EMJ’s CFO Presents at CFMA Annual Conference

EMJ Corporation’s CFO, Steve Coughran, participated in the 2019 CFMA Annual Conference teaching courses about strategy and financial management.

This week, EMJ Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer, Steve Coughran, participated in the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Annual Conference at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Steve led two sessions about Finance and Accounting. The CFMA Annual Conference & Exhibition provides educational opportunities, including general sessions, mini-conferences, breakout sessions – including advanced sessions – peer groups, and networking opportunities. This year’s theme was “Success Encompassed.”

Steve Coughran, CFO of EMJ Corporation, speaks at the 2019 CFMA conference.


Steve’s sessions focused on the connection between strategy and financial management and gaining strategic insight and financial acumen to make value-based decisions that enhance cash flow and the bottom line.

In addition to serving as EMJ’s CFO, Steve is a keynote speaker for national associations and universities and the author of “Delivering Value: A Holistic Approach to Strategic-Powered Growth,” and the recently released book, “Outsizing: Strategies to Grow Your Business, Profits and Potential.”

At the University of Denver, Steve teaches a course entitled “Strategic Financial Leadership.” Steve is a CPA and earned his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business. He graduated with his MS in Accountancy from the University of Denver.

EMJ Corporation Ranks on ENR’s Top 400 List

EMJ Corporation is #164 on ENR’s Top 400 List of contractors. This ranking includes the work of EMJ Construction and Signal Energy.

EMJ Corporation has once again landed on ENR’s Top 400 List of contractors. This year EMJ ranks number 164. This ranking represents EMJ’s corporate work including EMJ Construction and Signal Energy.

“I am proud of our employees and their work which earned this ranking,” said Burt Odom, President and CEO of EMJ Corporation. “But more than that, I am proud of how they provide value and exceptional experiences to clients every day.”

Since 1968, EMJ and its family of companies have delivered billions of dollars in building and renewable energy projects across the U.S. This year Signal Energy entered the Australian large-scale solar marketplace, opening regional headquarters in Sydney where it has contracts for two major solar projects.

The corporation’s history and experience are unique, but what elevates EMJ is the client experience. With more than 50 years of diverse experience, thousands of partnerships across the country and numerous satisfied, repeat customers, EMJ challenges clients to expect more —one project at a time.

Signal Energy Australia to build 333MW Darlington Point Solar Plant

The Australian subsidiary of Signal Energy, a member of the EMJ family of companies, has been selected by Edify Energy and Octopus Investments to build the 333MWdc/275MWac Darlington Point Solar Plant in western New South Wales, Australia.

The Australian subsidiary of  Signal Energy, a member of the EMJ family of companies, has been selected by Edify Energy and Octopus Investments to build the 333MWdc/275MWac Darlington Point Solar Plant in western New South Wales, Australia.

This is Signal’s second project in Australia, and when completed, it will be the largest solar project in the country, producing enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 115,000 NSW homes and displacing more than 600,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is Signal Energy Australia’s second partnership with Canadian Solar, Inc. who will supply the solar modules for the project.

 “We are extremely pleased that Edify Energy and Octopus Investments selected us to construct the Darlington Point project,” said Greg Pawson, President of Signal Energy, “Edify’s track record of success in Australia, collaboration, and focus on quality makes them an ideal customer to work with. Octopus brings a wealth of solar investment experience from Europe and we look forward to building our relationship with them.”

Construction starts in March 2019 and will be complete in 2020. The solar plant will be built on approximately 2,000 acres near Darlington Point, New South Wales, Australia. Over 820,000 of Canadian Solar’s 1500V high efficiency HiKu (CS3W-P) will be installed on single-axis tracking systems.

  “We are delighted to be selected by Edify Energy and Octopus Investments to provide EPC services together with Signal Energy and to supply our high efficiency and industry-leading 1500V and 400W multi-crystalline solar modules to this large-scale solar power plant,” said Dr. Shawn Qu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Solar. “Our work with Darlington Point Solar Farm further demonstrates our strengths as a systems solutions provider with global experience. We are committed to work closely with local Australian communities in creating new jobs and to provide customers in Australia with affordable and reliable solar energy.”

Signal Energy, headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., is a leading full service design/build contractor providing Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services for utility-scale renewable energy projects. Signal Energy is the renewable energy subsidiary of EMJ Corporation. Signal Energy Australia opened January 2018 and is headquartered in Sydney. For more information about Signal’s recent projects, visit Darlington Point Solar Farm or Finley Solar Farm.

Signal Energy to proceed on Finley Solar Farm in Australia

Signal Energy, a member of the EMJ family of companies, will soon begin work on Finley Solar Farm in southeastern Australia. The project is being developed by one of Australia’s leading renewable energy developers, ESCO Pacific.

According a recent story in PV Magazine Australia, the development indicates that there continues to be a substantial appetite for renewable energy investments in Australia from international investors.

“Achieving financial close on our Finley Solar Farm is a fantastic outcome for ESCO Pacific, bringing our developed capacity to nearly 500 MWp of solar in Australia,” said Steven Rademaker, Chief Executive Officer of ESCO Pacific.

The ​133 MW project is in southeastern Australia, near Melbourne and Sydney. It is slated to begin this month and will feature 500,000 solar panels, which will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of nearly 60,000 homes.

Signal Energy’s role on the project includes engineering, procurement and construction as well as a two-year operations and maintenance contract. The estimated date of completion is October 2019.

Finley Solar AustraliaRecently, ESCO Pacific and Signal Energy held a job fair and community event on September 20th in preparation for construction. Read more about the Finley Solar Farm project here.

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

ENR Top 400 Contractors


Last week, we received news that EMJ Corporation ranks #69 on Engineering News-Record’s 2017 list of the Top 400 Contractors in the U.S.

This is EMJ’s 25th year on ENR’s list. We started at #166 back in 1992. In 2014, we ranked #129, followed by #101 in 2015, and #82 in 2016.

Today, our ranking, and our progress and growth, is due to our family of companies, each of our outstanding employees and the exceptional experience they deliver to our clients on every completed project.

Among these companies, EMJ Construction’s offices in Boston, Dallas and Chattanooga continue to elevate our brand through exceptional project delivery in a variety of sectors. EMJ’s teams have diversified their scope of work and expanded into industrial, distribution, multi-unit housing, healthcare, hospitality and more.

EMJ Special Projects, formerly Accent Construction Services, continues to serve the needs of clients seeking quick turnaround, single-tenant builds. The company has carved out a niche in adaptive reuse and historic renovation that has opened the doors to unique and innovative opportunities.

And, RedStone Construction Services, a Native-owned company based in Tulsa, Okla., just completed the corporation’s largest project in history, River Spirit Casino Resort.

If you take a deeper dive into the ENR rankings, you will see that EMJ ranks #15 in the Power sector. This is because of Signal Energy, which provides engineering, procurement and construction for renewable energy and infrastructure projects throughout North America. Among Signal’s top projects in 2016 were the Amazon Solar Farm in Virginia and Tranquility Solar Project in California.

While this ranking is a great honor for EMJ’s family of companies, in many ways it represents the accomplishments and growth of our clients who have partnered with us for many years.


What’s next?

So where does EMJ go from here? How do we elevate our efforts to set new standards within the industry and serve our clients better than the competition? Our people and C2C.

We have an exceptionally talented group of people at EMJ. Our team is of high integrity and a strong moral compass. Our culture of servant leadership guides us in serving our clients, but also each other.

Our C2C approach is centered around our clients and drives our teams to deliver unique value to our clients, partners and colleagues. The result is an exceptional construction experience that builds trusted relationships and transforms the way people view our industry.

By practicing servant leadership and aiming to live up to our values—honest, selfless, passionate, smart, responsible and gritty—in everything that we do, we are set up for success for years to come.