Merit’s History

Merit Construction, Inc. is a commercial and industrial Construction Manager / General Contractor located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Merit was organized in August 1982, and was initially formed as the merit shop subsidiary of a larger construction company which operated, at the time, as a union shop organization.

In May 1990, Merit became independent from the parent company. The late Charles A. Hays Jr. served as president until March 1995, at which time he took the position of chief executive officer and Bruce A. Bosse was promoted to president. In 1997, Marvin L. House joined the firm and served as CEO from 2003 – 2016. Marvin L. House later served as Chairman until 2022 and Bruce A. Bosse served as C.E.O. until 2023.   Shannon Sapp now serves as President and CEO.

Merit is locally owned by 9 principals, all of whom are active in the day-to-day operations of the company. Officers are Shannon Sapp – President & CEO, Tyson Brewster – Vice President, Patrick O’Hara – Vice President, Buddy Heins – Vice President, Drew Milsaps – Vice President, and Lynn Cooper – CFO. Other shareholders include: Tommy Cutcher, Aaron Gilreath,  and Steven Cox .

Merit’s field staff includes a large group of experienced field representatives, including on-site project superintendents, tradesmen, and a full-time safety director. Merit’s office staff includes 21 individuals with responsibilities in estimating, project management and accounting along with the support personnel necessary to provide complete pre-construction and construction services. Merit maintains an active payroll of approximately 80 employees.

Merit Construction, Inc. has shown strong, steady growth since 1982, with annual construction revenues averaging approximately $150 million annually. This work has all been performed from our Knoxville office with the vast majority of the work being completed within the East Tennessee area. Merit is recognized by the Knoxville Business Journal’s “Book of Lists” as one of the leading construction firms in the region.