Virgil Bradbury: Project Superintendent & Millionaire Club Member
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: 23 years since 1998
Q: Can you walk us through your journey here at ESS?
I started as a laborer for Larry Cannon on the bridge crew on the Poplar Bluff Bypass project. I had the opportunity to go help Jeff Preston set up in front of the paving crew. Jeff asked if I would stay with his crew and with all the hours they were putting in, I obviously said yes. When ESS opened an office in Kansas City, I eventually moved up to operating and knew I was going to be a permanent fixture up here. I worked on the paving side for a couple more years then moved to the support side, and eventually foreman, which brings us to today.
Q: As a veteran employee-owner, what advice would you give to younger employee-owners?
Help the other crews. Remember that your scope of the job is not the only thing going on. Quality work on the dirt, pipe and concrete scopes all have to be done in order for the project to make money. Don’t leave a mess for the next part of the job, whether it’s something from ESS or our subcontractors. The faster they can get done the more money everyone makes…..and that’s ESOP MONEY!!
Q: How would you hype up the ESOP?
IT’S FREE MONEY. You already get paid for working. Why not add in a little extra dough.
Q: How do you plan to spend your ESOP money?
Simple. Just spending time with my family and relaxing, whatever that may be.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time with ESS?
Progress Builders Inc., a General Contractor that we were working with at the time, asked if they could keep me down for the last week of the job. ESS’ scope was done but they wanted me to stay for the opening day of the final project. And even gave me a $1000 reward for a job well done! Earning the Blue Blood award that same year and hitting the million mark was pretty cool too.
Give a KUDOS to somebody that was influential in your career:
Bear with me because there were a lot of influential people in my career. Toby Tuggle got me hired on. Larry Cannon, Rob Bartels, Phil Divine and Carl Morgan were all guys I looked up to early on in my career. Their constant example of hard work and the ESS Way has influenced countless employee-owners over the years. I’m still learning things, so if I have questions I’ll call Reese Switzer or one of the pipe crews. Other superintendents like Luke Stevens and Kevin Hayes are great resources for me, as well as Travis Allen or Marcus Hunter for GPS and survey questions. I’ll always ask my project managers, which are usually Jonathan Myers or Dustin Levell, to get their opinions on how they want to go about an issue.
Q: Is there anything else that employee-owners should understand about the ESOP?
Every little thing helps or hurts our overall ESOP. Leaving trucks running for no reason. Not picking up small tools to where they get lost. Not taking care of your equipment. These things may sound small if it’s just you doing it but there are over 1600 employee-owners….what if they all did it?