Jack Brown Joins EMJ Construction

Jack Brown, Director of Construction, EMJ Construction

EMJ Construction is pleased to welcome Jack Brown, Director of Construction. Jack is based in the Dallas office.

In his role, he will work closely with the Executive Vice President and the Dallas leadership team to build client relationships and pursue new work, while providing oversight and strategic vision on all projects to the operations team, ensuring every client receives an innovative and customized construction experience.

“We are excited to welcome Jack to our team,” said William Mosher, EVP, EMJ Construction Dallas.  “His experience, commitment to quality, and client-centric approach make him the perfect addition to our team as we continue to expand into new sectors and regions.”

Jack joins EMJ with over 33 years of construction management experience, including time at Balfour Beatty and CBG Building Company as a leader of Multi-family and Mixed-Use markets. He has a track record of success in growing profitable business units while building and developing operations teams that deliver added value at every level.

“I joined the EMJ team because of the dynamic family-like culture, the relentless desire to serve clients, and the team’s eagerness to pursue diverse project types across a broad geographical area,” said Jack Brown. “I look forward to being an instrumental part of growing the company and helping to further diversify its project types across the nation.

Jack earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Broward University. When he’s not working, you can find him in his community serving at youth sporting events or in the air enjoying the freedom of flight as a private pilot.

EMJ leaders featured in CityScope Business Edition

In its annual business issue, CityScope Magazine featured two EMJ leaders, CEO and President Burt Odom and Chattanooga Executive Vice President Jack Bowen.


Burt Odom was featured in the magazine’s “Importance of Mentors” section, in which he shares how he first became interested in construction as a teenager and the significance of mentoring in his life.

“My interest in construction began at age 14 when a contractor building stairs in my parents’ home allowed me to work alongside him,” says Odom.

“I was inspired by his passion and love for his job, and his investment in me began my more than 40-year journey in the construction industry. Much like Mr. Wilhite, there have been countless people in my life who have guided me to grow, advance, and succeed both personally and professionally.”

Last year, CityScope’s business issue also featured Odom talking about the importance of strong leaders and serving those in your sphere of influence.

Read his full response in this year’s “Importance of Mentors” section here.



CityScope also highlighted Executive Vice President Jack Bowen in its 2018 Gold Club for Leadership, an annual selection of 30 outstanding area business people who have been recognized by their peers or others within the community for their exceptional leadership skills.

Bowen, who has been with EMJ’s Chattanooga team for more than 13 years, has exhibited his ability to lead in various roles, from job site superintendent to vice president of construction. His more than 21 years of construction experience has led to long-standing relationships with nationwide clients and the completion of some of EMJ Corporation’s largest projects in company history.

See Bowen’s full spotlight here, and see the entire list of 2018 Gold Club members here.




Dann, Joshi join EMJ Boston leadership team

EMJ is pleased to welcome Ed Dann as Vice President of Northeast Business Development and Ketan Joshi as Vice President of Preconstruction in the Boston office.

Ed Dann EMJ Boston executive vice president business development NortheastA native of New England, Ed Dann is based in EMJ’s Boston office and will develop opportunities to drive growth and identify new markets for diversification in the northeastern United States.

He will lead the business development team in building new relationships with regional clients and spreading awareness of EMJ’s brand and unique construction approach.

Dann has more than 30 years of sales and sales management for large private commercial construction firms, most recently serving as Vice President of Business Development for Dellbrook | JKS.

“Ed’s expertise in sales strategy paired with his years of experience positioning large construction firms make him an asset to our Boston office, as well as the entire corporation,” said Neil Pratt, Executive Vice President of EMJ Boston.

Boston executive EMJ Boston Ketan Joshi leadership preconstruction

Ketan Joshi will provide leadership to the Boston office in all areas of preconstruction and manage his team through the budgeting, bidding and buyout of projects.

Joshi comes to EMJ with more than 24 years of construction, architectural and real estate experience. Joshi’s extensive experience in all aspects of estimating, building design and preconstruction makes him well-suited to serve as EMJ’s VPP in Boston.

“Ketan has years of valuable experience that make him an expert in the field,” said Steve Rice, Senior Vice President of EMJ Construction – Boston. “We’re excited to see the leadership and expertise he brings to the preconstruction team and look forward to how his presence is going to impact the Boston office.”

Before beginning a long career in estimating, Joshi earned his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Master’s degree in construction management at Virginia Tech.

EMJ Corporation’s Boston office opened in 1987. With three decades of experience, the office focuses on serving New England in retail, mixed-use, commercial, higher education and senior living sectors.

Burt Odom: ‘Great leaders are servant leaders’

EMJ’s mission is to deliver unique value to our clients, partners and colleagues. We fulfill our mission by cultivating the strengths of our people and developing them into great servant leaders. But how does one become a leader?

CityScope Magazine recently interviewed Burt Odom, EMJ’s CEO and President, about how EMJ develops leaders at all levels. His responses are featured  in the publication’s annual business issue.

Burt Odom city scope servant leaders
Photo by CityScope Magazine

“The ideal leader is someone who is selfless, yet bold,” said Odom. “They look for the win-win in every situation and are able to resolve issues in the best interest of everyone involved.”

In addition, Odom discussed the importance of experience across a variety of functions and how that experience equips an executive leader with the insight and knowledge to see situations from multiple angles.

“Experience allows leaders to relate to employees and clients and provides a sense of humility and perspective,” says Odom, who adds that great leaders are created through years of practice and investment from others.

When asked about the importance of developing leaders at all levels of EMJ, Odom notes the company’s move to a more horizontal structure and its investment in programs such as mentoring and career mapping.

“We believe that developing servant leaders within our organization is paramount to our mission, our success as a company, our people, and our clients.”

“Everyone is a servant leader in some capacity in their position within EMJ Corporation, and we must continue to provide and improve our resources for our employees to grow and develop their skills.”

Click here to read the complete interview in CityScope’s annual business issue.

Pratt, Torrence recognized as ENR’s Top Young Professionals

Two EMJ leaders were recently named among Engineering News-Record’s 2017 Top Young Professionals.

Neil Pratt, Executive Vice President of EMJ Corporation’s Boston office, was announced as one of ENR New England’s winners last week. Chas Torrence, Senior Vice President of Accent Construction Services, received his title in ENR Southeast’s class in January.

Annually, ENR recognizes regional up-and-coming leaders who represent the “best-of-the-best” in their respective construction and design careers and who strive to give back to their companies, industry and communities.

Both men were also recently included in International Council of Shopping Centers’ (ICSC) “20 Under 40,” which recognizes 20 outstanding members of the construction, engineering and architectural industries nationwide who exhibit strong leadership, community involvement and innovation.

Pratt has nearly 15 years of construction experience and has been with the corporation since 2003. He helped establish Accent Construction Services, EMJ’s special projects division, where he served for eight years before being promoted to his current role.

When not at work, Pratt serves his community through First Things First, an organization dedicated to strengthening families, and Leadership Chattanooga, a program that brings professionals together to cultivate leadership and community growth.

Torrence’s 15 years of construction experience in a variety of roles, including estimator, project manager and construction manager, serves as a valuable resource to all departments within the Accent team.

Torrence serves as a the Board of Directors for East Tennessee’s chapter of Make-a-Wish, an organization which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and he is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Miracle League of Chattanooga, an organization which allows more than 200,000 physically or mentally-disabled children to play baseball across the nation.

“Neil and Chas are valued team members within our organization, and I am proud that they are now recognized for their efforts across our industry, as well,” said Doug Martin, Chief Operating Officer of EMJ Corporation. “I look forward to seeing them grow and lead our family of companies to continued success.”

6 things to look for in a construction company

Landing your first job out of college can be overwhelming. Resumes, cover letters, applications, interviews and even personality tests—how do you stand out from the competition? And how do you find the right fit among so many construction companies?

EMJ Corporation’s team of recruiters and career counselors weigh in on key components to look for in a company for a fulfilling career that lasts.

1. Growth Opportunities



High-quality companies provide opportunities for employees to excel and grow into leadership roles. Not only that, they encourage personal growth by investing in resources that allow employees to learn and develop skills that interest them. Visible growth opportunities motivate employees and give them purpose to create tangible long-term goals. Visit a company’s website and social feeds to browse for continuing education, mentoring or learning opportunities provided to employees.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“What are my potential career paths if I assume this role?”
“What kind of development opportunities does the company provide?”
“How does the company recognize success?”

2. Work/Life Balance



The transition from a flexible schedule of college classes to an 8-5 job can be challenging for recent grads. The company that you choose should be one that values its employees’ time outside of the office walls as much as inside them. If possible, reach out to an employee at the company to ask about the company’s culture of work/life balance. Check social media feeds and view reviews on glassdoor.com to make sure the company will value and respect your time away from the office.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“How does the company ensure that employees have work/life balance?”
“Would I be able to speak to someone in that role currently and discuss their daily schedule and responsibilities?”

3. Culture


About one-third of a person’s life is spent working—that’s why a positive company culture is so important. If you love what you do but are surrounded by people who are unreliable, bring each other down and complain, all of the money in the world is not worth staying at that company. While benefits packages or company incentives may be appealing, an organization’s work environment is the greatest factor in whether or not you will be happy in your role. Look for companies that have team-building events, volunteer together and do things outside of work as a group.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“What is a typical day like at your company?”
“How does the company promote a positive culture and work environment for employees?”
“What was the company’s last team-building event?”


4. Values & Philanthropy



Does the company support the community, give back to charities and donate time to worthy causes? Though it may not seem relevant during an initial interview, philanthropic efforts reflect a company’s values. Think about what values are important to you, and look for a company with similar values. Most companies have a mission statement on their website, and you will feel “at home” working for a construction company that doesn’t push you to contradict your ethics. Join an organization with principles that you not only respect, but also believe in.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“Does the company support or participate in any local organizations?”
“What values are most important to the company, and how does it exhibit them?”


5. History



Companies with tried-and-true history allow employees to diversify their experience, work with accomplished mentors and tackle large-scale projects with the support of a knowledgeable team. Accomplished organizations lead with their experience and provide confidence that your job will be stable—even with fluxes in the economy. Research the company for signs of growth, such as expanding markets and affiliate companies, as well as developments including social media and updated web presence. This reflects that the company is not stagnant and evolves as the industry transitions.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“What is the largest challenge that the company has encountered, and how does it impact its work today?”
“What would clients and other companies say about the company?”

6. Strong Leaders



Often overlooked by potential employees is the importance of a company’s leadership. Strong companies have leadership within the organization who mentor, advise, instruct and encourage their employees. Not only does this impact the culture, it strengthens the company as a whole. Research the company’s leadership, discover what causes they’re involved in, and find a role under a seasoned individual who is passionate about their work.

Sample questions for recruiters:
“What values are important to the company’s leadership?”
“In what ways does leadership mentor and motivate employees?”

At the end of the day, finding a job is a two-way street. Employers know what they want; it’s important that you know what you want, as well. Be self-aware of your personality, skills and weaknesses, and be honest about them—you will be sure to find the perfect match.

EMJ Corporation prides itself in providing an environment that encourages and encompasses all of the above. From promoting a culture of servant leadership to our mission of delivering unique value to everyone in our sphere of influence, we truly believe that our employees are the best in the industry.

If you’re interested in a workplace that values you and your growth, learn more about what it’s like to work at EMJ or view our available positions.

Pratt, Torrence awarded ICSC “20 Under 40”

ICSC 2016 "20 under 40"ICSC’s 2016 “20 Under 40” class. Photo by @Little_Retail.


During the International Council of Shopping Centers‘ (ICSC) CenterBuild conference in Phoenix this week, two EMJ Corporation leaders, Neil Pratt and Chas Torrence, were recipients of 2016 ICSC “20 Under 40” awards.

Each year, ICSC recognizes 20 members of the construction, engineering and architectural industries from across the continent who exhibit strong leadership, community involvement and innovation in their realm. The awards ceremony took place in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon.

“We have often said that our greatest resource is our people,”
said Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation. “We are proud of Neil and Chas, along with every member of their teams, for being recognized as leaders across our industry.”

Neil Pratt
Chas Torrence


Pratt, Executive Vice President of EMJ’s Boston office, has nearly 15 years of construction experience and has been with the corporation since 2003. Neil helped establish Accent Construction Services, EMJ’s Small Projects and Strategic Construction Services division, where he served for eight years, before his promotion to his current role.

Torrence is now Vice President of Accent Construction Services. He has nearly 15 years of construction experience in a variety of roles including estimator, project manager and construction manager, allowing him to be a valuable resource to all departments of the Accent team.


Rice: The key to great construction is the right team

EMJ’s people are the building blocks of the company. Their personalities, skills and past experiences are large parts of what make the company great. We are proud of each member of the team and enjoy sharing their stories.

When first speaking to EMJ while serving as a reference for a former colleague, Steve Rice was asked what type of opportunity would interest him if he ever decided to switch gears. His response: “I would be excited about an opportunity to focus on building people and teams.”

Two months later, EMJ’s Boston office needed a Vice President of Construction, and as Steve says, “The rest is history.”

After nearly 30 years in the construction industry, Steve Rice feels confident that he can “build any project with the right team.” Steve’s dedication to mentoring struck Neil Pratt, Boston’s Executive Vice President.

“It was clear from the first interview that Steve was devoted to building people, not just buildings,” Neil says. “I knew that his eagerness to coach, paired with his experience, would make him a great leader for our team.”

Since joining EMJ, Steve has focused on working with the account executive team to expand Boston’s scope into the senior living sector and gain large project awards in retail.

“I feel lucky to be part of a leadership team that ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to believing that our people are our biggest asset,” Steve says. “I am encouraged to develop and invest in my team every day, and I try to do that every day—while building some great projects.”

Steve also serves his community, instilling his passion for construction into local college students as an adjunct Construction Management professor at Three Rivers Community College.

“I have been fortunate enough to work with some great people who taught me along the way,” says Steve. “I see myself in so many of my students, and I am most proud of seeing people I have helped develop and mentor excel in their careers.”

When asked what advice he gives the young construction managers he works with, Steve says, “I always tell them not to be afraid to ask questions, especially to the Tradesmen in the field. Those guys have a lot of knowledge to share, and we can learn so much from working with them.”

Learn more about our EMJ team and how to become a part of it here