Ajax Building Company Celebrates 65 Years with a Changing of the Guard Founder’s grandson, Jay Smith, named President
Ajax Building Company is excited to announce that 2023 commemorates 65 years of construction excellence in the Southeast, and the company is marking the milestone with several key promotions, including continued leadership from the firm’s founding family.
As the company enters its 65th year, the third generation and namesake of Ajax founder Block Smith, John B. Smith II (Jay) Smith, is being promoted to President. With this promotion, Jay, who has been serving as Ajax Vice President since 2004, steps into the same role his grandfather, father and brother served before him. Ajax was born in 1958 on a simple handshake when the late J.B. “Block” Smith Jr. agreed to construct a small building for his friend in Tallahassee. Since then, the company has evolved into a leader in the Southeast, consistently ranked as a Top Contractor by ENR Southeast.
Jay is a University of Florida graduate and serves on several industry and community boards including Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Architecture & Engineering Technology Advisory Board, United Way of the Big Bend, TEMPO Foundation, Maclay School, and University of Georgia Parents Leadership Council, and was Chair of the Board for the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce in 2021.
With this changing of the guard, also comes the transition of Bill Byrne from President to Ajax CEO. During his almost 20 years as President, Bill led Ajax in significant growth from a regional North Florida company to business throughout the Southeast US and to joining the STO Building Group family of companies in 2018. Bill’s project portfolio exceeds $4 billion. A graduate of the University of Florida’s Rinker School of Building Construction, Bill holds a General Contractors License in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. He has served as President of the North Florida Association of Builders and Contractors and is a current board member of Starting Right, Now.
In addition to these two announcements and last summer’s promotion of Appie Wells to Vice President of Operations, the firm has also announced the following promotions:
• Tim Sewell from Operations Manager to Florida Regional Director
• Jeremy Cox from Operations Manager to Florida Regional Director
• Michael Wilson from Operations Manager to North Regional Director (Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Tennessee)
• W.T. Byrne from Project Development Manager to North Regional Director (Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Tennessee)
“With all these exciting transitions, Ajax Building Company certainly has a lot to celebrate,” says President Jay Smith. “We’re extremely proud of what our company has accomplished in our 65 years of doing business and look forward to what’s to come in this, our ‘Blue Sapphire’ year.”