Edgar M. Jolley
A native Chattanoogan, Mr. Jolley was born in 1928, and graduated from the University of Chattanooga in 1951. He attended Chattanooga Central High School and the University of Chattanooga during World War II. His first job during this period was working in his father's automobile garage.
Upon graduation from college, Mr. Jolley and his father-in-law, Horace E. Collins, started a construction business. This firm, H. E. Collins Contracting Company, completed many projects in Chattanooga area including the West Wing at Erlanger Hospital, additions to Hutcheson Memorial Hospital in Rossville, and additions to the Hamilton Memorial Hospital in Dalton.
The company also constructed the downtown YMCA, the Gateway Professional Building, Brainerd Village Shopping Center, several housing projects, and wind tunnel projects at the AEDC in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Mr. Jolley served in several capacities in the Chattanooga Chapter of Associated General Contractors, and was president of this organization in 1964. He was a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, served in the Tennessee National Guard for over 10 years, and is a multi-engine instrument rated pilot.
In 1969, he retired as president of the H. E. Collins Contracting Company, and began the EMJ Corporation. This company was organized for the primary purpose of constructing shopping centers for a firm headed by Moses Lebovitz, Joel Solomon, and Charles Lebovitz, a company now known as CBL and Associates.
From 1969 until 1994, EMJ Corporation constructed over 200 shopping centers, and was listed as the largest retail builder in the country by the National Mall Monitor Magazine in 1994. Local projects include Northgate Mall and Hamilton Place Mall. Other malls include The Avenues in Jacksonville, Florida; Cool Springs Mall and Center in Franklin, Tennessee; and Madison Square in Huntsville, Alabama. EMJ maintains offices in Chattanooga, Dallas, Texas, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr. Jolley retired in 1994, and the company has had continued growth, recently completing Covenant Transport Headquarters, US Express Headquarters, the Natatorium at Baylor School, and is presently completing the addition to the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Mr. Jolley is a board member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Chattanooga, a golf course rater for the Tennessee Golf Association, and a supporter of UTC athletics. He finds time to play golf several times each week, skis three weeks each year, and builds and flies radio-controlled model airplanes.