At the 2022 Annual Meeting, Founder Billy Sapp received the Emery Sapp Legacy Award as the “Original Blue Blood.” Without Billy’s vision, grit, and determination to be the best, Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) would not be what it is today. According to Chief Financial Officer, Keith Bennett, he continued growing the business by “keeping the bar high, producing quality work, providing great customer service, and setting a high standard for safety.”
Billy’s vision for ESS started back in 1972 when he began installing underground utilities with just a single piece of construction equipment and one employee. Years later, he expanded ESS’ capabilities to include dirt work and concrete paving. Executive Vice President Pete Grathwohl noted how Billy was “all business” because back in the 70s, times were tough, so nothing was easy. However, he strived to be the best and persevered through the hard times.
“As the job got tougher, so did Billy,” said Pete.
In 1999, Billy sold the company to its employees creating an employee-owned company and establishing the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This is a true testament to how much Billy cares about his employees. He always wanted to do what was best for his people, and implementing the ESOP was incredibly beneficial because it gave every employee a share of the company that continuously grows. Having that sense of ownership motivates our employee-owners to do their best every day when they show up to work.
“We can buy equipment anytime. It’s people that are most important,” said Billy.
Billy is very deserving of this award, and we all could not be more thankful for his hard work and constant dedication to the ESS family. Congratulations, Billy!
Watch this short video to catch a glimpse of Billy’s legacy. 👇