Diverse career path leads Pfeiffer to EMJ

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.

EMJ Construction Project Manager Anita Pfeiffer found success in many different arenas before finding a home at EMJ Corporation.

Born and raised in Allentown, Pa., Pfeiffer began exploring different career options while attending Cedar Crest College in her hometown.

She worked for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial gases, and then as a paralegal at a law firm in New York. After a couple of years in the legal field, Pfeiffer decided to pursue a new challenge and enter the retail industry.

Pfeiffer worked as a district manager for a number of years, then transitioned to the restaurant business, where she worked with a private owner to manage numerous locations.

She began noticing that her responsibilities in the retail and restaurant industries aligned closely with the responsibilities associated with a career in construction.

“In both industries, I worked closely with the general contractor to ensure stores would be ready for timely turnover,” Pfeiffer said. “The responsibilities were extremely similar, which made the transition to construction a smooth one.”

With the help of her brother, EMJ Lead Superintendent Greg Pfeuffer, she dove into a construction career. After gaining nine years of experience as a superintendent, she joined EMJ as a Project Manager in November 2014. She says EMJ presented a perfect opportunity to utilize her combined skills that she’d gained from years in other industries.

“I enjoy the empowerment and autonomy that I am granted in order to get my job done,” Anita says. “I love having numerous balls in the air and at the end of the day or week feel success through the dedication and collaboration of the team.”

From a young age, Pfeiffer was inspired by her mother, Alice Pfeiffer, who instilled in her the values she carries with her today.

“She was always concerned about others, and she led by example,” Pfeiffer said. “She taught me to be dedicated, determined, responsible, trustworthy, and courageous in her own way.”

Pfeiffer has followed in her mother’s footsteps, leading by example to her colleagues at EMJ. She was recently awarded a Jolley for Outstanding Performance, the corporation’s highest honor for an individual employee, at EMJ’s 50th anniversary meeting.

Pfeiffer sees many great opportunities in her role, but specifically appreciates the chance to craft and mentor the next generation.

“Nothing is more rewarding than helping those around you achieve success,” Pfeiffer said. “All my success has stemmed from the tremendous people around me, so it’s nice to return the favor to future generations.”


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Connors’ construction roots create path for career success

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.

Growing up in Albuquerque, Matthew Connors, Project Manager for EMJ Construction Dallas, was raised around construction. His grandfather was a stonemason, and his father had his electrical license, so he often assisted with renovation work when he was out of school for the summer.

Connors’ father introduced him and his four siblings to grit and independence from a young age, even managing them in expanding their one-bedroom residence into a spacious 2,800-square-foot house.

“My father is the most impactful mentor I’ve ever had,” he says. “He’s always taught us that if somebody has figured out how to do something in this world, we have the capacity to do that, too.”

The ambition and can-do attitude instilled by his father led Connors toward one of the most competitive and cutthroat industries: acting. He received a full scholarship to the University of New Mexico to pursue a degree in theatre. Once he graduated, he worked with an agent and auditioned for various roles throughout California and New Mexico, landing several professional acting jobs.

Though still pursuing performance, Connors’ passion for construction never left him. In 2005, his father expressed interest in having his own construction company, so Connors and his brother moved back to Albuquerque to make that dream a reality. He built his family’s first home with his own hands in 2008, which he defines as the project he’s most proud of.

“The artistic side of me has always loved construction because it’s very creative,” he says. “You get to literally create a structure out of nothing. I enjoy taking family and friends to a site that I was a part of building—something that didn’t exist before.”

For nine years, Connors, his brother and father managed their own successful construction business. Then, in 2014, Matthew’s wife, Michele, was offered a job opportunity in Dallas. His father was ready to retire, and after some soul-searching, Connors and his family uprooted their lives and moved to Texas.

Connors and Superintendent Denver Moody discuss plans for an upcoming HEB grocery project.


Soon after settling in, he heard about EMJ through one of his wife’s coworkers and decided to reach out. During the interview process, Connors fell in love with EMJ’s culture. “It mirrored so much of our family-owned business,” he says. Five years later, he still feels the culture of serving at EMJ is one of the company’s greatest distinctions.

“I think the biggest piece of serving is providing for everyone around you,” he says. “It’s about getting to know people on a personal level and understanding what their needs are so you can support them in a way they may not expect.”

Connors is a living example of that level of service. Last year, he was awarded EMJ’s highest honor, the peer-nominated “Jolley for Outstanding Performance,” for his work serving as Walmart’s client executive and building a strong relationship over the course of four projects.

Thank you, Matthew, for your hard work and exemplifying our EMJ purpose to be “people serving people.” We are glad you are a part of our family.


To learn more about EMJ’s work and career opportunities at EMJ, visit our Projects gallery and Careers page.