Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SBJ Names Rodney Jetton the Top Local Sales & Marketing Executive for Southwest Missouri

SSE has increased revenues 77% to a record $6.2 million since Jetton Joined in 2010.  

Rod Jetton
SPRINGFIELD, MO- Schultz and Summers Engineering Marketing Director Rodney Jetton has been selected as the top local sales & marketing executive by the Springfield Business Journal for 2012.  Jetton said, “Receiving this recognition was a very pleasant surprise. I appreciate Stan and Bob hiring me and want to thank all my co-workers at SSE who have made our company so successful. Without the support of Jaymie, Marvin, Amanda, Debby and Sheila there is no way our program could have achieved these results. It is truly a team effort.”

In 2008 SSE opened two new offices in New Orleans and Branson, showing they were a company on the move, but like many small companies the growing pains were difficult.  Finding quality workers, building new business structures and having the cash to keep up with the growth were putting a strain on the company.  The downturn in the economy came at a very bad time for SSE.  Owner Stan Schultz said, “Our business was growing and we made some big decision to expand right before the economy blew up.  The economy killed our Branson office, business slowed at our Lake Ozark office, and in New Orleans we struggled to gain market share against the big boys.  2009 had started fast, but by winter we were concerned about the future.”

Stan Schultz
Early in 2010 former Speaker of the Missouri House Rod Jetton, was going through his own troubles.  He had been accused of assaulting a woman during a sexual encounter, which caused him to shut down his political consulting business. Also the FBI started a probe looking into a conflict of interest regarding his handling of a 2005 bill.  He was living in Cape Girardeau and had been turned down as a Sears’s appliance salesman.  Schultz remarked, “I read about Rods troubles in the paper, but knowing politics is a rough business, I felt confident that nothing would come of all the accusations flying at him, and I thought his abilities, and background would be a huge help to my company.  Bob and I told him his troubles would all be behind him soon and that he would have lots of opportunities, but I asked him if he would be willing to stick with me a year or two and help me get things organized at SSE and develop the new markets we were in.”

Rod joined SSE on March 8th and two days later he had to go to Kansas City and answer questions from a Grand Jury about his past legislative actions.  “Bob and Stan were unbelievably kind.  I show up, sign all my employment papers, and basically get in a car and drive to KC for a Grand Jury hearing. They had no idea if I would make it back or how bad the press could be for the company.”

While investigations, trials and accusations continued to swirl around Jetton everything worked out in the end.  The Grand Jury never filed an indictment and the assault case never went to a trial.  Jetton pleaded guilty to a lesser misdemeanor, paid the court costs, but was never convicted of a crime.  He spent much of early 2010 in Louisiana redesigning the SSE website and working to develop the federal markets for SSE.  Those efforts allowed SSE to lock down several large government contracts to rebuild the levee systems around New Orleans.  Their federal revenue went from $800,000 in 2009 to over $3 million by 2011. 

Bob Summers
By July, Schultz and Summers was at max capacity in New Orleans so they asked Rod to head to Branson and help get that office producing.  Owner Bob Summers added, “What Rod helped Stan do in New Orleans by redesigning our website and doing direct sales was phenomenal.  The revenue from our federal work really helped us weather the tough economic storm, but we were losing money in Branson and desperately needed to turn it around.”

 The bad economy had hit Branson the hardest.  Commercial development had basically come to a standstill and SSE was an unknown company in that region.  No one was building anything and when there were projects; SSE was the new kid on the block.  “Schultz and Summers had a good team in Branson.  Brad Allbritton was a very likable young engineer who had a top notch technical staff, but with nothing being built it was a tough market to survive in,” said Jetton.  In August SSE threw a Cajun shrimp boil and over 300 realtors, bankers, community leaders and elected officials attended. Branson Operations Manager Brad Allbritton commented, “I didn’t know if a party was the best way to get business, but we picked up our biggest client from that event and I continue to have folks tell me how much they enjoy the boils.  I have to admit Rod knows how to get noticed.”

Enjoying Shrimp at the Cajun Boil
2010 saw Schultz and Summers Engineering build their federal business, redesign their website, host Cajun Boils, and publish a company newsletter to over 9,000 customers and prospects.  These activities resulted in record revenues of 5.5 million.  The growth required almost doubling their workforce from 31 to 68 employees and Schultz said, “Rod’s background in the Marine Corps and his experience as Speaker was invaluable in helping us make these changes.  His sales and marketing efforts were improving our brand name and bringing us business, but his advice on implementing a chain of command, improving our operation and budgeting processes, as well as hiring key staff also helped us better serve our clients.” 

Building a database of customers and prospects was something Rod had advocated in early 2010.  The database was ready to go for 2011 and the New Year started off with an aggressive marketing plan for SSE that included newsletters, mailings, parties, billboards, print advertising and all the social media necessities such as a company blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, and a YouTube channel.  These activities greatly increased the amount of business for their Missouri offices, which helped them keep their business diversified.   “Before we entered the federal market our company revenue came mostly from three sources, municipality work (50%), MoDOT related work (25%), and private development (25%).   Today the MoDOT work has slowed to only 5%, we are down to 10% for private development, up to 10% for gas and electric utilities line work, up to 35% in municipalities and up to almost 40% in federal work.  The economy has forced us to diversify,” said Schultz.     

The internet is one aspect of their marketing program that has really taken off.  They report receiving 600 to 700 unique page visitors on their site each month.  Additionally, they generated 72 Google hits and 22 newspaper stories in 2011.  They also report their email campaigns have been well received with almost a 30% open rate and an unbelievable 19% click through rate.  Jetton mentioned, “Our newsletters, press stories, parties, mailings, emails and blog posts are all designed to drive traffic to our site and improve our SOE.  Currently we show up on the first page of a Google search for all of our important keywords in all our markets including New Orleans.”  

Rod and Amanda at reception
One of their biggest marketing successes happened with their flood survey program at the Lake of the Ozarks. Their program included a Cajun Boil, three billboards, real estate magazines ads, multiple blog posts and quality website content about FEMA and flood surveys.  SSE technicians also conducted informative presentations to bankers, realtors and civic groups.  Lake Ozark marketing assistant Amanda LaPorte said, “This program resulted in a dramatic increase in survey orders.  We went from 24 flood surveys in 2010 to 657 in 2011, which is a 2,637% increase.  Not only has this increased our market share, but it has also helped us build brand awareness and relationships with the key decision makers who will be important when the economy takes off.  Already these small flood surveys have lead to 22 larger boundary surveys and two significant engineering projects.”
SSE Website Homepage

When asked what his role has been in the success of SSE Rod said, “This Company had a wonderful story to tell.  They provide services that greatly improve people’s lives. All I did was help set up the framework to tell that story.  Building a database, upgrading the website, developing a contact plan for customers and reformatting our proposal and presentation process were some of the major changes we implemented. Furthermore, sending out press releases, posting on the blog and utilizing social media platforms had a huge effect on helping folks notice us. I didn’t do this by myself though.  It took all of our engineers and technicians along with our marketing staff to build this system and keep it rolling.”  

Stan & Bob at ACEC Award Dinner
Bob & Stan with Inc. 5000
LORDAC President Brian Meisel, Stan Schultz,
Jim Fisher, Bob Summers, and Trisha Creach
Not only has this marketing plan increased SSE’s revenues it has resulted in them receiving a significant amount of recognition.  Stan Schultz was named to the Who’s Who list in Southeast Missouri and Bob Summers made ENR’s top 20 under 40 engineers list in 2011.  Recently the American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri (ACEC/MO) gave them the Honor Award for their design of the Hayti Water Treatment plant and the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council chose Schultz and Summers Engineering as the 2011 Business Partner of the Year.  Additionally, Inc. 5000 included SSE on their list, at #1,613, of the fastest growing companies in America, (18th fastest growing Missouri Company.)  They also came in at #54th on the The Hot Firm List, compiled yearly by ZweigWhite.   That list ranks all engineering companies in America and they were the 2nd fastest growing Missouri engineering company to make the ZweigWhite list.   Schultz added, “I work every day to provide a dependable service to my customers, and it’s very exciting to see our company grow.  Having Rod help us explain what we do is defiantly bringing us more business, but doing a good job and helping people will always be the number one goal at Schultz and Summers Engineering.” 

Rod summarized by saying, “The Lord has blessed me with this opportunity to work at Schultz and Summers Engineering.  Stan and Bob took a huge chance on me and I’m very thankful for that.  This company is full of wonderful people to work with and I feel so good about what we are doing to improve people’s lives.  This award is just one more blessing I don’t deserve, but am so thankful for.”   

The SBJ had five judges evaluate all the nominations and pick winners.  They were Nancy Bass V.P. of human resources at Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE), Jerry Chinn, a Computer Information Systems professor at Missouri State University, Dori Grinder, Executive Director of the Ozark Chamber of Commerce, Dianna Parker, instructor at OTC, and Kelley Still, an accounting professor at Drury University.  SBJ features editor Maria Hoover said, ‘We asked an independent panel of judges to choose the recipients.  We know that it could not have been an easy job, but we appreciate their help tremendously, because it keeps SBJ staff out of the award-selection process.  Please join the staff of the SBJ in celebrating the accomplishments of the Dynamic Dozen companies and the three individuals who were honored at the March 1 Dynamic Dozen event.” 

Rod with SBJ President Dianne Elizabeth Osis
More information on the Springfield Business Journal awards can be found at, http://sbj.net/main.asp?SectionID=48&SubSectionID=108&ArticleID=91291    

Southeast Missourians-Who's Who 2012 - Stan Schultz

The Southeast Missourians added Schultz and Summers Engineering owner Stan Schultz to the 2012 Who's Who list.  Stan has some very good comments about his company and success.
 You can read the whole story here. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

LOWA to report on water quality, accomplishments at Monday meeting - lakeexpo.com: Community News

LOWA to report on water quality, accomplishments at Monday meeting - lakeexpo.com: Community News: The Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance will announce the final results of a 20-week water study and new accomplishments at a public meeting…

This story also talks about how LOWA and Schultz and Summers Engineering are partnering on the Rocky Mount sewer project.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jetton Named Co-Chair of Blue Ribbon Transportation Committee


         Missouri House of Representatives

March 5, 2012

CONTACT:  David Willis

Speaker Steven Tilley announces Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri’s Transportation Needs

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. House Speaker Steven Tilley, R-Perryville is creating a citizens panel to address existing and future concerns on Missouri transportation issues.  Working alongside the Missouri Department of Transportation, Tilley’s Blue Ribbon Committee will meet at several locations throughout the state to discuss local issues and funding ideas.  At each meeting the committee will observe a presentation on local projects from MoDOT officials.  The meetings will give concerned citizens a chance to give their input on transportation projects and funding ideas.

“With large transportation projects being proposed, I want to make sure all of Missouri’s transportation needs are considered and that we take a close look at how they are funded,” said Speaker Tilley “The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri’s Transportation Needs is a great way to check the pulse of the state by providing an opportunity for Missouri’s citizens to voice their opinions.”

The committee will be co-chaired by former House Speaker Rod Jetton and former Senate President Pro Temr Bill McKenna. Other members include: Ben Jones, Blake Hurst, Brian Meisel, Dan Mehan, Duane Michie, Ed Soignie, Estil Fretwell, Jim Anderson, Joe Delong, John Nations, Len Toenjes, Mark Stidham  Neal St. Onge, Randy Verkamp, Ric Neubert, Scott Smith, Tom Crawford, Tom Dunne, and Tony Thompson.
“The Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee serves as a microcosm of Missouri citizens, representing numerous interest groups throughout Missouri,” said Tilley.

Springfield Business Journal Announces Top Local Sales & Marketing Executive: Rodney Jetton

Here is a link to the story highlighting Rodney Jetton's marketing accomplishments for SSE.

Springfield Business Journal Story

Friday, March 2, 2012

Missouri Engineering Association Recognizes SSE at Their Annual Awards Banquet

Stan and Bob pose for photo with project panel
They received the Honor Award for their work on the Hayti Water Treatment Plant.

what a good looking table
CHESTERFIELD, MO – Schultz and Summers Engineering joined over 200 engineers at the annual American Council of Engineering Companies of Missouri (ACEC/MO) awards banquet in Chesterfield, Missouri.  They were one of the 26 awardees on hand to be recognized during the ceremony. ACEC President Bruce Wylie commented, “There were many quality projects to evaluate, but I’m sure the judges considered how serious Hayti’s water situation was and were impressed with how SSE helped them obtain funding, implement cutting edge designs, and provide extra upgrades with the cost savings.”

SSE Owner Stan Schultz added, “For our company to be recognized for our work in rural Missouri is a true honor.  Some of the largest engineering firms in Missouri are here tonight and being included in the group is a testimony to the direction our company is headed.”

SSE won the Honor Award in the Water Resources Category for their work on the Hayti Water Treatment Plant.  Mayor Bobby Watkins said, “Our water was so bad nobody wanted to drink it and DNR was all over us about getting it fixed.  The water issue was the number one issue I believe I was elected to solve.”

Bob, Mayor Watkins and the crew in the new plant
SSE looked at their current plant as well as the old plans and designed a new system that would meet the needs of their citizens, not only today, but well into the future.  The city council took the design and presented it to the voters and a bond issue was passed with an unbelievable 91%.  Schultz and Summers then helped the city with the initial design and costs estimates, and made sure all the required paperwork was filled out properly and turned into the USDA.   

Once Hayti was awarded the $1.9 million grant construction began on a new iron and manganese water treatment plant, three miles of various sized distribution lines, and tank rehabilitation for two elevated tanks in town.  Additionally, this plant is one of the first iron removal plants to operate without an aerator in the state, allowing the City to lower maintenance and operational costs. “The new plant will be much cheaper to operate.  It will produce 1,200 gallons of clean drinking water per minute but use half the electricity, half the chemicals, and half the manpower to operate in comparison to the City’s old plant,” said Watkins.    

Bob, Stan and Rick
The project’s funding was originally $3,391,000.  ($1,475,000 RD Loan; $1,416,000 RD Grant; 500,000 CDBG).  The project was completed approximately $500,000 below cost allowing the City to accomplish several things outside of the original project scope.  The City was able to purchase an automatic meter reading system for all 1,300 meters in town, including three towers to provide instantaneous reading across the entire system.

When presenting the award to Schultz and Summers Rick Sinclair the Master of Ceremonies, described this project by saying, “This project also used a new innovative application to remove iron and manganese, which along with the other improvements has allowed the city to cut the operating expenses in half. Congratulations to Schultz & Summers on this wonderful project.”
Kathy, Stan, Bob and Emily

Both SSE principles and the SSE marketing director attended the banquet with their wives.  Bob Summers accepted the award on be-half of the company and he remarked, “We take great pride in this project but receiving recognition for helping improve the lives of our neighbors is a very humbling experience.  Your kind words and encouragement are very appreciated by all our employees and the City of Hayti.  Thanks for a wonderful evening.”   

Bob after everything is done

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Schultz and Summers Joins the USDA In Helping Ellington Make Water Upgrades

We have a great Video that includes some good interviews with Greg Batson from the USDA and Mayor Pickett talking about the upgrades to the Ellington system.  Also you can click the link below to read the story about the details on how these upgrades are saving the city money.

Read Blog Post Here