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Exemplary Employee-Owners

At our 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting, the ESOP Advisory Board had the honor of recognizing Virgil Bradbury and Brian Sapp as Emery Sapp & Sons’ (ESS) Blue Blood recipients. With October being ESOP Month, we thought it was a perfect time to highlight our most recent Blue Blood recipients. Now, to refresh your memory, a Blue Blood is an employee-owner who embodies the core values of ESS while also going the extra mile. They take pride in their work, show up for their team and act like an owner. It is the highest honor to be nominated and named a Blue Blood here at ESS. These individuals are deeply invested in the people and performance of our company. Vice presidents, assistant vice presidents and superintendents are able to nominate one employee-owner who they feel exemplifies the meaning of ownership, pride and commitment.

So what does it take to become a Blue Blood?

  • A minimum of 5 years of service
  • Demonstrates pride in ESS and in his or her work
  • Displays a talent to teach and develop fellow employee-owners
  • Conducts and aligns him or herself with our core values
    • Employee-Ownership
    • Relationships
    • The “ESS” Way
    • The Spirit of Innovation
    • Adequate Reserves & Profitability

Ready to see why Virgil and Brian were our 2021 Blue Blood recipients? 😎

Reese Switzer, Utility Superintendent, nominated Virgil for not only his impressive experience and putting others first, but also for his outstanding attitude on and off the job. Reese states, “Virgil is not one of those guys who sits back and goes through the motions. He has a willingness to stand out by making sure he’s helping any way he can on and off the clock. Virgil has so much time invested into his coworkers and in ESS. He genuinely cares about his work and pushes people to get the most out of them. That’s the guy who deserves to be recognized as a true Blue Blood.”

Jordan Morris, Project Superintendent, identified Brian as someone who continuously proves his dedication and commitment to ESS. Jordan explains that “Not only was Brian honored with a Blue Blood award at our 2021 Annual Meeting, he also received the Lance Trager Memorial Safety Award. And ESS isn’t the only organization to recognize Brian’s commitment to safety. Earlier this year he was recognized by Missouri State Highway Patrol for going above and beyond for the community. Brian clearly lives and breathes by safety and he has earned this distinction 100%. This just goes to show the type of person Brian is and how his hard work is being acknowledged. He’s done one heck of a job.”

Let’s give it up for Virgil Bradbury and Brian Sapp for always going above and beyond and making ESS culture best-in-class!


Virgil Bradbury

Project Superintendent
Kansas City

“Being nominated was great. I think there should have been a few nominated before me like Rob Bartels, Phil Divine and Blake Hustedde just to name a few. Those guys have put in a lot of hours of hard work and deserve it just as much. I’m honored that I was awarded as a Blue Blood and to have a great guy like Reese, who also deserved this, speak for me” said Virgil regarding what it means to be nominated and named as a Blue Blood.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Not sure on superpowers, but it sure would be nice to find that drink again that makes you 10ft tall and bulletproof; it’s getting hard to keep up with some of these guys. Although mind reading would be nice so I could tell what the heck Bob Snyder and Tyler Myers are thinking sometimes.

If you could go on a week vacation, where would you go and why?
Hawaii. I think it’d be cool to hike the islands. I just got back from Arizona and did 75 miles of hiking through a few of their trails.


Brian Sapp

Project Superintendent

“It’s pretty awesome to have been nominated as a Blue Blood. I really hope this helps me leave a strong legacy for the next generation of employee-owners. I truly hope these awards help people pay attention and inspire others to have a Blue Blood mentality and strive to do things The ESS Way” said Brian in regards to what the significance means of being a Blue Blood.

What is one hobby you’re into?
I really enjoy arrowhead hunting. While I’m on vacation, you can find me on the beach in Mexico with my toes in the sand and a beer in my hand.

If you didn’t have to work, what would you do with your time?
Permanently move to the Lake of the Ozarks.


Left: Brian Sapp with his Lance Trager Memorial Safety Award
Right: Brian (second from left) being recognized for safety excellence by the Missouri Highway Patrol


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