Inspiring Our Culture
Retirement is a word that signals the end of something. Not an exactly riveting idea in essence, right? But what if that “something” was a career spent impacting those around you and inspiring a culture of hard work and dedication? Jeff Potter and David “Donk” Hopkins are shining examples of what it means to make that “something” count.
Jeff began working in construction in 1984, and could hardly imagine how it would transform into a flourishing career as a bridge superintendent. He spent the last 14 years with us here at Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS), dedicated to delivering quality work. His dedication to ESS was due, in large part, to the culture. The focus on family values, safety and quality equipment is unlike any other company he had ever worked for.
His role as a bridge superintendent made him your go-to guy for all the details on a job site, ensuring his crews were on track to complete their jobs efficiently and safely. Jesse Hinton, Assistant Vice President, emphasized Jeff’s dedication to his craft. “Jeff has been a vital part of building our bridge crews to what they are today, especially in the Southwest Missouri area. His expertise in his field and his leadership capabilities have made him one of the best in the region. Project owners were always happy to learn that he’d be building their bridge. Jeff’s knowledge, experience and personality will never be replaced, but I am very grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to work with him for so many years.”
Jeff plans on enjoying his retirement by traveling to places like Texas and Montana. He credits the ESOP for allowing him to retire two years earlier than he had originally planned to. When asked who he’d like to give a shoutout to, Jeff laughed, saying, “To all the young’ins keeping this thing rollin’!”
Bridge and Structures Manager, Brent Ponder, remembers his time with Jeff fondly, “We started our careers together on the same project, so it has been an honor to finish out Jeff’s career in the same way, on the same project. When I look back at the things I’ve accomplished, I know he was a part of a lot of them. I’m happy for him and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside him.”
Like Jeff, David “Donk” Hopkins couldn’t imagine his career in construction would span 45 years, with him serving proudly as a concrete foreman for our Springfield Branch. Donk worked at ESS for a little over a decade, dedicated to precision with his work on various concrete structures such as concrete walls, box culverts, curbs, or anything that was not flat work.
Ron Mann, Assistant Operations Manager, shared his appreciation of Donk’s expertise, “Donk is a man that is very knowledgeable and was an essential piece to our team. He’s been doing this for a long time and I hope he enjoys retirement.”
Donk’s ESOP will contribute to his plans of hunting, fishing, and relaxing during his retirement. He sure deserves it! Donk only wishes that he had started with ESS sooner, because that ESOP really pays out. Literally. His favorite memory was more a collection of memories of the people he met and the various projects he worked on while at ESS. Though they were sometimes complicated and difficult, he enjoyed the challenge and they piqued his interest. Donk asked to give a shoutout “To Jason and Marty, and the whole bunch for putting up with me!”
Marty Hilton, Field Operations Manager, added, “Donk is a fun guy to be around. He’s very good at what he does, and he’s become a good friend. I hope he enjoys hunting and fishing in his retirement.”
To celebrate both men on their retirement, we honored them with branded ESS swag. What more could you ask for to celebrate such incredible careers? Jeff was honored at our Springfield Family Fun Day, where his family gathered to celebrate his accomplishments.
Donk received a branded ESS Yeti tumbler, coozie and a $100 Bass Pro giftcard in appreciation for his dedication.
Congratulations, Jeff and Donk! We appreciate your dedication and service to ESS and we hope you enjoy your retirement!