Steve Hall

Founder/Chairman of the Board

More than thirty years ago, Steve Hall recognized the growing demand for rehabilitation and renovation construction services in the multi-family and commercial real estate industries. In 1979, He founded Empire Corporation of Tennessee, Inc. Steve has been the driving force behind Empire’s growth and success, positioning the company to be a key player in numerous additional markets, including Low Income Housing Tax Credit work, assisted living, and new construction.

Rick Cheverton


Rick joined the Empire team in June 2001 and has a degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee. He has been involved in design-build for 24 years, including multi-unit residential, commercial and industrial properties. He is experienced in all facets of project management including site planning, zoning and permitting, facilities and space planning, final drawings and building construction. Prior to joining Empire, Rick was Vice President of a design firm for five years and owner of his own design-build firm for 23 years.

Ben Tullis

Vice President

Ben Tullis joined the Empire team in 2001. As a Project Manager, he oversaw individual projects ranging from $2 million to $19 million throughout the southeast region. His involvement in all phases of construction and his specialization in large rehab projects paved the way for his entrance into the position of Director of Project Development. Now he oversees the estimating, design, and project development teams for all of Empire’s projects. Ben holds a BS in General Business from the University of Tennessee.

Dan Johnson

Director of Sales/Marketing

Dan Johnson joined the Empire team in April of 2001, bringing with him over 20 years of sales and marketing experience gained from working for a variety of companies, including several of his own. During his first three years at Empire, Dan worked as a construction manager where he built the foundation of his extensive knowledge of the multifamily industry. With this knowledge, he is now responsible for Empire’s strategic planning and implementation of sales and marketing in today’s ever-changing market.

Owen Ragland

Contracts Manager

Owen joined the senior management team of the Empire businesses in July 2009 after retiring as a Colonel in the US Air Force. He worked simultaneously as the Vice President of Dominion Management Group overseeing the commercial and multi-family properties and Executive Assistant of Redline Contract Services running day-to-day operations for the back office. His leadership and management skills are now used to lead Contracts Management for Empire Corp. Owen holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, an MS in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle, and an MS in Strategic Studies from Air University.

Cathy Braund

Accounts Payable Manager

Cathy Braund joined the Empire team in February of 2003, bringing with her over 20 years of accounting experience. In addition to maintaining procedures and policies regarding the Payables function, Cathy also processes payroll. She currently manages a staff of four Accounts Payable Clerks who process all invoices for our construction jobs, as well as expense reimbursements.

Amber Eisele

Accounts Receivable Manager/Construction Accountant

Amber Eisele joined the Empire team in 2007. She brought with her over twenty years of experience in all aspects of Accounting in the real estate development, construction, and multifamily industries. She oversees the construction billing process as well as the Accounts Receivable department. Amber holds a degree in Accounting.

Dean Cooper

IT Director

Dean Cooper came to Empire in 2003. He has over 25 years of experience in business, information technology and project management. He is a US Army veteran and learned to repair and network computers while in the service. Dean currently holds several IT certifications and has specializations in virtualization, project management, and email messaging.

James Cudzilo

Director of Estimating

James Cudzilo came to Empire in 2003 from the mechanical contracting industry. He brought over 25 years of experience in residential and commercial HVAC/mechanical project management and estimating. His background includes solar water and space heating systems and energy efficient housing. James currently holds mechanical licenses for Empire in several states along with being a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design + Construction.

Andrew Sutherland

Vice President of Production

Andrew joined Empire in 2001 as an Assistant Construction Manager, focusing on capitol replacement renovations on multi-family projects throughout the southeast. He was promoted to Construction Manager, and subsequently Project Manager, and shifted focus to full scope multi-family renovations, mainly in occupied units. Andrew has produced more than 20 full scope renovation projects in seven states. He is experienced in all aspects of production including estimating and scope development, negotiation, and on-site management.

Ben Mills

Director of Project Development

Ben joined the Empire team in 2004 after receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. As a Construction Manager, he oversaw nine full-scope multi-family renovation and new-construction projects in SC, GA, and TN ranging from $500K to $6M. In 2011, he transitioned into Project Development where he currently serves as director. His department is responsible for procuring all labor and material resources for Empire’s projects.

David Simmons

Project Manager

David Simmons came to Empire Construction in 2015 with 45 years of construction experience in a wide range of building types including single family homes, motel/hotel, student housing, assisted living and even two mega million dollar resorts in the Virgin Islands. David has been directly involved with the construction of approximately 10,000 apartment units, worked in 26 states and the Virgin Islands. David started his construction career in a hands on position learning many valuable skills and lessons throughout the years that have now equipped him to take on a Project Manager position with Empire, overseeing multiple projects within their large footprint of operations.

Troy Hoskins

Project Manager