GUCA Announces the 2015-2016 Contractor Member of the Year Award
FOREST PARK, GA — The Georgia Utility Contractors Association, Inc. (GUCA) has awarded Ed Shipley, RDJE, Inc., with the 2015-2016 Contractor of the Year award.
Shipley works for RDJE, Inc., which is a 3rd generation contracting company founded in 1983 in Newnan, Georgia. It is a 60-employee company that specializes in open cut, water, sewer, storm drain, pipe bursting, manhole rehab, emergency repair and pump stations. Soon after breaking ground in the utility construction industry, they joined GUCA as industry leaders in 1986 and are celebrating their 30th year as GUCA members this year.
At RDJE they believe in a strong work ethic and taking care of their people because they are the ones that make them successful. The company motto is simple, “Do whatever it takes. Never ask somebody to do something that you aren’t willing to do.” With this motto, comes a real environment of “Family” that employees want to be part of moving into the future.
Originally hired as an Operating Foreman, Shipley moved up the ladder to Superintendent then to General Superintendent next to Operations Manager and is currently Vice President of Operations. As he advances through the company, he continues to try to stay up to date with new technologies and surround himself with talented, qualified and quality people. Shipley’s personal motto is very similar to that of RDJE and one of his strongest beliefs is to make sure these ethics are passed on to the next generation of contractors. He always tries to learn something new every day while continuing to grow with the industry and he believes his company and the industry have to continually look for people that can replace him and other industry leaders someday. Shipley explains, “Our workforce, industry-wide, is getting older. We must continue to look for the leaders of the future.” He wants to continue to show young people with a good work ethic that the utility construction industry can be very rewarding in many ways.
His humble beginnings started in east Tennessee where he was raised. He went on to attend Tennessee Technical University. He considers one of his crowning achievements, “Finding a lady that will put up with me and our crazy work schedule.” His wife Sonya is that lady and both of them are proud of their two great children. Shipley states, “One of the simple but great pleasures has been watching them grow into young adults.” When spare time exists, he enjoys playing golf, snow skiing and jigsaw puzzles.
As a GUCA member, Shipley has worn many hard hats. His committee involvement has encompassed Education, Safety, Industry Relations, Legislative, Membership, Golf and Nominating. No single role satisfies this man and that is why you see him spread his wings and talent across the many dynamic leadership positions at GUCA. He makes his voice heard and fights for the industry down at the State Capitol, encourages networking and camaraderie at the GUCA Golf Tournament, nominates association leaders of the future and recruits new GUCA members. He served as 2014-2015 GUCA President where he set out to “Exceed Commonality and Excel to Greatness.” In this role, he accomplished many of his goals and set standards for future GUCA presidents to follow. It’s apparent that his work ethic with GUCA is very similar to his contributions at RDJE and at home with his wife Sonya, and with each different hard hat worn; Shipley is always striving to “Be the Best.”