James Isbell, V.P. Special Projects

James Isbell
V.P. Special Projects

James Isbell has devoted 52 years of his professional career to develop and serve construction companies committed to excellence.  He is highly regarded as one of the best in the steel erection industry when it comes to managing field operations and maintaining long term, loyal customer relationships which largely contributed to his success and reputation.  In his current role as VP of Special Projects at Derr and Isbell Construction, James continues to follow his passion to build the biggest and most complex steel structures in the United States.

In 1961, James began his career as a crane operator and within a few years established a lifelong professional relationship with E.L. Derr.  James began working for Derr Construction Company in 1970 as a crane operator and eventually became a Foreman and later a Superintendent.  In 1998, James, E.L. Derr, and Bob Derr partnered to establish Derr Steel Erection Company.

Between 1980 and 2012, James successfully managed projects comprising more than 350,000 tons of steel, including Reliant Stadium, the DC Convention Center, and MX Missile Assembly Building at Vandenburg AFB in California, a project he recalls as being particularly challenging.

Now in semi-retirement, James enjoys spending time on his ranch with his wife, Terri, in Wise County, Texas.  He has nine grandchildren ranging in age from 3 months old to 20 years old.  James and Terri are avid golfers and also enjoy traveling.

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