Senior Vice President & General Manager Private Commercial Work - Atlanta
On the day Joe Appleton began his freshman year at Auburn University, his goal was to become an architect. The day he changed his major to construction, however, is the one still etched so clearly in his mind.
“It was the summer following my freshman year, and I was working as a laborer on a commercial construction project. I noticed one of the general contractor’s project managers, dressed in a collared shirt and tie, walking toward the air-conditioned office trailer. ‘I’d like to be that guy,’ I thought to myself as I labored under the piercing sun.”
Since architecture courses had failed to pique his interest, Joe acted on his wish and switched his major to building science. He continued to work construction during summer breaks, and graduated three years later with a bachelor of science in building construction.
Now, as Batson-Cook’s senior vice president and general manager of operations for the Atlanta regional office, Joe’s workday seldom requires him to don a dress shirt and tie. It does, however, wrap him in the challenges and rewards of construction, and he wears those well. He carries ultimate responsibility for strategic planning, business development and construction operations of Batson-Cook’s private commercial work, and also manages other tasks essential to the growth of his division and the company at large.
Joe, who has 39 years of construction experience, joined Batson-Cook in 2005 as a project executive. He was serving as senior vice-president and general manager of the West Point division when he was tapped for his current post. Joe’s brother, Kevin, was instrumental in luring him to Batson-Cook, which was an easy decision for Joe since he had always admired the strong reputation Batson-Cook carried in the industry. Along the way, all four of Joe’s children have worked for Batson-Cook, and one of his sons joined the company following graduation from college and is now a project manager.
Joe, a native of Birmingham, is a LEED Accredited Professional, a Licensed General Contractor in Georgia, and a past member of the board of directors of the Columbus, GA, Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Sarah, a structural engineer whom Joe met while the two were working on a Batson-Cook project, are residents of Atlanta. Together they enjoy exercise and fitness, bicycling, travel, in-town living and following Auburn sports.