New Faces Of The Journey Committee

ESS Editor | Tuesday August 4, 2020

The ESOP Journey Committee exists to be a forum for employee input to promote and protect the advantages and benefits of being an employee-owner of ESS. The premise behind this group of individuals is to “educate, communicate and motivate” in regards to employee-ownership.

We are excited to announce our new Journey Committee members! These individuals were chosen based on their experience and commitment to supporting the employee-ownership culture that embodies ESS.

These individuals were selected because of their passion for our company, and their drive to learn more about how the ESOP works. The committee members act as representatives from each of our different branches and serve as ambassadors for our employee-owners across the region.

When asked about the selection of the new members, Doug Whitworth, Job Cost Manager and Journey Committee member stated, “we are excited to bring in fresh perspectives from employee-owners with varying years of experience. My hope is that these new members learn as much as possible, and help spread that knowledge throughout our company.”

Want to learn more about our new Journey Committee members? Read on! Check out our new Journey Committee members!

Michelle Reynolds, Heavy Equipment Operator


Michelle has been with ESS for 12 years. She currently operates pans, scrapers and a wide variety of heavy equipment in support of earthwork operations. Michelle is excited for this opportunity to serve as a Journey Committee member so she can help educate others. Her goal is to help her fellow employee-owners “understand the ESOP and what it provides.” She isn’t afraid to ask questions, and is ready to take on this new responsibility!

Donnie Ives, Superintendent


Donnie has more than 25 years of experience. He started as a general laborer in 1987 for Chester Bross, now an Emery Sapp & Sons company, and worked his way up to the position of foreman and now superintendent. When it comes to the Journey Committee, Donnie is ready to be a positive influence to his peers. Donnie stated, “it means a lot that I was chosen to be a part of this committee. I am ready to bring forward a different perspective, and help other employee-owners have the best experience possible working at ESS.”

Chase Dunfee, Paving Foreman


Chase has more than 14 years of industry experience, and is currently one of our paving foreman out of Casseville. Chase is thrilled about the opportunity to give back to the guys out in the field. He is ready to “learn as much as possible, and get everyone excited about Emery Sapp’s family-like culture.” He believes that the ESOP is a great recruitment and retention tool, and is ready for the opportunity to spread his new knowledge company wide. “I keep telling my guys that there is a future here. These aren’t just jobs, they are careers and the ESOP is a big part of that,” said Chase.

Dustin Cain, Survey Technician


Dustin has been with ESS for more than a decade. As a survey technician, Dustin uses the latest surveying technology to ensure the civil construction site is laid out according to engineering design plans. As a committee member, Dustin is looking forward to providing a unique perspective, and being able to advocate for his fellow employee-owners.

James Stephens, Shop Supervisor

Kansas City

James has almost 5 years of experience with ESS, and is currently our Kansas City Shop Supervisor. James is excited about “the opportunity to help influence from a different perspective, and bring forward relevant conversations.” He is looking forward to having those face-to-face conversations with other employee-owners, and really connecting with what they want or need. Being an advocate for his peers is one of his main goals with this new responsibility.

Shout out to the following team members who have and continue to serve on the Journey Committee. We appreciate your commitment!


Dan Hoover, EVP of Finance

Executive Liaison

Carl Morgan, Workforce Development


Brian Burks, Project Manager

Vice Chair

Doug Whitworth, Job Cost Manager


Sara Snodderley, Workforce Development + Recruitment