Saving for the Future
Welcome to Millionaire Monday! You read that right. In honor of ESOP Month, we wanted to up the ante this October to show you that our ESOP really means business. Meet our employee-owners who, based on their ESOP account balances, are members of the “Millionaires Club.”
Years of Service: 28 years since 1993
Q: Can you walk us through your journey here at ESS?
It all began in 1992. I worked part time with 4M Bridge before we merged with Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS). Glen Robertson hired me and in 1993 I became full time. All the 4M Bridge guys came with me to ESS and have been here ever since. I came on as a general laborer and gradually worked my way up to project superintendent. I was a laborer for several years before I went on to become an ironworker, carpenter and then lead man. About 90% of my work has been DOT but the bridge guys are notorious for helping wherever we can in the company whether it’s paving or dirt.
Q: As a veteran EO, what advice would you give to younger employee-owners?
Stick with it. The ESOP growth seems like a slow start but it’s the real deal. My crew that I’ve been working with since the 4M Bridge days, most of us are still here. Before my crane operator retired, my crew had about 160 years of combined experience with just 6 guys.
Q: How would you hype up the ESOP?
Like I said, it truly pays off if you’re patient and you work hard. It takes a little while but eventually it clicks in. I’ve been a part of several strong mergers at our company and had the opportunity to see ESS grow tremendously over the years. We keep climbing and getting bigger and better projects, it’s amazing.
Q: How do you plan to spend your ESOP money?
I’m ready to do more traveling than normal. Don’t get me wrong, I love the mountains but I’d like to go somewhere with water and a beach more than anything. My wife is going to retire in a few years so we’re excited.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time with ESS?
Honestly, just working with my guys over the years. I love teaching the new hires things and watching them come along. A few of the guys I’ve worked with, I’ve had the pleasure of watching them retire confidently with the ESOP. My crane operator literally just retired a little over a month ago and it’s cool to watch him be able to enjoy the other parts of life. Stay with it, the 401K is great….but the ESOP is a little bit better!!
Give a KUDOS to somebody that was influential in your career:
I’d like to name a few people that were influential to me. Glen Robertson for hiring me. Larry Cannon, who saw my potential and encouraged me to apply. The rest is history.
I’d also like to acknowledge two l individuals that I had the pleasure of knowing throughout my career. Now deceased, Mike Rieck and Wimpy Butler, aka John but most people knew him as the prior. Mike was a project superintendent who taught me more than anybody. That man showed me how to build a bridge. No matter what was thrown at him, he taught me to work with what you got. He always made it work and that was influential to me. Wimpy Butler was an amazing man who helped out everybody in his path. Even if you don’t get along with somebody, Wimpy was always the one to lend a helping hand and showed me that being a team player is extremely powerful. He was going to do one more job with me but sadly passed away too soon.
Probably one of the most important and influential people that I would love to thank is my wife, Kelly Hunt. We’ve been married for 27 years. Naturally, I work on the road a lot and she’s been extremely supportive and understanding. She raised my two boys.
Q: Is there anything else that employee-owners should understand about the ESOP?
A lot of people think it will amount to nothing. I’ve heard several of the guys I first started working with say things like “ah, we’ll never see it” and guess what, it’s showing for them right now. I know several people that have already received the dividends from our ESOP. In fact, it’s a lot of the guys on my crew. We’ve been together for 20 plus years. They’re probably approaching this whole “Millionaire Club” thing as we speak.