. He is a former Awana leader and an Associated Builders and Contractors Advisory Board Member. He lives in Coppell with his wife and enjoys spending time with his four children.

Chief Financial Officer

Steve Coughran

Chief Financial Officer

Steve Coughran

As advisor and strategic partner to Burt Odom, CEO and President, Steve leads the accounting operations of EMJ’s family of companies. He works closely with executive leadership to establish financial strategies, maximize financial performance, protect company assets, and allocate capital in alignment with the overall purpose, vision and strategy of EMJ Corporation.

Steve is a CPA and earned his M.B.A. from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He graduated with his M.S. in accountancy from the University of Denver and advanced his specialization in strategy through study at the Executive Education Program at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Before joining EMJ, Steve authored the book, Delivering Value, and founded the Coltivar Group where he counseled large and small construction clients on a broad range of services including strategy, organizational structure, financial management, and operational effectiveness.

Steve is active at his church and in the community. He has served on the Associate Council of the AGC, State Board of Directors for the green industry, as an active member of CAMPC, and as a leader in Impact Denver. He is an accomplished runner and enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

President of EMJ Construction

Jack Bowen

President of EMJ Construction

Jack Bowen

Jack leads EMJ Construction across the U.S., working closely with the Executive Vice Presidents of the Boston, Chattanooga and Dallas offices. With more than 21 years of construction experience in a variety roles, from job site superintendent to vice president of construction, Jack is an exceptional leader and problem solver. He excels at strategically marshaling teams to achieve results and provide predictable execution to EMJ’s clients.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Jack’s construction experience includes retail developments, industrial facilities, office buildings, hospitality projects, healthcare and educational facilities—including some of the largest jobs completed by EMJ.

Jack lives in Chattanooga, Tenn., with his wife and two children. In his spare time, Jack volunteers as a board member for Big Brother Big Sisters of Chattanooga.  He enjoys being involved with his church, spending time with family, traveling, deep sea fishing and reading history.

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

William Mosher

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

William Mosher

As Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction’s Dallas office, William provides day-to-day leadership and management to the Dallas-based construction teams, overseeing the operations and success of the office.

Born and raised in Dallas as part of a construction family, William has a lifetime of industry experience. Following his graduation from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1998, he joined the EMJ team and has served in various roles from project engineer to director of construction. In his 20 years of experience, he has led a variety of projects from retail developments and office spaces to hospitals and resorts, including River Spirit Casino Resort—EMJ’s largest project to date.

William and his wife of 18 years, Tyler, have four children, Grace, Hatton, Lyle and Pate. A resident of the Park Cities, he is active in his community and stays involved in the three HPISD schools at which his children attend.

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

Neil Pratt

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

Neil Pratt

Neil Pratt’s lifelong mission has been to help others reach their goals, and as Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Boston office, he takes steps toward this daily.

Neil has nearly 15 years of experience in construction and has been with EMJ Corporation since 2003. In 2015, Neil assumed the leadership role of EMJ’s Boston office, having previously led Accent Construction Services in Chattanooga. With his move to Boston, Neil hopes to “deepen roots” in the New England area and grow the Boston office’s client base.

Neil’s favorite part about working at EMJ is its entrepreneurial culture and the opportunities that are given to employees. He appreciates the collaborative spirit of EMJ and the team’s desire to “go the extra mile” for both clients and colleagues.

In Neil’s spare time, he is involved with First Thing’s First, an organization dedicated to strengthening families, where he serves as a board member. He frequently attends industry-related learning events, including those of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), to continue to grow in his profession. A graduate of Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he lives in Boston with his wife and their two children.

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

Chas Torrence

Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction

Chas Torrence

Chas oversees and directs the day-to-day operations of EMJ’s Chattanooga office. His more than 16 years of construction experience in a variety of roles, including estimator, project manager and construction manager, serve as a valuable resource to all aspects of the company’s operations.

Chas earned a bachelor’s degree in construction science and management from Clemson University, and in 2017, he was named both a Top Young Professional by Engineering News-Record and among the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Top 40 Under 40.

Chas serves on the Board of Directors for East Tennessee’s chapter of Make-a-Wish, and he is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Miracle League of Chattanooga.

General Counsel

Colby Cox

General Counsel

Colby Cox

An attorney with more than 20 years of legal and construction experience, Colby Cox joined EMJ in 2017. He provides legal counsel to EMJ and its family of companies regarding operations and risk management and advises leadership to ensure EMJ’s strategic vision aligns with its policies.

Colby graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in civil engineering, then attended law school at the University of Kansas, where he earned his Juris Doctor. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the Missouri Bar, the Kansas Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Colby is certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and has always been an active member of the community, serving as a board member of several nonprofit organizations. He lives in Southlake, Texas, where he and his wife enjoy being outdoors hiking, running and biking with his family and can also be found coaching his sons in their various sports throughout the year

Senior Vice President of People

Heather Collins

Senior Vice President of People

Heather Collins

As Senior Vice President of People, Heather works with executive leadership to implement changes that positively influence EMJ’s employee culture and resources. She provides overall leadership to departments within the corporation that directly impact EMJ’s culture, including benefits, learning and recruiting.

Heather has more than 20 years of experience in employee resources-related fields and received a Master of Arts, Training, Development and Human Resources from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Arts from Stetson University. She is a national member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and is designated as both a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Heather is a DDI-certified trainer and an accomplished speaker. She has spoken at SHRM national conventions, the Southeast HR Conference and events for the Environmental Financial Consulting Group (EFCG), Mountain States Employers Council, Great Place to Work Institute, BioWorks Memphis and SHRM-Memphis. She also served as a guest lecturer for undergraduate business classes at the Fogelman College of Business at the University of Memphis.

Heather lives in Chattanooga with her husband and three children. In her free time, she enjoys home renovation projects, walking, cooking, and sporting events, especially Florida State University football and Red Sox baseball.

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Hal Routh

Senior Vice President of Business Development

Hal Routh

Hal is responsible for all business development activities with the goal of promoting growth and revenue for EMJ’s family of companies. He manages the business development team and works closely with executive leadership to assist in meeting financial goals and executing business plans. 

With 20 years of success in sales and sales management for large private and publicly-traded commercial construction firms, Hal joined EMJ in 2016. His extensive knowledge in the real estate and construction industries combined with his experience leading the business development efforts of other large contractors make him a valuable member of our team.

Hal graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in economics and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He resides in Raleigh, N.C., and is very active in his local community, having served on the boards of Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina, The Children’s Place, Wake Middle School Club Baseball and the Raleigh Chamber Board of Advisors.  He currently serves on his church’s mission council and periodically volunteers his time on disaster relief teams. When Hal is not spending time with his wife and three children, he enjoys boating, hunting and watching the UNC basketball.  

Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Deron Smith

Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Deron Smith

Deron leads the EMJ Corporation marketing and communications team in internal and external marketing and communication strategy and business development support. 

He has 20 years of experience as a consultant and in-house communications and marketing professional. Before joining EMJ in 2015, Deron served as the National Director of Communications for the Boy Scouts of America and held positions with notable public relations firms Edelman, Publicis Dialog and The Gooden Group.

He is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in oral communications and public relations. Deron is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his family and serving his church.