Four Richmond-area executives are recognized for strong leadership by inspiring confidence and vision in their companies.

The Leadership Awards are among special awards given to companies as part of the Top Workplaces program.

These special awards were chosen based on standout scores from employee responses to specific survey questions.

Employees were asked in confidential surveys by Energage about issues affecting the workplace, such as their views on leadership, ethics, training opportunities and benefits. Energage chose recipients by looking at high statement ranks for scores to determine areas where a leader or organization stands out.

The Leadership Award is given to four executives based on company size, while the other special awards are given to any company that scores the highest in that issue category.

Leadership Awards

  • Mega companies:
  • Robey W. Estes Jr., president and chief executive of Estes Express Lines, a Richmond-based freight transportation provider, is the third generation of his family to run the company.

He began his career at the family-owned business in 1974 after graduating from the College of William & Mary. He became a salesman in the Richmond area in 1975, became company president in 1990 and CEO in 2001.

The privately held company hit a milestone in 2014 by posting $2 billion in annual revenue. It has 1,091 Richmond-area employees and 16,570 workers across the U.S.

“He has family values, he is a Christian, he seems to make very level headed decisions, he cares about his employees,” one employee wrote in a confidential survey about how the company’s leader inspires confidence.

“He is a hardworking man and he aims to please his employees in any extent possible,” another employee wrote.

Another worker said, “I believe he is sincere and honest in actions.”

  • Large companies:
  • Stanton McComb, president of McKesson Medical-Surgical Inc., the medical and surgical supplies distributor that is a division of drug wholesale giant McKesson Corp., has been president of the medical-surgical unit since March 2011.

He was responsible for moving the divisional headquarters in 2015 to new offices in the Deep Run III office building off Mayland Drive in western Henrico County from an aging, mostly windowless building about 4 miles away near Staples Mill and Parham roads where it had been since 1974.

The division posted annual revenue of $6.2 billion for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2017. It has 717 employees in the Richmond area and about 8,000 across the country.

McComb is “open and candid” with employees, one employee wrote in a confidential survey.

“He engages every team member he meets and makes you feel like he has your best interest at heart,” another employee wrote.

“He is so down to earth and personal,” another employee wrote. He “treats everyone the same no matter what title you have. He is an excellent speaker and never has to have notes. I am never afraid to approach him if I have a concern. I totally trust him and his views.”

Another worker said, “Stanton is very open and interested in talking to individuals at all levels of the organization. He solicits feedback and ideas from all employees.”

  • Midsize companies:
  • William “Bill” A. White Jr., president and owner of Joyner Fine Properties, a Henrico County-based real estate firm.

Since 1998 when White joined Joyner as president, he has taken the company from 28 employees to 179 employees. He became the firm’s owner in 2003.

Joyner has remained independent and has not affiliated with any of the large real estate franchise companies. The firm has diversified its portfolio business beyond residential sales to commercial real estate and property management.

White has been in the real estate business for more than 30 years and has served as president of the Richmond Association of Realtors in 2005 and president of the Virginia Association of Realtors in 2016.

An employee said in a confidential survey about how the company’s leader inspires confidence that White is “adored” and “trusted” among workers for his experience and guidance.

“He never stops and he knows everyone,” another employee said.

“His approachability and willingness to discuss whatever I feel strongly enough about to reach out to him,” another worker said.

  • Small companies:
  • Dr. Lawrence Gelber, managing partner of Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists, a Henrico County-based allergy and asthma medical practice.

Gelber, an allergist-immunologist, joined the practice group in 1991 and currently serves as its managing partner and president, a position he has held for more than 20 years.

He joined the practice when it was run by Dr. John Catlett, who has since died.

Dr. Robert S. Call became a partner in 1995 and Dr. William T. Hark became a partner in 1998. All three doctors are equal owners in the practice, which has 35 employees.

“Our manager inspires us to be the best we can be and to take time for ourselves,” one employee wrote in a confidential survey about how the company’s leader inspires confidence.

Other awards

Direction:

The company is going in the right direction: T-Mobile

Managers:

Managers help me learn and grow and care about employee concerns: CarMax

New Ideas:

New ideas are encouraged at this company: PIEtech

Training:

Employees get the formal training wanted for their careers: The Steward School

Doers:

This company does things efficiently and well: The Goulet Pen Co.

Meaningfulness:

This job makes employees feel as if they are part of something meaningful: Veritas School

Ethics:

This company operates by strong values and ethics: Long & Foster Richmond region

Clued-in senior management:

Senior managers understand what is really happening at this company: Napier ERA

Communication:

Employees feel well-informed about important decisions at this company: Altria Group

Appreciation:

Employees genuinely feel appreciated at this company: Unboxed Technology

Work/life flexibility:

Employees have the flexibility needed to balance work and personal life: Capital One

Benefits:

Benefits package is good compared with others in this industry: Town of Ashland

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