James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 27



JAMES From its earliest days to the present, the
history of Yancey Bros. Co. has been entwined with
Georgia’s economic growth. What made you want to
leave your success in the field of law to become the
company’s CEO and inherit this legacy?
JS I very much enjoyed the practice of law. Helping
clients resolve their most significant business issues
was a source of great professional satisfaction. The
opportunity to lead a storied company like Yancey
Bros. Co., however, and to have an impact on the
lives of so many of our employees and customers,
was too good to pass up.
JAMES What has been your vision and business
strategy as you partnered with more and more cities,
counties and businesses in the effort to provide
high-quality equipment along with customer service
and support?
JS From its beginning 104 years ago, Yancey Bros.
Co. has been in the sales and service business. We
were always a great sales company, and I saw the
opportunity to make us an excellent service company, as well. Our company mission became “Serve,
Solve, and Succeed,” and we focused on building a
team of people who want and need to serve our customers and their Yancey teammates, to help them
solve their problems and to help them succeed in
their businesses and lives.
JAMES Let’s get more specific about the
infrastructure milestones that you and Yancey Bros.
are proud of as you helped move Georgia into the
21st century?
JS My predecessor Goodloe H. Yancey III was a
founder and early chairman of Georgians for Better
Transportation (GBT). I followed him in leadership
and support of that organization for many years, as
GBT championed greater investment in Georgia’s
transportation infrastructure. I like to think that work
over decades prepared the ground for the formation
of the Georgia Transportation Alliance (GTA), under
Chris Clark’s leadership at the Georgia Chamber of
Commerce. As we all know, shortly thereafter,
Georgia was able to bring its transportation funding
into the 21st century with the passage of House Bill
170. It will have lasting and transformative impacts
on our state’s economic growth and quality of life.
JAMES It is quite an honor to become the chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Its agenda
includes goals such as “Sticking Up for American
business against perennial attacks that they ‘put
profits above people.’” Explain how the Chamber is
fighting back against such criticism.
JS I am currently serving as vice-chairman of the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce. I am chairman-elect for
June 2019. The U.S. Chamber is pursuing a number
of communication efforts highlighting the civic and
social responsibility of its members and of business
in general, including its Corporate Citizenship
awards program. Additionally, the U.S. Chamber will
soon be rolling out a new program encouraging and
facilitating much broader and robust employer-toemployee education on public policy issues.
JAMES You serve on various boards, including
that of the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce
and the Georgia Transportation Alliance. Do you
have particular goals when it comes to your business and civic contributions?
JS Our primary objectives in civic engagement
have focused on efforts that will improve both economic growth and quality of life in our state. This
thread runs through all our contributions of time,
money, and energy to the civic organizations in
which we participate.
JAMES You’re planning to step down as CEO in
2020. What are your company plans during the time
before you reach that career milestone? And, after
that, what’s next for Jim Stephenson?
JS My successor, my nephew Trey Googe, is
already fully in command of the day-to-day operations of Yancey Bros. Co., and he will continue in
that role until he acquires majority ownership and
control of our company in early 2020. In the meantime, Trey and I work closely on any significant
issues and opportunities for the business.
Afterward, I will continue to serve on the board and
be a substantial minority owner in the company,
and I will continue to be very interested in its
growth and success. I will be available for whatever
duties Trey may ask me to take on. I will also continue to serve on the executive committee for the
U.S. Chamber for some period of years. Other than
that, I will be outdoors with golf clubs, shotgun, or
fly rod as much as possible.



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