Keeping true to the ESS Foundation’s mission of promoting careers in construction and providing opportunities through education, the ESS Foundation awarded the first-ever Justin Gay Memorial Scholarship to Alli-Nicole Miller. Presented at the 5th Annual Golf Classic, this particular scholarship was extra special in what it represents to the family, friends, and coworkers of the late Justin Gay. Alli-Nicole is a Job Cost Analysis intern for Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) in the Columbia office, and in her short time with ESS, has proven she is very deserving of the honor.
Justin Gay was the former Executive Vice President of Operations at ESS. He was incredibly passionate about the construction industry and mentoring the younger generation interested in pursuing a career in this field. He was constantly pushing others around him to be their best and believed there were no limitations as to what anyone could accomplish. Justin tragically passed away in February of 2021. To honor and continue his legacy, we created the Justin Gay Memorial Scholarship. Director of Workforce Development Sara Snodderley explained the importance of this scholarship and how it honors Justin’s legacy at ESS.
“Justin had a passion for the construction industry and felt young people were missing out on great opportunities by not knowing about all the options available to them within the industry. We felt providing a scholarship to a select individual who demonstrates the passion and drive for the construction industry, as Justin did, would continue and honor his memory.”
Alli-Nicole has been interning with ESS for nearly nine months while also a full-time student at the University of Missouri where she studies finance and construction — and not to mention she is the Vice President of the AGCMO student chapter at Mizzou! Her hard work, dedication, and passion for the construction industry made her the perfect candidate and recipient of the Justin Gay Memorial Scholarship. Vice President Chip Jones shared how he met Alli-Nicole and all of the great work she has done throughout her time interning at ESS.
“Alli-Nicole came up to me at a Mizzou function, introduced herself, and asked about an internship. She came in, wowed a few people, and has been crushing it ever since.
Alli brings a lot of passion and doesn’t sit idle. She is constantly finding things to do that make the company better.”
Sara Gay, Justin’s wife, was at the ESS Foundation Golf Classic to present the scholarship check to Alli-Nicole. She shared a few words talking about what this scholarship means to their family.
“This scholarship is an amazing way to feel Justin’s presence and a way to pay tribute to a man who thought so much of ESS and the construction industry. Justin had a very strong work ethic and drive like no other. My family is honored to present this award to somebody who embodies those characteristics and has a passion to impact the construction field.”
Tim Paulson, ESS Foundation President and a close friend of Justin’s, surprised Alli-Nicole back in May when he officially announced she would be receiving this scholarship by ringing the bell at the Columbia office. This signifies something important has just happened to better our company and should be celebrated.
Congratulations, Alli-Nicole, for receiving this scholarship and continuing Justin’s legacy. This is a big honor and we could not be more proud! Creating opportunities for dedicated students like you is why the ESS Foundation was established.
If you know a student wanting to pursue a career in the construction industry, encourage them to apply for the ESS Foundation Scholarship HERE.