Aerial Footage of H-E-B in Kerrville, Texas

Check out this arial footage of the work at H-E-B in Kerrville, Texas.

Check out this aerial footage of the work at H-E-B in Kerrville, Texas. Upon completion, this new store will replace the #1 store built. EMJ is proud to partner with H-E-B, a leader not only in U.S. grocery retail.

 

 

Quarantine Cookbook Is A Recipe to Stay Connected

Quarantine cookbook is an example of resiliency and determination to remain human, and in contact, while we transition to a digital work environment.

The Dallas preconstruction team conducts its daily meeting.

 

These past few months have been interesting, to say the least. While EMJ Construction was deemed an essential business, and our field teams continued to work on projects, in mid-March the office-based teams started working from home.

While the work transition was seamless, thanks to Microsoft Teams meetings, it took some time to adjust to not seeing teammates in the office. To help feel better connected, the Dallas Preconstruction team had daily touch point meetings with a special theme every Wednesday.

The first Wednesday each member of the team wore a hat and explained its meaning. That’s when Drew Halsey, Vice President of Preconstruction, had an idea – a cookbook. “I was looking for something different to talk about. We wanted something to get people involved and interacting in a personal way,” said Halsey. “We’re all spending time at home and I thought it’d be great to see what everyone is cooking during the quarantine.”

Martin Briggs, Dallas preconstruction.

 

That led to a call for entries sent to Martin Briggs, Assistant Preconstruction Manager, who assembled “Cooking in the Time of Crisis,” EMJ’s own version of a “Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book.” Some of the recipes are serious and others tongue-in-cheek with little golden nuggets of humor sprinkled throughout. Here are some highlights:

321 Rib Method, submitted by Drew Halsey

I firmly believe that you should cook food the way you like it, and ribs are no different! You like your ribs saucy? Put some extra sauce on them (I like using my Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce)! You like your ribs falling off the bone? Follow this 3 2 1 Rib Method. These are your ribs after all. Don’t you let the man get you down. Just don’t.

A Starkes Family Lunch, submitted by Keith Starkes

1. Middle child yells at you during conference call because “they are starving.”
2. Commence with making lunch.
3. Assemble ingredients. Oldest child: make ham sandwich with ham, cheese, ranch, pickles.
4. Yell at kids to get out of pantry: “Can’t you see that I am making you lunch?”
5. Resume step 3.

Quick 1 Minute Oats, submitted by Suzanna Trent

1. Boil water or milk and salt.
2. Stir in oats.
3. Cook about 1 minute over medium heat; stir occasionally.

World Famous Homemade Buttermilk Ranch, submitted by Chris Ross

What You Need:

½ cup whole fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing BUTTERMILK mix
Can always add more if needed
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Paprika (to taste)
1/8 cup of celery salt

Steps
1. Mix All together. Eat with anything because ranch goes with everything.

While the cookbook will not be featured on any of your favorite cooking shows, and we can’t vouch for any of the recipes, it did accomplish its mission – to bring levity and camaraderie to a heavy and potentially isolating situation.

“I have been so proud of my team and how they’ve responded to this unbelievably challenging time,” said Keith Starkes, Vice President of Preconstruction, Dallas. “They didn’t miss a beat. This is just one of many examples of resiliency and determination to remain human, and in contact, while we transition to a digital work environment.”

The cookbook is not available on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore, but you can download here.

 

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

 

Servant Leadership in Action

On Sunday, April 10, a deadly tornado with winds as high as 145 mph slammed into eastern Chattanooga, damaging many homes and leaving a wide swath of destruction.

The storm hit the homes of several EMJ Construction employees and family members, including the neighborhood of Nestor Praniuk, Superintendent, EMJ Construction.

Nestor quietly took a couple days off work, borrowed a tractor from a friend and, together, they went around the neighborhood cleaning up trees and debris for people who needed help.

“This wasn’t something Nestor broadcast, or even discussed, but others noticed,” said Chas Torrence, EVP, EMJ Construction. “Our purpose is to be people serving people, but we don’t always see it in action. For Nestor and his friends to do this amid the Coronavirus pandemic is a perfect example of what we mean.”

A few weeks ago we shared this blog about Mr. Rogers, who famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

We are thankful for people like Nestor and all the other helpers out there who see a need and step forward.

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.