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COMO Business Times - The 20 Under 40 Issue - May 2024
Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Brian Burks

Brian Burks

Vice President, Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.

A hometown guy, working for a hometown company, is the perfect description of Brian. 

Giving credit to his dad and the hard work ethic he taught, family is clearly everything to Brian. When asked what motivates him, the answer came easily, “My Family. My wife Hillary, son Sawyer (4) and daughter Harper (1) They make working hard and long days’ worth it. Nothing is better than the reaction I get from Sawyer when I walk into the house. No matter how my day went, it is instantly better when they run toward me happy that I am home. I look forward to teaching them what it means to work hard, enjoy life and be a good person.”

Beyond family, there are mentors who become family, and Brian is visibly emotional when talking about his mentor.

Brian explains, “Justin Gay had a huge impact on my life, he was my boss for nine years. He was both a mentor and a close friend. He shaped me into the professional that I am and challenged me daily to be a better manager, and to have the foresight to be a step ahead of anything that is going to come up. When he passed last February, it left a huge hole in not only my life but Emery Sapp & Sons and the community.”

Moving through the ranks quickly at Emery Sapp & Sons, it is notable that Brian has become somewhat of a mentor himself.

“One thing that sets Brian apart from most leaders is his ability to hear both sides and do what is in the best interest of both parties, his determination and big heart have proven to drive his career and success as a businessman in the Columbia community,” says friend and colleague, Sara Snodderley. “Brian continues to be an emerging leader at Emery Sapp & Sons as well as in his community where he was born, raised, and strives to mentor new leaders and guide them in sharing life experiences. Emery Sapp is fortunate to have such an outstanding leader within our company.”

Brian’s community involvement cannot go unnoticed. The list includes: Job Point, board of directors; Columbia Area Career Center, Civil Engineering/Architecture/CAD Advisory Committee; CPS, Project Lead the Way; board of advisors, Columbia Golf Foundation; volunteer, American Cancer Society; Real Men Wear Pink of Mid Missouri; American Heart Association; Go Red for Women, executive leadership team.


Age: 33

Annoying habit: I am a perfectionist, maybe even slightly OCD. If I mess up halfway through a task, I will completely start over until it is correct.

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