Tranquillity 8 Solar named Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project.

 

Tranquillity 8 Solar - Fresno County CA

In this five-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Outstanding Project recipients and why they were selected for these awards. Directors and Vice Presidents of the corporation nominate for Outstanding Project, which is given to a project team that delivered an exceptional client experience, added value, overcame challenges, demonstrated exemplary planning and execution, and built client relationships.

This year, EMJ recognized five projects with this award:

Signal Mill, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tranquillity 8 Solar, Fresno County, Calif.
West Towne Marketplace, El Paso, Texas
Market City Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wegmans, Medford, Mass.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight each project and the team that brought it to life on the blog. This week, we’re featuring Signal Energy Constructor’s Tranquillity 8.

Tranquillity 8 is a solar power project in Fresno County, Calif., on 1,900 acres that produces enough clean energy to power approximately 50,000 homes. Signal Energy Constructors, a renewable energy contractor within EMJ Corporation, delivered this turn-key, design-build project in late 2017, performing all engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).

The team repeatedly overcame major obstacles ranging from unusually heavy California rains to last-minute design revisions by crafting intelligent, workable solutions and executing them energetically and aggressively to meet critical milestones.

One issue the team tackled was a two-month delay in the inverter skids delivery. The Signal team immediately convened a meeting of all disciplines to get ideas on how to proceed, then held daily follow-up sessions until a workable solution had been decided, vetted and implemented.

Tranquillity 8 Solar - Fresno County CA

The project team’s strong working relationships with the Fresno County authorities and lessons learned from previous experience on the neighboring Tranquillity “1” project helped the team foresee obstacles and proactively resolve them, thus expediting the project’s delivery and enabling the team to overcome these schedule challenges.

A testament to this proactive approach is the project’s excellent safety record.  With over 575,000 hours worked, there was only one minor recordable incident.

“This safety record is the result of both good training and smart incident management,” said Chad Dueker, Director of Projects, Signal Energy. “But more than that, it is the result of on-site leadership that genuinely cares about people and doggedly insists on adherence to safe work practices day in and day out.”

“Even before the project began, the team laid the groundwork for constructive relationships among our team and subcontractor teams on-site by sponsoring a full-day ALLSAFE conference to cultivate a high degree of mutual trust and interdependence,” continued Chad.

The Signal team’s exceptional work ensured that the project remained on schedule despite these challenges, earned the customer’s gratitude and devotion, and led to the team’s Jolley award.

As the customer stated in December 2017, “Signal has set the bar very high at Tranquillity 8. This kind of performance is going to be difficult to improve on.”

Congratulations to all members of the Tranquillity 8 team:

Terry Dill, Safety Superintendent
Bob Elliott, Project Manager
Tanner Knauth, Sr. Procurement Specialist
Marc Lawrence, Assistant Construction Manager
Steve Van Langen, Superintendent
Bill Manuel, Site Quality Manager
Alex Martinez, Commissioning Manager
Michael McDonald, Project Engineer
Tyler Phipps, Preconstruction Manager
Jennifer Scoggins, Sr. Project Engineer
Audra Smith, Scheduler
Alex Torres, Superintendent

Related story:

Signal Mill named among 2017’s Outstanding Projects

EMJ employees honored for servant leadership

The Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence recognize exceptional work within the EMJ family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. This is the second in a seven-part blog series about the 2018 Jolley recipients.

 

At EMJ, a servant leader is defined as someone who leads by example, inspires and serves others, and exhibits EMJ’s core values by being trustworthy, selfless and gritty. These five employees received the peer-nominated Jolley for Outstanding Servant Leadership for their desire to put others first, lead by example, and inspire, support, train and invest in their peers.

 

Dueker (right), received the award at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting from Signal Energy Executive Vice President Julian Bell.

Chad Dueker, Director of Projects for Signal Energy, exhibits servant leadership in all that he does. He is very trustworthy, gaining the respect and loyalty of anyone with whom he works.

Recently promoted to a senior position, Chad makes the time to help his teams become better, whether it’s through a call or an on-site visit. Chad has always gone above and beyond his role to assist others that may be struggling or just need an honest, outside opinion.

His nominator summed up his personality in this closing statement: “I can’t say enough good things about the kind of person that Chad is. He has been a mentor to Project Engineers, Construction Managers, Superintendents, and his peers, and his selflessness is second to none.”

 

Lance Lindsey (right), received the award at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting from Jack Bowen, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Chattanooga.

Lance Lindsey, Lead Superintendent in EMJ’s Chattanooga office, sets an example for his team by helping in any way that he can and going above and beyond to make others successful. He truly exhibits selflessness when leading his team on every job.

In addition, he serves clients daily by following through and completing tasks efficiently and correctly every time.

His nominator wrote,
“Lance is a very good listener, and is probably the best superintendent I have ever worked with. I am very fortunate to have been able to work under and learn from him.”

 

 

 

Mathews (right), received the award at the 50th anniversary meeting from Ray Catlin, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Dallas.

Joe Mathews, Warranty Manager, has worked for EMJ Construction Dallas for more than 20 years. He is always willing to help others and serves with a joyful heart. Whether the task at hand is overwhelming or menial, he is always the first one to volunteer to help with a smile.

He welcomes new hires, teaching them the ropes of the office and making them feel at home from day one.

He is selfless, putting others first, whether he is faced with a crisis of his own; gritty, pushing through challenges and maintaining a positive attitude; and trustworthy, keeping his promises and doing the right thing.

 

 

Mitchell (right), received the award at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting from Chris Hall, President of Equitas Management Group.

Jason Mitchell serves in a dual role as Real Estate Coordinator and Office Manager for Equitas Management Group. Both roles have high demands, but he makes it look easy.

He serves those around him “quietly and dependably,” willingly accepting any requested challenge, while also taking initiative. His cheerful, positive attitude makes everyone around him feel valued and important.

His nominator wrote, “Jason is the kind of person that over-delivers, no matter what is asked of him, and the results are always thorough, thoughtful and polished. His spirit of genuine humility is an intrinsic part of who he is, which makes his brand of servant leadership especially inspirational to those of us who work alongside him every day.”

 

Whitmire-Reno received the award at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting from Chief Financial Officer Chuck McGlothlen.

Chelle Whitmire-Reno, Payroll Analyst in EMJ’s Chattanooga office, works tirelessly to ensure all aspects of payroll are correct, from time off to time sheets to expenses. Though always busy, she is upbeat, friendly and approachable.

Throughout the year, the accounting department went through several changes, and Chelle did a great job taking on more responsibilities in order to keep EMJ’s payroll up and running. Chelle is smart and passionate about her role. She takes her responsibilities seriously as she works selflessly to accomplish her work.

Her nominators wrote, “I interact with Chelle nearly every day, and she is a delight to work with. She is very hard-working and deserving of this award. Every few weeks I hear at least one person on my team say out loud, ‘Chelle is the best!’”

 

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2018 Jolley for Outstanding Servant Leadership. To learn more about what it’s like to work at EMJ, click here.

 

Related story:

https://www.emjcorp.com/employee-news/employees-awarded-jolley-for-outstanding-performance-50th-anniversary/

Signal Mill named among 2017’s Outstanding Projects

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project.

 

In this five-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Outstanding Project recipients and why they were selected for these awards. Directors and Vice Presidents of the corporation nominate for Outstanding Project, which is given to a project team that delivered an exceptional client experience, added value, overcame challenges, demonstrated exemplary planning and execution, and built client relationships.

This year, EMJ recognized five projects with this award:

Signal Mill, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Tranquillity 8 Solar, Fresno County, Calif.
West Towne Marketplace, El Paso, Texas
Market City Center, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wegmans, Medford, Mass.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight each project and the team that brought it to life on the blog. This week, we’re featuring EMJ Construction Special Project’s historic renovation at Signal Mill.

Originally constructed in 1916 as a textile manufacturing facility, Signal Mill is a two-and-a-half-story, 34,560-square-foot structure in Chattanooga’s sought-after North Shore District.

EMJ Construction Special Projects partnered with North Shore Project, LLC, the Woodbery Group and Hefferlin & Kronenberg Architects to renovate the building in 2016. In 2017, the high-end, mixed-use development opened to the public, featuring space for boutiques, specialty food shops and offices as well as Edley’s restaurant at the opposite end from a second restaurant, Food Works, which remained in operation during the renovation.

Together, the team navigated and overcame challenges including weather delays, considerations for an operating tenant, late changes to finishes, and tight deadlines to complete a beautiful historic renovation.

“Our team kept the client relationship and the client’s goals at the forefront throughout the duration of the project,” said Chas Torrence, Executive Vice President, EMJ Construction Special Projects. “They effectively collaborated with the engineers, architect and owner to resolve conflicts and keep the project moving with a keen eye for quality and long-term maintainability.”

The resulting client experience has opened the door for EMJ to perform work for this client in other cities across the Southeast.

Congratulations to the Signal Mill team from EMJ Construction Special Projects:

Gabe Thompson, Director of Construction
Matthew Schaller, Project Manager
Bert Carden, Superintendent II

signal mill

Pictured, from left to right, are Gabe Thompson, Bert Carden, Matthew Schaller and Chas Torrence.

 

Employees honored for Outstanding Performance

The Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence recognize exceptional work within the EMJ family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. This is the first in a seven-part blog series about the 2018 Jolley recipients. 

 

The peer-nominated Jolley for Outstanding Performance is awarded to employees who go above and beyond in their roles by expanding their range of responsibility, developing junior team members, demonstrating initiative and creativity in tackling challenges and building relationships with clients.

Congratulations to the following high-caliber employees who were honored with the Jolley for Outstanding Performance:

Kile was presented the award at the annual meeting by Jack Bowen, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Chattanooga.

As a Warranty Manager at EMJ Construction Chattanooga, Billy Kile’s work ethic, adaptability and dedication to mentoring put him in this year’s outstanding performance category.

Described as a “team player” and a “very valuable asset” by his nominator, Billy goes above and beyond to get any task done, regardless of whether it falls under his job responsibilities.

He serves those around him, building trusting relationships with architects and subcontractors, while guiding them to bring value to our clients. He guides subcontractors to ensure our finished products are strong representations of the corporation. He is diligent and efficient, following up with a variety of team members to ensure that everyone is accountable and any outstanding issues are resolved.

His nominator writes, “If anyone I have worked with this year deserves this award, it would definitely be Billy Kile. I was very fortunate to get to work with him and learned a lot.”

 

Totzke (right), shown with Jack Bowen, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Chattanooga.

Steve Totzke, Project Manager in EMJ Construction’s Chattanooga office, serves clients and those around him by continually going above and beyond on any task. He simultaneously worked on three Lidl stores last year, and is completely dedicated to his work—even taking work-related calls as late as midnight to instill trust with the client.

He puts forth continuous effort to represent EMJ positively through his work ethic and service-minded attitude. Steve’s nominator wrote, “The relationship that Steve has built with Lidl is a strong one, and I’ve seen firsthand how much they respect, trust, and like Steve. He is able to communicate with people in a way that specific to the individual, and is always very in-tune with the client’s wants and needs.”

Steve’s nominator also wrote about his dedication to growing his employees, saying he has “put forth more time and effort into my career development than anyone I’ve ever met. He consistently looks for learning opportunities for me and challenges me on a regular basis.”

Lastly, Steve dives head-first into challenges, learning new techniques and training others in valuable skills. He is “always there for his team, and will not shy away from any issue— regardless of how messy.”

 

Pfeiffer, shown with Jack Bowen, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Chattanooga.

Anita Pfeiffer, Project Manager, EMJ Construction Chattanooga, regularly goes beyond her role to ensure that her team is successful on every project. She moved from Tulsa to Chattanooga midway through 2017, and jumped into what her nominator called a “very complicated project,” but “she did not let these challenges get her down or impact her attitude.”

Anita took a strained relationship and turned it around by dedicating herself to the client and guiding her team to create an experience rich with unique value.

Her forward-thinking leadership helps her team plan ahead and she leverages various team members’ skills to ensure success. She inspires her team with her consistently positive attitude and encourages them to do their best work by example.

 

Praniuk (right), was presented the award at the annual meeting by Chas Torrence, Executive Vice President of EMJ Construction Special Projects.

Nestor Praniuk, Superintendent for EMJ Special Projects, managed the construction team on the Public Defenders of Tennessee offices last year. He received a request from the client to cut the construction schedule by 25%, took ownership of the task, and put the effort in with his team to get the job completely early.

Through this, he has served EMJ by “developing a relationship with the owner of his project like no one else has been able to in the past. The owner has given EMJ repeat business and will not accept any other superintendent to lead his jobs except for Nestor.”

Nestor always has a positive attitude and leads his team by example. His nominator writes, “Even on a hard project for the sub-contractors, the attitude and energy of the job site is always high and positive. Nestor rewards good work and makes the job site a place where people enjoy working.”

Lastly, Nestor has exceeded expectations of the client and his team and has become a better superintendent doing so. His recent performance has increased his value and the value of those he has led throughout the job.

Congratulations to all recipients of the Jolley for Outstanding Performance!

 

EMJ’s 10 most-read blogs of 2017

EMJ published more than 80 stories on EMJCorp.com in 2017. In celebration of the new year, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most-read blogs of the year. Check out these popular stories, and visit our What’s New page for more news.

1. Great construction superintendent
While this blog was published in late 2016, it continues to  be discovered and read online. Pulling in more than 1,100 readers in 2017 through Google searches alone, this blog remains a fixture among EMJ’s most-read blogs.

5 qualities of a great construction superintendent

2. Branch Technology & a 3D-printed house
Published just a few weeks ago, this popular story already ranks number two in readership. As construction of this groundbreaking project gets underway in 2018, this is sure to remain a hot topic.

EMJ, Branch to build the world’s first 3D-printed house

3. EMJ ranks #69 among Top Contractors
Engineering News-Record ranked EMJ #69 among its Top 400 Contractors in 2017, and the news traveled fast across social media and our website.

EMJ ranks #69 on ENR’s list of Top 400 Contractors

4. Outstanding employee performance
Our blog recognizing the top performing EMJ employees of 2016 has been read far and wide by proud families, friends, colleagues and many more.

Employees awarded Jolley for Outstanding Performance

5. Market City Center opens
The opening of Market City Center, a 10-story, mixed-use development in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., garnered a lot of interest on our website. The project was the tallest building to be built in Chattanooga in several years, and the efficient and well executed project was a big story in the scenic city.

Market City Center opens in Chattanooga

6. Burt Odom on servant leadership
Tying in to our company purpose, to be people serving people, EMJ CEO and President Burt Odom discussed leadership with CityScope Magazine, expressing what he believes it takes to be a great leader and how a company develops leaders.

Burt Odom: ‘Great leaders are servant leaders’

7. Ruby Falls expansion
EMJ began work on an expansion of Ruby Falls, a popular tourist attraction in Chattanooga in Spring of 2017. Since then the team has been slowly excavating rock from the side of Lookout Mountain, Tenn., to make way for the additional facilities. It’s no surprise this blog has been well read, considering the uniqueness of this project.

EMJ to begin construction on Ruby Falls expansion

8. What to look for in a construction job
EMJ’s recruiting team worked with our writers to develop this fun blog, outlining what those seeking a job in the construction field should look for in their next employer.

6 things to look for in a construction company

9. The debut of EMJ Special Projects
Accent Construction was rebranded as EMJ Special Projects in late Spring of 2017. This news traveled fast and received a lot of attention online and on social media.

Accent Construction is now EMJ Special Projects

10. Guiding construction technology
Jonathan Deming, EMJ Director of Construction Technology and BIM, was featured on the blog in May. Emerging technologies in the construction industry and how they are applied on the job were a hot topic throughout the industry in 2017 and will continue to be in 2018 as more construction companies adopt these innovative tools.

Guiding teams into the future with construction technology

We hope you enjoyed our look back at 2017. These top 10 blogs are only a glimpse of the content published this past year. Click on What’s New at the top of the page to view more.

Bass Pro Shops team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. In this four-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Jolley recipients, and why they were selected for these awards.

 

photo courtesy of Bass Pro Shops


Bass Pro Shops is an 80,000-square-foot retail development that sits on more than 100 acres of conservation land and is the anchor tenant of Celebration Pointe, a large mixed-use residential, office, entertainment and retail development in Gainesville, Fla.

The tilt-wall structure includes unique finishes such as polished concrete floors, hand-painted murals reflecting Florida wildlife and a 12,000-gallon indoor aquarium. EMJ’s Chattanooga team completed the Bass Pro facility in just ten months—despite impact to the schedule due to Hurricane Matthew.

photo courtesy of Celebration Pointe

EMJ worked with the project team to deliver value through collaboration and creative thinking in several ways. During preconstruction, our team analyzed the plans and noticed aggregate was included in the initial site work. Our team knew that aggregate is unnecessary in Florida due to the sandy soil type, so we worked to see that it was removed from the project scope.

In addition, our team discovered that a concrete slab for the store’s loading dock was not included in the scope. Using the cost-savings from the aggregate, the EMJ team provided Bass Pro with the loading dock slab at no extra cost. In total, at completion the EMJ project team returned over $430,000 in savings to the owner.

The project team received the Sunshine State Safety Recognition Award from the University of South Florida’s Safety Consultation Program in recognition of its dedication to safe practices on the project and was applauded by stakeholders for maintaining project schedule despite the area’s impact from Hurricane Matthew. 

“The Bass Pro team built strong relationships with all project participants based on trust and transparency,” said Clint Dean, Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Chattanooga office. “Their commitment to serving our customer, as well as quality and schedule, delivered an excellent construction experience that has opened the door for further opportunities with Bass Pro.”  

photo courtesy of Celebration Pointe


The team’s work on this project earned the respect and trust of Bass Pro Shops, and made possible the award of a second store in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Congratulations to all Bass Pro Shops team members:

Ken Boyd, Lead Superintendent
Neil Forell, Level II Superintendent
John Scanlon, Superintendent
Caleb Hammontree, Project Manager
Brad Primus, Preconstruction Manager
Jonathon Woolsey, Project Engineer
Mindie Ogle, Accountant
Michelle Parker, Shop Drawing Expeditor
Cissy Scott, Contract Expeditor
Emma Dixon, Co-Op

 

Read about the other Jolley for Outstanding Project recipients:

Shaw T1 team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

Farmer Brothers team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

River Spirit Casino Resort team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

 

Shaw T1 team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. In this four-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Jolley recipients, and why they were selected for these awards.

 

Shaw Industries Group’s T1 Plant is a 686,668-square-foot facility with 566,662 square-feet of carpet tile manufacturing space, a 107,506-square-foot warehouse and a 12,500-square-foot administrative building. Additionally, the scope included 27 loading docks, eight 88-foot tall storage silos, and a rail spur for material distribution. The project is slated to be LEED-Silver certified.

At the time of engagement, the T1 project was well underway with mass site grading nearly complete. Having worked with EMJ on a previous project, Shaw partnered with our team to carry the facility to completion.

Despite facing challenges due to late entry into the project, the team hit the ground running and worked with Shaw to execute the project brilliantly. They built relationships with the designers, engineers and subcontractors who were already involved in the project and collaborated with all parties to ensure a unified focus on the client’s vision for the plant.

“All project participants came together as a team to ensure that Shaw’s vision for the project was delivered,” said Clint Dean, Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Chattanooga office. “The client’s experience with us further solidified a trusting relationship that has since led to two additional projects.”

Chattanooga’s team is currently building Shaw’s Create Centre, a 67,000 square-foot, three-story “think tank” for the company’s creative, marketing and innovation teams, and was recently awarded an additional large-scale project in Andalusia, Ala.

Shaw T1 team members include:

Paul Wells, Superintendent
John Scanlon, Superintendent
Richard Stone, Assistant Superintendent
Chris Fisher, Senior Project Manager
Gary Gibson, Director of Construction
Chris Grannan, Vice President of Preconstruction
Mindie Ogle, Accountant
Matt Holder, Project Engineer
Michelle Parker, Shop Drawing Expeditor
Cissy Scott, Contract Expeditor
Zack Panczer, Co-Op
Jake Smithers, Co-Op

Congratulations to this outstanding team who went above and beyond to bring the client an exceptional construction experience and unique value. See more photos of Shaw T1 on our projects page.

 

Farmer Brothers team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. In this three-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Jolley recipients, and why they were selected for these awards.

 

EMJ was awarded Farmer Brothers Co.‘s corporate headquarters when the coffee foodservice company relocated from Torrance, Calif. after 65 years.

Spanning 28 acres, the building, which is anticipated to be LEED-certified, includes a 258,338-square-foot distribution center, a 194,438-square-foot, state-of-the art coffee production facility, and 84,823 square-feet of office space for its nearly 400 corporate employees.


With minimal knowledge of construction or the DFW area, Farmer Brothers relied on a developer, Stream Realty, to help find an ideal location for their new property. Stream brought EMJ to the table as their general contractor for the project, and our team helped Farmer Brothers find a property and hire an experienced design team.

Before breaking ground, our team met with the project team weekly for six months to discuss goals for the project and guide the client through the preconstruction process. The client’s priority was maintaining an aggressive schedule, as four other facilities nationwide were consolidating into the new headquarters, and the new distribution center needed to begin operating while construction was still underway.

 


Our team used BIM technology to ensure that the distribution center could function while construction was ongoing and worked with consultants to highlight value-saving opportunities and ensure that the property would be efficient for many years to come.

Our early involvement with the entire project team allowed EMJ to be fully in-sync with the client to proactively deliver value, resulting in an exceptional and unique client experience, as well as more than $2 million in savings for the client.

“This project was an exceptional example of C2C’s approach because our team was involved early enough that we could help guide the client to understand its goals for the project,” said Ray Catlin, Executive Vice President.

“This was Farmer Brothers’ first construction project, and I believe this team provided an outstanding experience for them while delivering a project that will continue to bring them value and achieve their goals for many years.”

 


Last year, the project was recognized as Best Outside Relocation Real Estate Deal by the Dallas Business Journal and Best New Industrial Project by D CEO Magazine.

Farmer Brothers Headquarters team members include:
Glenard Ratcliff
Andy Munsch
Mike McVey
Andres Soriano
Rickey Palmer
John Scanlon
Jerry Soriano
Andy Soriano
James Norwine
Scott Reppond
Solina Bartnicki
Shaunese Farris
Sheila Nazario-Thomas

Congratulations to this outstanding team who went above and beyond to bring the client an exceptional construction experience and unique value. See more photos of Farmer Brothers’ corporate headquarters on our projects page.

River Spirit Casino Resort team receives Jolley for Outstanding Project

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. In this three-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Jolley recipients, and why they were selected for these awards.

 

Directors and Vice Presidents of the corporation nominate for The Jolley for Outstanding Project, which recognizes a project team’s collaboration and unique value-creation. Outstanding teams exemplify innovation through C2C, demonstrate admirable planning and execution, overcome unusual challenges, and build relationships through an exceptional client experience. In this four-part blog series, we highlight EMJ’s outstanding project teams and the reasons behind their selections for these awards.

This year, EMJ recognized four projects with this award:

Shaw T1 Plant, Adairsville, Ga.
River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa, Okla.
Farmer Brothers Headquarters, Northlake, Texas
Bass Pro Shops, Gainesville, Fla.

In the coming weeks, we will highlight each project and the team that brought it to life on the blog. This week, we’re featuring RedStone’s River Spirit Casino and hotel expansion and the 24 members of the project team.

 

River Spirit Casino and hotel expansion is a two-phase project on which RedStone Construction partnered with Manhattan Construction Company. The project included the site work for and construction of the 29-story hotel tower, 2,500-seat Paradise Cove entertainment venue, six-level parking garage, grand ballroom, retail center, resort spa, outdoor pool and bar, and additional gaming space.

The resort also includes a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar, Johnny Rockets, Scoreboard Sports Bar and a buffet and grill.

After the client expressed a desire to open 50% of the project earlier than the originally-stated completion date, the team “took a deadline that was nearly impossible,” and went above and beyond to deliver an exceptional project to the client “with grace and poise that we should strive to attain every day.”

 

 

Even with a month removed from the initial project schedule, the team remained focused and captured more than $37 million worth of savings during the course of the project by implementing creative solutions and design alterations.

“This team was dedicated to providing an outstanding construction experience for the client, even under tremendous pressure to complete the project early,” said Lance Gopffarth, Executive Vice President. “Each member of the Manhattan-RedStone partnership prioritized the client’s goals and held them above their own needs, and as a result, this project has been one of our greatest achievements in our company’s history.”

 

River Spirit team members include:

Bryan Adson, Lauren Boochie, Mike Coyne, Roy Cramer, Walter Darr, Money Dexter, Jason Dunnam, Donnie Foreman, Pat Freeman, Chris Hart, Allison Howison, Tammy Johnson, Jason Jones, Leta Lambert, Ted Lambert, Gordon Lingley, John Massetti, Hope Miller, Denver Moody, William Mosher, Anita Pfeiffer, Greg Pfeuffer, David Ramer, and Dave Sprague.

The official grand opening celebration for the resort will be held on April 15, 2017.

Employees awarded Jolley for Outstanding Performance

 

In 2016, EMJ launched the Edgar M. Jolley Awards for Excellence to recognize exceptional work within the family of companies. The “Jolleys,” named in memory of EMJ’s founder, are presented in three categories: Outstanding Performance, Outstanding Servant Leadership and Outstanding Project. In this three-part blog series, EMJ highlights our Jolley recipients, and why they were selected for these awards.

 

The peer-nominated Jolley for Outstanding Performance is awarded to employees who go above and beyond in their roles by expanding their range of responsibility, developing junior team members, demonstrating initiative and creativity in tackling challenges and building relationships with clients.

“The Jolley for Outstanding Performance is for those high-achievers that inspire you to be better every single day—because they lead by example,” said Doug Martin, Chief Operating Officer, while presenting the Jolleys to the family of companies this month.

Below are this year’s winners:


Matthew Connors, Project Manager for EMJ Construction, served as a client executive for Walmart on the four projects that the Dallas team completed this year.

He learned the client’s project goals, identified their definition of value in each location, and through that, captured additional savings for the client during construction. After his latest project was completed, the client gave rave reviews on Matthew’s work on the job and requested his team for future projects.

“I consider Matthew to be one of the finest project managers I have worked with over the years,” his nominator wrote.

“From having many late-night conversations about his projects to watching him address a workload that would be overwhelming to most, he is deserving of this recognition— to say the least.”

Jason Dunnam, Senior Project Superintendent, led the RedStone team in completing a $23 million casino in only nine months.

He is extremely disciplined and ensures that each project on which he works is completed with the highest quality, while building trust and creating additional value for the client.

As a leader, Jason provides great feedback, direction and support to everyone on the job site and “isn’t afraid to jump in with both feet and get muddy.”

He guides his team with wisdom gained from nearly 20 years of construction experience and his constant energy keeps them motivated.

Chris Fisher, Senior Project Manager, has played an instrumental role on EMJ’s work for Shaw Industries Group, overseeing the completion of the Shaw T1 manufacturing plant and breaking ground on the Shaw Create Centre office development.

He is an outstanding member of the Chattanooga team and has demonstrated his ability to manage multiple items at one time while exhibiting strong character and accountability.

“Chris handles challenges in stride, always has a positive attitude and serves as an example to everyone within the corporation,” said Jack Bowen, SVP of EMJ Construction. “EMJ is privileged to have Chris as an employee. He is well deserving of the award.”

Dottie McCallen, Communications Manager, implemented numerous new media channels for EMJ Corporation, including an updated website, social media channels, internal newsletters and intranet. She works with each office and has been creative in implementing useful programs and workflows to maximize efficiency in her department.

In addition to her role, Dottie serves as a member of the Mentoring Program Advisory Board and has done a tremendous job with its communication efforts.

“Her innovative thoughts and ideas for the mentoring program have expanded our reach and enabled our company to blossom through this program,” wrote her nominator.

Justin Pearl, Preconstruction Manager, went above and beyond when working on Grand Parkway Marketplace while fostering and growing EMJ’s client and subcontractor relationships.

He managed, mentored and trained team members on the complex, multi-phase project to ensure that the client’s goals were achieved and the project moved forward according to schedule. His hard work and dedication on this project is one of the reasons EMJ was awarded Grand Parkway Marketplace Phase II.

“Justin’s success here at EMJ stems directly from the concern and care he shows toward his team, the project and especially his clients—something we can all strive to emulate,” wrote his nominator.

Brad Primus, Preconstruction Manager for EMJ Construction, led the Chattanooga preconstruction team in the negotiated bidding and awards of two Bass Pro Shops, The Local student housing complex, and two Lidl grocery stores in 2016.

His strategic thinking and creativity in developing pursuit strategies has been a key to our success, and he continually finds ways for EMJ to become more competitive on each project that we bid.

“Brad is a natural born competitor, and he relishes in the opportunity to go farther and work harder than our competition to win projects for EMJ,” wrote his nominator. “His determination and leadership encourage our team to deliver exceptional value to clients.”

Cody Schulze, Project Manager, was influential in the success of the Connection Park Phase II project from day one and is recognized as a vital team member by the client.

Everyone in the Dallas office comes to him—from Senior Project Managers to his peers— when they can’t figure out something with changes or cost reports. He is efficient and knowledgeable in EMJ’s policies and can correct just about anything with regards to cost documentation or paperwork.

“Cody sees the big picture and is passionate about setting up projects to be successful up from the beginning,” wrote his nominator. “He develops a detailed schedule, creates a quality management plan, and sets up ViewPoint properly to ensure the team operates efficiently in billings and cost control.” 

Congratulations to all recipients of the Jolley for Outstanding Performance!