Sammons takes ‘leap of faith’ to grow successful business

Entrepreneur of the Year

Ty Sammons, owner and operator of Sammons Excavation, received an Entrepreneur of the Year Award.   Patti Carpenter photo
Ty Sammons, owner and operator of Sammons Excavation, received an Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Patti Carpenter photo

A man who started an excavation business with just himself but now supports six full-time employees was honored as the recipient of one of two Entrepreneur of the Year awards presented at Friday’s Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce Spring Dinner and Awards Banquet by Lovell Inc./Grow Big Horn County.

Ty Sammons, owner and operator of Sammons Excavation, in business for six years, was honored at Friday’s banquet. Von Zeller presented the award to Sammons, reading a prepared statement about Sammons:

“At a very young age, Ty Sammons would set goals for himself and always carry through with them,” Zeller read. “After college, he was a professional musician and then decided to come home and work for a construction company. He observed some of the best equipment operators and learned many valuable traits from them. After working for other companies, he decided to step out of a secure job and into the unsure situation of a business owner.”

Sammons founded Sammons Excavation Inc. in June of 2008, starting with a backhoe, trailer and dump truck. He did all of the work himself.

“He had seen many businesses like this fail, but he was courageous enough to take that leap and establish a business he could expand that would create jobs and establish a customer base,” Zeller read. “He worried, walked the floor and stressed out about whether or not this was a good decision and then the second week rolled around and he wondered how he was going to handle all the work.”

Less then six months after starting the company, Sammons hired his first two employees and now has six full-time employees on the payroll. Every year, as his business has grown, Sammons has been able to hire new employees, purchase equipment, keep the majority of the money local and expand his customer base throughout the Big Horn Basin.

“Ty is a great mentor and has helped many young employees learn a trade by teaching them how to operate heavy equipment and perform other tasks within the business,” Zeller read. “His patience and instruction have helped his employees to think outside the box and be confident in what they do.”

Many times people will call Sammons late at night or on weekends or holidays, and Sammons will drop what he’s doing to help them, Zeller said. And when he’s plowing snow for a client, he might just pull in and move snow for an elderly neighbor while he’s at it.

He has performed community service with his equipment such as helping to clean the corrals at the Mustang Center last summer.

“Ty is willing to help his community whenever he can and will always do it with a smile on his face,” Zeller read. “He is well liked in the community, and people appreciate his expertise as a business owner.”

Sammons was described in one of several nominees Lovell Inc. received as having the commitment to reinvest his energy back into the community. He was also described as being a reliable young businessman and a gracious, fair and caring employer. Another nomination noted that he has shown an unusual, yet old, value-based work ethic that is in a class of its own. Though the “new kid” among area construction and engineering firms, he still takes the time to fix a stock tank on a Sunday or donate equipment and time for a community need.

“Ty Sammons is an example of a young businessman who is pursuing his career with a professionalism that is beyond his years,” Zeller read. “He has innovative ways to do this type of work by blending technology and an efficiency of resources in the field to build a successful business.”

An obviously surprised Sammons thanked his mother, Sharon, and his wife, Betsy, and said the award should really be given to his employees, noting, “I’m just the guy who answers the phone.”

He also expressed appreciation for customers who have supported him over the years.

by David Peck