A Letter to Our Superintendents

Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation, encourages us to stay in touch with each other and to be strong and not give up.

 

The following is a note from Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation, to our Superintendents.

 

Supers,

When 2020 started I sure didn’t expect a global pandemic. I imagine it will be some time before we realize its true impact and how it has improved us. But, I can tell you this, it has made me more steadfast in my appreciation for you.

Every organization has a core group of people that make it run – the business end of the company. In the medical industry it’s nurses and technicians. In the military it’s the enlisted men and women. And, in construction it’s you, often referred to as “the field,” which is an inadequate term because it doesn’t fully describe what you do or the importance of your role.

You are the ones away from your families, you are the ones who face the weather to move dirt and rocks, pour concrete, erect steel, hang drywall, bring power to buildings, and give life to our clients’ visions.

During this pandemic you have met trials of various kinds and you have risen to the occasion. I realize how insufficient it sounds, but I want to once again say thank you. I’m proud of you for your grit and determination. You are the spirit of EMJ Construction.

Because of you and your steadfastness, I know that we’re going to emerge from this faster, stronger, and better.

With Admiration,

Burt

 

EMJ Leaders Discuss Construction During COVID-19 Crisis

River Rock, Chattanooga, TN.

 

Recently, Mike Pare with The Chattanooga Times Free Press took a look at the state of Construction amid the Coronavirus pandemic. The paper spoke with the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee and other leaders in the industry.

Jack Bowen, President, EMJ Construction, and Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation, took time to share their thoughts about the industry and the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The following is an excerpt:

Burt Odom, CEO of Chattanooga-based builder EMJ Corp., said the company continues to work, including locally at the River Rock mixed-use development downtown that will be one of the biggest-ever new housing and commercial complexes in the riverfront area.

“Our top priority is the health and well-being of our people,” Odom said. “We’re following all national, state and local mandates.”

Jack Bowen, president of EMJ subsidiary EMJ Construction, said the company has taken a lot of new safety steps, such as suspending all mass transit travel, including on airlines. On the job sites, EMJ has implemented just one entry point per project, set up hand washing stations, prohibited meetings in trailers and upgraded cleaning requirements, he said.

The construction industry is key to the vitality of the economy and helps people “maintain a glimmer of hope that it’s not as terrible as it may seem,” Bowen said.

Odom said it’s hard to say what the future will hold.

“We’re living in a day-to-day world,” he said. “Is this something we see over in three months or six months? We’re not sure. We’ve got to honor what state and local mandates say.”

To read the full story, visit: Construction continues during COVID-19 pandemic in Chattanooga. 

Be Strong and Do Not Give Up

Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation, encourages us to stay in touch with each other and to be strong and not give up.

Burt Odom

These are strange times! Although we live in a world that’s more connected than ever, you may be feeling isolated and have some level of fear. Whether you’re working from home or working on a job site, it’s easy to feel alone and trapped. It has caused me to reflect on how much I appreciate and enjoy working with such a great group of people. I do miss seeing all of you!

During these times, like so many of you, I often rely on Biblical principles to shape my world view. Recently, I was reading 2 Chronicles 15:7. Contextually, this was a time of restoration for the people of Judah. A prophet tells the King, despite their troubling times, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” As I read that verse there were three things that stuck out to me about our current situation:

Our challenges are not unique to us. Isolation comes by believing that you are going through something no one has ever faced. While the details specific to the Coronavirus may have never happened before, every generation before us has faced major issues. We are not alone. “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Our challenges are relatively minor. I’m not dismissing our situation, or the severity of the illness. But, think about those who fought foreign wars, lived through The Great Depression, or even survived the Civil War. On balance, I’m thankful for the time and place in which we live. “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Our challenges will change the future. Not many of us like change because it moves us out of our comfort zone. We need to embrace that our life will be changed by this experience, but I’m willing to bet it will put a clear focus on what really matters in life. “Be strong and do not give up for your work will be rewarded.”

I want to thank each of you for your continued hard work during a difficult time. I especially want to thank our field staff that continues to be away from home, keeping our projects and company moving. I would encourage all of you to remember we are not alone in this and to stay in touch with each other. More than ever we all need to be “People Serving People”.

During these strange times, “Be strong and do no give up, for your work will be rewarded!” Onward!

Burt Odom is President and CEO of EMJ Corporation.