Thursday, April 19, 2018

EMJ commemorates 50 years with anniversary meeting

EMJ commemorated 50 years of service with a celebration and meeting for the entire family of companies last week. Employees of the EMJ family of companies gathered at the Gaylord Texan Resort, where the festivities began with an evening of dinner, games, photos and prizes.

On Thursday morning, the team gathered for a brief review of EMJ’s history with Jay Jolley, Chairman of the Board of Directors. He shared memories of his father and company founder, Edgar M. Jolley, and reflected on the ways in which the organization has grown and evolved, and the many ways it has stayed true to its roots.


Jay Jolley

Jay Jolley, Chairman of the Board of Directors, speaks to employees in front of a photo of his father, EMJ founder Edgar M. Jolley, and grandfather.


Jay also introduced EMJ Corporation: The First 50 Years, a book developed to commemorate the company’s history. (Read excerpts from the the book here and here.)
Next, CEO and President Burt Odom shared plans for EMJ’s next 50 years, with an overview of short and long-term goals for the organization.



He thanked employees for their hard work and service, saying, “The future looks bright for EMJ, and it is because of the people in this room. Each one of you are the reason I get to stand here today—celebrating 50 years of EMJ and 35 years as an employee. Because of the work you do day-in and day-out.”

Employees then divided into three groups for inspiring and informative breakout sessions about EMJ’s Client Experience, Safety Training and Engaging Employees.


Steve Coughran leads the team in a discussion about EMJ’s client experience.


CORE Safety‘s Scott Lydick shares common OSHA violations on job sites and how to prevent and resolve them.


After lunch, Odom invited leaders from each business unit to share the latest developments, new projects and goals for their offices. EMJ employees were also able to ask various questions about the state of the company, future plans and more during a Q&A session with company leaders.



Finally, the Best of the Best Superintendent, Years of Service Awards, and Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence were presented. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented annually in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project.


CORE Safety’s Jorge Torres presents EMJ Construction’s Ray Alamo with the “Best of the Best Superintendent” award.

Thursday evening, employees gathered at the Glass Cactus for dinner and entertainment. Jay Jolley toasted to employees, saying how proud his father would be to see how far EMJ has come from a Chattanooga-based firm serving one client to an international, billion-dollar family of companies.

On Friday morning, employees returned for the meeting’s conclusion: breakfast and an inspiring address by Clint Bruce, former NFL linebacker and Navy SEAL about the importance of never quitting, being part of a “tribe,” and what it means to be “elite.”



Burt Odom closed the meeting by challenging employees to live EMJ’s purpose—starting now. “Understand that people serving people means asking, but also sometimes to just listen. Be the people who care more about others than themselves.”
EMJ is proud of how far we have come since 1968.  Thank you to our clients, partners and colleagues who have been a part of the company’s rich history, and here’s to the next 50 years!

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