Kennedy Recognition Luncheon

Jessica Claas | Friday September 25, 2020

Pictured Left to Right:
Jebbie Humbert “Jeb”, JP Compton, Kim Cannell, Marty Hilton, Eric Vaughn “Killer”, Cory Stafford, Marty Vandenburg “Pickleburg”, Ron Mann “Big Happy”, Shane Mackey “Cupcake”, Chad Wallis, Billy Wallis, Daniel Blades “Chigger”

Twelve years ago, Emery Sapp & Sons reached a new milestone – they broke into the Springfield, Missouri market with the acquisition of a highly reputable construction company, Kennedy Contractors. When Kennedy joined the ESS Family, their situation was unique in that the employee’s date of hire became the date they joined ESS, meaning their years of service with Kennedy did not follow them. However, as ESS continued to grow, and new acquisitions were being made, years of service began following new employee-owners. “Being the only group that didn’t get years of service transferred, it became apparent that Kennedy was not getting fair recognition,” explained Corporate Equipment Director, Scott Zepp “we wanted to recognize this outstanding team for their service years – not just years with ESS, but the years within the community that they helped build, and that ESS now has roots in.”

Recently, the twelve employee-owners who came to ESS from Kennedy Contractors were celebrated at a luncheon in their honor. Members of the Board individually recognized each employee-owner with their new years of service, presented them each with a token of their appreciation, and offered up a few words about what these individual’s drive and dedication has meant to the success of ESS.

Keith Bennett, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board said “We are so proud to see how much this group has invested in ESS, and how proud they are to be employee-owners. The timing was right to acknowledge that, and give everyone equitable years of service across the company.”

Marty Hilton, Operations Manager says he’s extremely appreciative of the gesture. “I’m very glad for all of the Kennedy guys to get this recognition. We’ve spent a lot of years together building relationships, investing in the community, and each other. We didn’t know what to expect 12 years ago, but we’re glad the culture of Kennedy Contractors and ESS aligned, and I’m very excited to see what the future holds.”

Speaking to the ESOP culture here at ESS, JP Compton, Equipment Manager noted that “people are more proactive…they care more about their work and their equipment because they own it. AND THEY GIVE A SH*T! Really, they truly do.”

The Kennedy acquisition is a true success story, and thanks to these individuals, we are still writing chapters in the book.

Congrats, team, and thank you for your service.

Check out the numbers on these guys!

Daniel Blades “Chigger” – 1986 | 34 years
Kim Cannell – 2007 | 13 years
John Compton “JP” – 1989 | 31 years
Marty Hilton – 1989 | 31 years
Jebbie Humbert “Jeb” – 1994 | 25 years
Shane Mackey “Cupcake” – 2004 | 16 years
Ronald Mann “Big Happy” – 2000 | 20 years
Cory Stafford – 2006 | 14 years
Marty Vandenburg “Pickleburg” – 2002 | 18 years
Eric Vaughn “Killer” – 2004 | 16 years
Billy Wallis – 2001 | 19 years
David Wallis “Chad” – 1995 | 25 years



In total, this group of gentlemen have:
263 years of civil infrastructure experience
produced $350 Million in revenue since joining ESS
$2.6 Million of wealth in their ESOP accounts

Check out this sweet throwback from back in the day!