October 2021 Sisters Caitlin King and Erin Hogge have taken the reins of J.S.G. Corporation, a civil contracting and mineral mining company that has its roots in the Williamsburg area. King, who is now president, and Hogge, now vice president/secretary, make up the third generation to assume charge of the family business. The transition makes J.S.G. among just 13 percent of construction-related companies across the country owned and run by women, reflecting a growing trend in the industry.
J.S.G. developed this transition to provide its employees with the assurance J.S.G. will continue to be a business that supports their careers, provides them security and the opportunity for continued growth. Customers can continue to rely on J.S.G. for informed solutions to their construction and material needs. Solving problems and delivering solutions will continue to be the cornerstone of services J.S.G. provides their clients.
J.S.G. remains a family business, committed to the values built upon by founder Jack L. Massie, the sisters’ late grandfather. Massie started his business in 1947 as a grading company. J.S.G. Corp. began in 1987 to operate a mineral mine and added civil construction in 2011. Since then, it has expanded into an award-winning construction firm with dozens of employees. King and Hogge’s father, Gary Massie, will stay involved as a manager and their mother Linda continues as vice president/treasurer.
“We want to carry on that legacy, making sure we’re keeping our values, which are safety, quality and integrity,” King said in making the transition announcement. “We’re going to do what we say we’re going to do, when we say we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it safely and give you the best quality.”
“We want to carry on that legacy, making sure we’re keeping our values, which are safety, quality and integrity. We’re going to do what we say we’re going to do, when we say we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it safely and give you the best quality.” – Caitlin King
King and Hogge, along with their brother Max, grew up in the family business, working summers and weekends. At age 16, King recalls her father telling her, “You’re going to have to be your own boss someday, Caitlin.” She replied, “I know I am.”
Hogge, 41, began working for the business in 2003, after graduating from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a degree in sociology. King, 35, graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a degree in business management and spent a few years working outside of the family business before returning to it in 2015. King is a certified mine foreman and also sits on the Virginia Board for Contractors, currently as vice chairman.
As sisters and mothers, the two say they work well with each other, bringing their unique skills to the table. “We balance each other out,” Hogge said.
As a civil contractor, J.S.G. performs road, site, and utility work for commercial, government and industrial clients. The company also owns and runs a mineral mine on 200 acres of land off Centerville Road in Williamsburg. mining fill material, J.S.G. sells topsoil, recycled concrete and asphalt, compost, and more.
J.S.G. covers a footprint in Hampton Roads that includes the Lower and Middle Peninsulas. Notable projects they’ve done include the site work for Settlers Market off Monticello Avenue, the Harris Teeter in Lightfoot, the Toano Fire Station, the turn lanes off Route 199 at the Lightfoot exit and the turnarounds on Jolly Pond Road.
It’s a far cry from the single bulldozer with which their grandfather Jack L. Massie started the company. Massie began the business in Newport News, relocating to James City County in 1964. At one point, he and his wife Virginia also operated a dairy and cattle farm in Lightfoot, on the site where Colonial Heritage is now, across from the Pottery. Jack Massie passed away in 2005, and a year later, James City County and the Virginia Department of Transportation named the Route 199 College Creek Bridge after him.
Over the years, the company has won awards for its recycling, sustainable landscaping efforts and safety. King and Hogge intend to carry on the legacy left by their grandfather and the values reinforced by their father. The company has also built a strong philanthropic presence in the community.
“From a very young age, our parents instilled in us the importance of giving back, and that’s what we want to keep doing in this community,” King said. “We’re excited to continue working in our community and growing this business within our generation and pass it on to further generations.”
It doesn’t faze King and Hogge to be working in an industry that has traditionally been dominated by men, although they’re frequently the only women in the room. When King took the class to be certified as a mine foreman, she was the only female. Hogge recalls attending meetings with her dad and being mistaken for his secretary.
Construction and contracting have seen significant growth in women-owned firms over the past few years, jumping 64 percent between 2014 and 2019, according to the National Association of Women in Construction. Women make up about 10 percent of the construction industry overall.
“Us being women and being in this industry is different,” King said, “but we’re excited to continue the business. We’re excited to grow the business in this community.”