MONTGOMERY, ALA. – The Alabama Road Builders Association Hall of Fame, which was created to honor, preserve, and perpetuate the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of individuals and companies that have brought significant recognition to the State of Alabama in the field of transportation construction, inducted four individual members into its 2021 Hall of Fame class on October 27th.
“The transportation construction industry is delighted about the continued support of the Alabama Road Builders’ Hall of Fame,” said Hall of Fame Board Chairman Chris Newell of Newell Roadbuilders, Inc. “Individually and collectively, this industry makes significant contributions to the advancement of engineering and technology, leading to an enhanced economic, cultural, and political future for the state and nation. Those honored will serve as symbols inspiring others to pursue rewarding and challenging careers in the transportation construction industry.”
The ceremony, held at Montgomery Country Club, was attended by more than 200 of the industry’s pioneers and their families, and represented generations of Alabama’s transportation construction history.
Members of the 2021 class:
*Gregory Thomas Abramson – Abramson, LLC
*Terry Jackson Bunn – S T Bunn Construction Co., Inc.
Donald Ray Jordan – Jordan Pile Driving, Inc.
Donald William Vaughn – Alabama Department of Transportation (Retired)
Below are bios of all 2021 Alabama Road Builders Hall of Fame recipients. They may be edited to fit individual profiles of the honorees for local or regional newspapers.
Gregory Thomas Abramson – Abramson, LLC
Following his graduation from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1977, Greg joined his father, Billy, and brother, Alan, at Abramson and Sons, a company founded by his father and grandfather. Greg’s career in the road building industry spanned the next 43 years.
His company, Abramson LLC, performed all kinds of miscellaneous concrete work on transportation projects in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia. Greg was instrumental in bringing slip-form technology for constructing concrete curb, gutter, bridge rails, and barrier wall to Alabama.
Greg was committed to the promotion of the road building industry in Alabama. He was president of the Alabama Road Builders Association in 2008 and was a long-standing member of the Alabama Road Builders Association board of directors. He served on multiple Alabama Road Builders Association committees throughout the years and participated in legislative efforts resulting in highway revenue increases.
Greg was admired by his peers, competitors, clients, partners and suppliers for his work ethic, humility, loyalty, generosity, kindness, and ability to bring a sense of fairness to any situation. That reputation continues today as Abramson LLC celebrates its 66th year of business
Terry Jackson Bunn – S T Bunn Construction Co., Inc.
Terry Bunn began working for his father in the asphalt construction business at a young age. Terry started, as his father would say, “just being in the way.” He then progressed to a shovel man, and later an equipment operator. During his summer break from school, Terry helped his father run their asphalt plant. The work ethic he developed alongside his father and brother laid the foundation that helped him guide his industry to new levels of service.
After graduating from The University of West Alabama, Terry naturally gravitated toward the material side of the business. Terry had a lot of hands-on experience during this time. He used to laughingly say, “we would run it all day and work on it all night.” When Terry and his brother, ST Bunn, Jr. (Sonny), purchased the business from their father in 1981, he made his sons promise the quality of their work would always meet the standard that he had set before them. Keeping that promise to their father was the driving force that grew their business to become not only one of the biggest but also one of the best construction firms in the region. As West Alabama grew so did the business. Paving crews were added, and then additional plants were needed. The business was eventually increased from a local one plant operation to five plants located throughout West Alabama by acquisitions and expansions.
As the number of asphalt plants increased, so did the need for asphalt materials. The brothers realized good quality sand and gravel was getting hard to find and they saw the need for opening a rock quarry. Terry was instrumental in establishing Bunn Brothers Materials. The first quarry was an old, abandoned quarry that Terry found in Berry, Alabama. After establishing this quarry, Terry evaluated different locations in Tuscaloosa County for a second quarry. After years of multiple quarries in different locations, Terry settled on two quarries in strategic locations that benefitted the footprint of ST Bunn Construction Company.
Terry gave his time to promote the road building industry. He believed a good relationship with his customers was important to be successful and worked hard to accomplish this, especially with the Alabama Department of Transportation. Terry served as Vice President of ST Bunn Construction Company and President of Bunn Brothers Materials. He was a past President of the Alabama Road Builders Association and served on the Board of Directors. He was a past President of the Alabama Asphalt Association and member of its board. Terry was also a member of The University of Alabama’s President Cabinet, Alabama Trust Fund, Samford Board of Trustees, and a former deacon of First Baptist Church Tuscaloosa. In addition, he was a member and former Chairman of The University of West Alabama Board of Trustees, where a scholarship in his name has been established.
The impact of Terry Bunn’s life stretches far beyond his success. He was defined by his trademark mustache, infectious smile and his calm demeaner when solving difficult problems or bidding jobs. Terry loved his time with his family, wife Kay and two sons, TJ and Kane. Terry hunted and fished all over the world and often took his family with him. However, one of his greatest joys was seeing his two sons working in the business and teaching them as his father taught him.
Donald Ray Jordan – Jordan Pile Driving, Inc.
Donald Ray Jordan (D.R.) was born on December 4th, 1944, in Brunswick, GA to Hack and Alma Jordan.
D.R. grew up in Ozark, AL and graduated from Carroll High School where he was President of the student body. Active in the Boy Scouts of America, he was an Eagle Scout and received the Silver Beaver Award as well as the God and Country Award.
He continued his education at Marion Military Institute and The University of Alabama where he received a business degree and was named Outstanding Graduating Senior from the National Alumni Association in 1967.
After college he joined the Alabama National Guard and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 131st Armor Tank Battalion.
He began his construction career in 1967 by joining the family business, Jordan Pile Driving, Inc. in Ozark.
In 1976, much of Jordan Pile Driving’s work shifted to marine related projects and D.R. opened a second branch in Mobile, AL. Jordan Pile Driving obtained a subcontract with Brown & Root to begin construction on the I-10 “Bayway” east of downtown Mobile and the I-65 river crossing bridge north of Mobile that included 220 cofferdams.
As the business grew, D.R. was involved in many of the pile driving projects in all 67 counties of Alabama. Notable projects he was involved in include the five mile I-165 connector linking I-65 in Prichard with downtown Mobile; the Cochrane-Africatown Bridge and the Perdido Pass bridge in Orange Beach.
Jordan Pile Driving was credited with the remarkable return to service in just seven days and nights of the Bayou Canot Bridge on the Mobile River Delta after the tragic Amtrak derailment in 1994.
As he settled in Mobile, D.R. became active in community affairs, including serving as a director on the board of Regions Bank for the Mobile/Baldwin area, the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and the Seaman’s Foundation. He is a long-time member of The University of Alabama President’s Cabinet. Jordan served as President of two national organizations, the Pile Driving Contractors Association, and the Deep Foundations Institute. He also served as President of the Alabama Road Builders Association.
D.R. was recognized as Alabama’s Small Business of the year in 1994 in recognition of his company’s success and his contributions to the industry and his community.
D.R. is a member of the Spring Hill Baptist Church.
Since retirement in 2017, D.R. enjoys spending time with his family including children Don, Katie and Tessa and grandchildren Jordan Clair, Millie, Anna and Will.
He also never misses an Alabama football game.
D.R. will be the first person to tell you that the success of Jordan Pile Driving is a result of the people who work with us. Many of our employees have been with us over 30 years.
2021 represents Jordan’s 75th year in business.
Donald William Vaughn – Alabama Department of Transportation, Retired
Donald W. Vaughn was born on August 19th, 1948, and has lived in Montgomery, AL since 1963 with his wife, Becki. Vaughn and Becki have two children, Lindy and Russell, and five loving grandchildren.
Vaughn graduated from Auburn University in 1971 with a Civil Engineering degree but started working with the Alabama Highway Department in 1966 in a statewide location survey party and continued working during summer months and between quarters while attending Auburn University.
Upon graduation, he began full time work with the Alabama Highway Department in the Engineering Education Training Program as a Graduate Civil Engineer. Vaughn held several different positions at the Alabama Highway Department throughout the years, including but not limited to the Interstate Bureau Environmental Engineer, the Location Engineer, the Chief of Office Engineer Bureau, and was eventually appointed Chief Engineer of the Transportation Department, by the Governor, in July of 2005.
Vaughn is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Alabama, but has several other notable achievements including, Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame Inductee (2013) and was also the recipient of the Auburn Outstanding Civil Engineer Alumnus award in 2009.
Vaughn’s professional activities are extensive due to his love and dedication to the field. He currently serves on the Alabama Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Licensing Board, and the Advisory Board of the Civil, Construction & Environmental Engineering (CCEE) Department at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He has previously served on several other boards throughout the state including, but not limited to, the AASHTO Traffic Safety Committee, the AASHTO US Route Numbering Committee, the Civil Engineering Industry Liaison Council at Auburn University, the Alabama Enterprise Zone Advisory council, just to mention a few.
Don is a member of Church of the Ascension in Montgomery, AL where he is an Usher, serves on the Finance Committee, Stewardship Committee, and Driving Ministry. He is Head of Planning for mature member outside activities and was also elected to the Vestry in 2011.
While it’s no secret Don loves the great state of Alabama, it is obvious he has great pride for our country as well. Vaughn retired at rank of Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves Civil Engineer Corps.
Throughout his career, Vaughn was committed to excellence in transportation and made an enormous impact on the lives of Alabamians. His career accomplishments are only a small tribute to his abilities as an engineer and as a leader.
The Alabama Road Builders Association was incorporated in 1947, and is the only Alabama association that exclusively represents the collective interests of all sectors of Alabama’s transportation construction Industry.