Memphis Stone & Gravel Company News

WHO Behind What We Do: Stephen Esparza

By: Taylor McPherson, Director of Communications and Community Engagement

What does your typical work setting look like? The most common answer is likely the most obvious – a desk or office. Just for a moment, imagine trading that desk or office for the setting of an open field or wooded forest. For our Prospecting Team, that’s just another ordinary day.

Our mission to supply, build, and pave the communities where we live and work is only made possible by having the materials to do so in the first place. Our Prospecting Team takes on the constant search for aggregate, primarily found in sand and gravel deposits in the Mid-South. Once an ideal area is located, this team uses a low impact all-terrain vehicle to explore for deposits. This is where the talents of our Drill Crew come in, led by Stephen Esparza.

Low impact all-terrain vehicle used to explore and drill for deposits

In the day-to-day, Stephen juggles responsibility for the Drill Team. In short, this includes communication of future drill sites to the crew and ensuring his team is working as safe as possible (both in the journey to the work site and during the drill process). Once drilling has begun, Stephen juggles operation of the drill while keeping a log based on what he sees and feels.

Stephen Esparza, Memphis Stone & Gravel Drill Team Lead
His supervisor, Corbin Moore (Geologist/QA/QC Specialist) shared, “It takes a special person to do this type of work. [In some cases], you’ve got to fight through the woods to get to where you need to drill. These guys live in the elements – the heat, cold, rain, and poison ivy, just to name a few.”

He also remarked, “Even then, you’re taking a chance that you might find material, but you also might not. Anybody can get out here and pull the levers to operate the drill, but really understanding what you feel and what we’re trying to achieve is another thing entirely. Stephen just gets it.”

Corbin went on to add the importance that comes with wearing the hat of Drill Team Lead. “We’ve put a great deal of trust in Stephen for this role.” He added, “A lot of times, the property we’re drilling won’t be used until many decades down the road. The Driller may no longer be with us at that point, so you have to be able to trust the data they’ve collected. So, we’re really trusting Stephen in what he analyzes, reports, and sees.”
Stephen inspecting samples and operating drill controls

While Stephen’s known for many talents, including his sharp understanding of topographic maps and elevations, he’s especially praised for the humility he displays. Corbin closed with, “Stephen always has a really great attitude. He’s willing to do whatever it takes, and doesn’t mind taking on the most or completing the worst part of a job.”

This same sentiment was mirrored by Dave Leverett, another member of the Prospecting division. When asked what made Stephen such a great addition to the team, he shared, “so far, everything.”

Stephen, we thank you for always bringing your A-game to the jobsite! We count ourselves incredibly lucky to have you supporting our geological efforts.

*For more information on the environmentally-friendly methods our exploration and mining process utilize, please visit: