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.

Navigating Uncharted Territory

Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation, shares some thoughts about navigating uncharted territory.

Burt Odom

I think it goes without saying, but we’re all feeling a little uneasy right now. That is understandable.

I want you to know that we are monitoring the situation with the Coronavirus and how it affects the health and safety of our people, and our projects. I’m thankful for the leadership I’m seeing as we adjust to the situation.

As we navigate this issue, I want to share some thoughts that are top of mind:

This too shall pass. The following days and weeks will be inconvenient, but a lot of smart people are taking measures to lessen the impact of this virus.

This is the time to serve people. To EMJ this includes our clients, but more broadly, your communities in general. Find some people around you in need and help them. And please, whatever you do, don’t stockpile toilet paper.

This is the time to be gritty. Being gritty means we are courageous and of strong character. Remember, challenges provide the fire which tempers the steel.

We are in uncharted territory and uncertain about what will happen in the coming days. But, I’m reminded of this quote from St. Joan of Arc, “Go forward bravely. Fear nothing. Trust in God, all will be well.” Onward!

Psalm 46, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Burt Odom is President and CEO of EMJ Corporation.

 

People on the Move: Tina Brogdon

Tina Brogdon has been promoted to Project Coordinator. She works in the EMJ Construction office in Chattanooga.

This upcoming September will mark Tina’s 15th year with EMJ and in the construction world.

“Tina has always been a key part of the success of the Chattanooga Admin Department and I know she is ready to take on the challenge of her new role as Project Coordinator,” said Andrea Boatman, Office Manager of the Chattanooga office. She has a passion to help those around her and will do whatever she can to make EMJ successful.  Tina will use the vast knowledge she has acquired during her 15 years at EMJ to help make the Project Coordinator a vital part of the Project Team.

“My favorite part of construction is getting to see the pieces come together as something is built. I love to watch that process,” says Tina.

When Tina isn’t working, she loves to sew, read, participate in community theater and be a ‘Volunteer Cuddler’ in the NICU at Hamilton Medical Center. However, her favorite pastime is playing with her grandkids.

Congratulations, Tina!

People on the Move: Priscilla Harrell

Priscilla Harrell has been promoted to Project Coordinator. She works in the EMJ Construction office in Chattanooga.

Priscilla has been with EMJ for over six years. Prior to working at EMJ and in the construction world, she worked for the Marine Corps and Air Force in Georgia, Florida, and Ohio as a Department of Defense civilian, holding many different positions.

“Priscilla loves to learn new things and has always shown interest in learning all she can about the construction business and how she can put her skills to work to help those she supports. The Project Coordinator role will be a perfect fit for her,” said Andrea Boatman, Office Manager of the Chattanooga office. “Priscilla is always ready to go above and beyond to help in any way she can. I am excited to see her get the opportunity to use her talent and skills in her new position.”

“I love being in Chattanooga, and I love that in construction there’s something new to learn every day,” says Priscilla.

In her spare time, Priscilla likes to read and listen to music.

Congratulations, Priscilla!

EMJ to Build The Gateway in El Paso

EMJ is proud to work alongside Prestige Development Group and O’Brien Architects on The Gateway — a  550,000-square-foot mixed-use center in El Paso, Texas.


EMJ is proud to work alongside Prestige Development Group and O’Brien Architects on The Gateway — a  550,000-square-foot mixed-use center in El Paso, Texas that will include retail shops, restaurants, office space, apartments and two hotels.

“EMJ Construction is excited to partner with Prestige and O’Brien on a project of such great magnitude, both in size and impact, for the El Paso community,” says William Mosher, EVP of EMJ Construction, Dallas.

Prestige Development purchased and began demolition on the former liquid petroleum gas storage and dispensing site back in May in order to make way for the new 20-acre mixed-use center.

“I drove by there and saw the property for sale about two years ago, and it just worked out,” said Michael Dixson, President of Prestige Development Group. “This is probably the top piece of (commercial) real estate in El Paso because it’s in the heart of city.”

Check out these articles to learn more about this exciting project:

https://kfoxtv.com/news/local/new-business-development-could-impact-el-paso-hotel-industry

https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/money/business/2019/10/22/multimillion-dollar-mixed-use-center-planned-for-cielo-vista-area-in-el-paso/4024012002/

https://www.virtualbx.com/feature-story/el-paso-goodbye-obsolete-liquid-gas-storage-site-hello-new-shopping-center/

Auburn University Hosts Construction Career Camps

EMJ Construction is a proud supporter of the Auburn University’s McWhorter School of Building Science. This summer, the school will host two, week-long programs for young people in high school to participate in construction career camps. The opportunities include:

Construction Management Academy for Young Women, June 9-13

The Construction Management Summer Academy for Young Women is a program geared toward rising 11th – 12th grade female students interested in learning about the exciting and diverse career opportunities available in construction management. Applications are due by April 1. Click here for more information and to register for this camp.

Building Construction Camp, June 21-26

The Building Construction camp hosted by the Auburn University McWhorter School of Building Science is a week-long program geared toward rising 11th – 12th grade students interested in the field of Construction Management. Click here for more information and to register for this camp.

If you have questions or need additional information please visit here.

EMJ Serves the North Texas Community

Employees from the EMJ Construction Dallas office spent the afternoon serving at the North Texas Food Bank, a Dallas nonprofit hunger relief organization that distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods. The food bank supports the nutritional needs of children, families and seniors through education, advocacy and strategic partnerships, providing access to more than 200,000 meals each day for hungry children, seniors and families across a 13-county service area.

The Dallas team rolled up their sleeves and dedicated their time there to packing boxes for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which works to improve the health of low-income persons at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA Foods. By the end of the shift, the team filled nine pallets with 432 boxes that will provide 11,050 meals.

“I am grateful to work at a place like EMJ that truly values service and encourages us to spend time giving back to our community. It was both refreshing and energizing to get to serve alongside my fellow employees, knowing that we were making a positive impact on so many people in our community,” said Jacob Wadlington, Vice President of Business Development, EMJ Construction Dallas.

This is the third consecutive year that EMJ has partnered with the North Texas Food Bank in the ongoing pursuit of closing the gap on hunger in North Texas, allowing our employees to live out EMJ’s purpose to be people serving people. Visit North Texas Food Bank’s website to learn more about the organization and the work they are doing.

Main Event Opens Newest DFW Location in Grand Prairie

Main Event, one of the fastest growing, most innovative dining and entertainment companies in the country, officially opened its seventh Dallas-Fort Worth area location on Sunday, January 26 in Grand Prairie, Texas.

To celebrate their grand opening week, Main Event had a week full of one-of-a-kind experiences such as a laser tag giveaway, cash claw challenge, free games for a year, and even the change to one $100,000.

Dallas-Fort Worth is our home, it’s where the idea of Main Event originated, so it seemed more than appropriate for us to pull out all the stops in opening our seventh location in the area,” said Sarah Beddoe, Chief Brand Officer, Main Event. “We are so proud to offer such a unique experience, and to display it in such grand fashion in Grand Prairie. We couldn’t be prouder to officially be part of the Grand Prairie community and to grow our footprint and impact in the DFW market.”

The EMJ Construction team and their families got to experience all the fun firsthand during the soft grand opening of the Main Event Grand Prairie on Friday, January 24, where they bowled, sampled a select menu, conquered the high ropes, and competed in laser tag.

“Our EMJ team enjoyed getting to celebrate a successful grand opening,” said Matt Connors, Senior Project Manager at EMJ Construction. “It’s very rewarding to work so hard alongside such a great client like Main Event and then get to share the finished product with friends and family.”

Built by EMJ Construction, Main Event Grand Prairie offers 22 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, each with unique technology and luxury seating, multi-level laser tag, high-flying gravity ropes and zip line, billiards, shuffleboard and a games gallery featuring more than 100 of the latest interactive and the most virtual reality games.  In addition to the 50,000 square feet of fun, the ultimate entertainment destination offers a full kitchen dining experience and handcrafted cocktails in a high-energy sports bar surrounded by big screen TVs.

Visit Main Event‘s site to learn more about “the most fun you can have under one roof”. Click here to read about EMJ’s work on the project.

EMJ Team Members from left to right: Cody Crissman, Field Staff; Kathryn Mueller, Project Engineer; Shaunese Farris, Contract Expeditor; Jacob Wadlington, VP of Business Development; Faith Crissman, Bid Coordinator; Andrew Lackey, Preconstruction Manager; Matt Connors, Senior Project Manager; Phil Crissman, Senior Superintendent

 

EMJ Construction Gears Up for Spring Career Fairs

EMJ Construction will be attending multiple career fairs this spring, looking to add talented Interns, Co-Ops, and graduating Project Engineers to both the Dallas and Chattanooga offices. Information for each of the three events and locations can be found below.

 

The first career fair in the line-up is the Spring 2020 BSCI Career Fair and Interview Day at Auburn University on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Harbert Family Recruiting Center at Jordan-Hare Stadium. This event is sponsored by the College of Architecture, Design and Construction Building Science and will take place from 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Interview Day will take place the following morning on Thursday, February 13, 2020 (also at the Harbert Family Recruiting Center at Jordan-Hare Stadium ) from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.

 

Texas A&M University will be the next stop for the Spring 2020 CIAC Career Fair on Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Brazos County Exposition Complex, 5827 Leonard Road, Bryan, located approximately 7 miles Northwest of campus. Interviews will take place following lunch that afternoon from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. The Department of Construction Science conducts this career fair, exclusive to CIAC members, which is the largest department level career fair on the Texas A&M campus.

 

EMJ’s third and final stop on the career fair trail will be at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) for the EMCS Spring Career fair on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. This event will be on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Engineering, Math and Computer Science Building (EMCS) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Check out our website to learn more about what it’s like to work at EMJ, and be sure to stop by to learn about your new career!

EMJ Leads Construction Work on Hamilton Place Mall Renovation

Hamilton Place Mall, Chattanooga, TN (1987)

 

In 1968, CBL Properties was EMJ Construction’s first client. In 1987, we were proud to help the company construct Chattanooga’s Hamilton Place Mall. Today, we’re  honored to lead the construction work on CBL’s renovation of this local landmark. The Chattanooga Times Free Press toured the mall and sat down with Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of CBL Properties, who shared the following detailed progress of the mall:

New mall development is focused on offering experiences and services over the things shoppers can carry out of a store, with restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues playing a key role.

Thirty years after Hamilton Place mall opened, the age of the mega-mall anchored by department stores and surrounded by ring roads is at an end, Lebovitz said. The redevelopment of the space around Sears will have an outdoor focus, favoring sidewalks, lighting and landscaping over stark expanses of asphalt.

Multiple businesses will fill the 145,000 square feet that once housed Sears, which is 65%-70% leased. Next door, the new Aloft expected to open in early 2021 will have a rooftop bar and a Mean Mug coffeehouse on the ground floor.

Mitch Patel, president and CEO of Vision Hospitality Group, expects the hotel to become a draw for locals as well as out-of-town guests.

“It isn’t downtown or the river, but it is a pretty nice view when you get 75 or 80 feet in the air,” he said during a tour of the site on Tuesday. Reinvention is a challenging process, but it’s one that comes with significant potential, Lebovitz said.

More than 40 anchor stores in the CBL portfolio of properties have closed, but their replacements will move the properties and the company in a stronger direction, he said.

“CBL is an innovative retail real-estate company, developing some of the finest retail shopping centers in the U.S.,” said Chas Torrence, EVP, EMJ Construction. “EMJ had the privilege of helping CBL construct the Hamilton Place Mall in 1987. Working on this renovation project feels like we’ve come full circle. We’re excited to see it remain a hallmark of our community for generations to come.”

Read the full story or learn more about The Hamilton Place Mall.

Chattanooga Times Free Press photo by Erin O. Smith / Construction is underway across from CBL Headquarters at Hamilton Place mall in front of what was formerly Sears Thursday, January 9, 2020, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 

Chattanooga Times Free Press photo by C.B. Schmelter / Work continues inside an unleased space at Hamilton Place Mall on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Anchoring the renovated spaces are Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dave & Buster’s. The Dick’s Sporting Goods and Dave & Buster’s are both scheduled to open in March.