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History of the Branch Group


L.A. Lacy, a mechanical and plumbing contractor based in Charlottesville, Virginia, was founded.


E.V. Williams, a grading and concrete paving company headquartered in the Hampton Roads/Tidewater area of Virginia, was founded.


The origins of the Branch Group date to the 1950s, when Bill Branch and his father-in-law, C.W. McAlister, teamed up to create McAlister Construction Company, an earthmoving and highway contractor.


Garland J. Hopkins started G.J. Hopkins, a mechanical and plumbing contractor based in Roanoke, Virginia, in 1958 to create a better future for his family. His goal was to provide mechanical contracting services from the quality perspective of sound engineering principles.


Bill Branch purchased McAlister Construction from C.W. McAllister in 1963 when the industry was highly fragmented and most businesses were family owned. Bill Branch changed the company’s name to Branch & Associates and served as either president or chairman of the board until he retired in 1993.


On April 22, 1963, the organization was recognized and charted as Branch & Associates.


Branch & Associates added building and mechanical divisions to the organization in the 1970s, which created a new generation of capabilities for the company.


The Branch & Associates Branch Board of Directors adopted an Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) in 1982. This created an ownership culture where each employee had a vested interest in the success of every project.


In 1984, Branch & Associates purchased G.J. Hopkins and merged its mechanical division into the newly acquired company. At this point, G.J. Hopkins had already become a full-service mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractor. The company also owned a sheet metal shop, providing better quality and cost control over this vital aspect of mechanical projects.


In 1986, Branch & Associates’ highway and equipment division became Branch Highways. With the reorganization, Branch Highways became an industry leader, working with major clients in Virginia and beyond. The building division remained Branch & Associates.


The Branch Group was created in 1986 to serve as the holding company for Branch & Associates, Branch Highways, and G.J. Hopkins.


All Branch Group companies become 100% employee owned in 1997.

This created a new ownership culture where all employees had a vested interest in the success of every project and became a major contributor to the sustained growth and profitability of the Branch Group family of companies.


On February 1, 1997, Branch Group purchased E.V. Williams.


The Branch Group purchased R. E. Daffan, a general contractor based in Manassas, Virginia.


In January 2014, R.E. Daffan was absorbed into Branch & Associates, becoming Branch-Daffan, the Northern Virginia division of Branch & Associates.


The Branch-Daffan division of Branch & Associates officially rebranded to the Branch & Associates name.


Branch Group announced in early in 2017 that its civil subsidiaries, Branch Highways and E.V. Williams, would be consolidated and named Branch Civil.

The consolidation supported Branch Group’s long-range strategic growth plans by significantly improving its go-to-market capabilities, scalability, and the economic economy of scale.


On May 7, 2018, Branch Group announced the purchase of L.A. Lacy, expanding Branch Group’s mechanical and plumbing operations.


Branch & Associates rebranded to became Branch Builds in 2019 to better align with the company’s 20-year goal of ambitious growth.


Branch Group integrated its service contractors, G.J. Hopkins and L.A. Lacy, in early 2021. The integration allowed Roanoke-based G.J. Hopkins to expand its serves to commercial and industrial clients in Central Virginia.


All business units now operate out of the first ever consolidated headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia. This strategic move was made to better facilitate collaboration and synergy between corporate operations and business units while enhancing our ability to add value for our clients.


The Branch Group has over $1 billion dollar backlog, the first in history.