Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc. (ESS) is all about owning what we do. We’re a 100% employee-owned multi-faceted contractor who thrives on delivering complex heavy civil projects by developing innovative infrastructure solutions. Since our founding in 1972, ESS has grown into a team of more than 1,200 employee-owners that are experts in excavation, grading, underground utilities, bridge construction, and asphalt and concrete paving.


Even as we grow, adapt within changing built environments, and continue to push the boundaries of technology, we stay true to our values. We build and invest in employee-ownership, relationships, innovation, adequate reserves, and profitability. Most of all, we do things the ESS way.

  • 1972

    In 1972, Billy Sapp Founded ESS and named it after his father Emery Sapp. Emery Sapp & Sons began with a single piece of construction equipment and just one employee.

  • 1999

    Billy Sapp sold the company to the employees creating a 100% Employee Owned ESOP.

  • 2006

    Named ESOP company of the year.

  • 2012

    ESS opened a new office in Joplin, Missouri.

  • 2019

    Achen-Gardner Construction merged with Emery Sapp & Sons.

  • 1990’s

    Glen Robertson sold 4M Bridge to ESS expanding our capabilities into bridge work.

  • 2003

    ESS opened a new office in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • 2007

    ESS opened a new office in Springfield, Missouri.

  • 2016

    ESS completed our largest project to date. The $140M K-10 bypass in Lawrence, Kansas.


Being an employee-owned firm is integral to our company identity. It’s the foundation of our values, our culture, and the way we serve our clients. Most importantly, being 100% employee-owned means everyone who works for ESS is a part-owner of our company. We’re proud to say that the profits of our company stay right where they should – with the people that work hard to build it.


ESS takes many opportunities to partner with organizations that are close to our employee-owners and their families. Every year, we’re privileged to support a variety of nonprofits and special causes that benefit the communities where we live, work, and play.


Building and investing in the development of our current and future workforce has always been a part of ESS’ DNA. At ESS, our workforce outreach is managed by the ESS Foundation, an employee-owner-led, pending 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The mission of the ESS foundation is to promote careers in construction; provide career opportunities through education, mentorship, and training programs; and benefit community development projects throughout our region.