Ricky Webb is the vice-president of East Coast Abatement and Demolition, a family owned and operated hazardous material abatement and demolition contractor serving Northeastern North Carolina and Virginia.
Their services include the design, management and implementation of abatement and demolition projects ranging from simple residential structures to complex high rise structures. Some of their services include the removal of regulated hazardous and non-hazardous materials, hauling, high reach demolition, interior strip outs, erosion control, site work, clearing, emergency services, environmental consulting and selective dismantling.
Their niche is technically complex demolition projects that require the use of custom-made demolition equipment. East Coast prides themselves in recycling as much of their waste stream as much as possible to help reduce the impact on the environment.
East Coast services many sectors to include private, commercial, local, state and federal agencies. They contribute to their local communities by working with the different municipalities to remove and dispose of dilapidated/blighted structures.
Additionally, they work with property owners to help clear their land to maximize the properties resale potential. Over the years they have assisted the Federal Government in decommissioning old structures ranging from office space to airplane hangars, helping to make way for newer more advanced facilities.
Their fleet includes 13 excavators, 12 dump truck/trailer combinations, service trucks, loaders, dozers, gradalls , specialized attachments and other miscellaneous small equipment.
Webb says, "We strive to be the best in our industry while focusing on safety, reliability, and efficiency."
How did the business start?
My grandparents, Annabelle and Richard Webb Senior started the business as East Coast Insulation back in the early 1970's.
My dad, Richard Webb II worked for East Coast Insulation and assumed control in 1981 it was during this time that it was discovered that insulation they were installing contained asbestos and needed to be removed because of the health hazards associated with asbestos containing materials. This was a pivotal point in the company’s history, this is the point in time when my dad transitioned East Coast Insulation to East Coast Abatement Co Inc.
My father saw an opportunity when he noted that asbestos abatement was the first step in the demolition process this prompted him to take a gamble and purchase the equipment necessary to complete full scale abatement and demolition projects. This was the moment that East Coast ventured into the demolition industry. Today East Coast is operated by my father and I, along with a core group of employees that have been with East Coast for over 65 years combined.
My father always knew he would be an entrepreneur, he wanted the opportunity to provide valuable services to his community and surrounding communities all while providing stable employment opportunities for people to advance and provide for their families without worry.
I’ve been part of our family business since I was old enough to climb in a piece of equipment. Growing up in this business has afforded me a firsthand look at what it takes to successfully manage and maintain a business. I have inherited the work ethic, drive and passion for the industry that has made my father the titan he is in our trade.
I have the same outlook and driving factors in taking over the business from my father. We have 35 full time employees and making sure they have a place to work and provide for their families, as well as provide a service that helps revitalize the community is a great thing to be responsible for.
What's the most important lesson you've learned as a small business owner?
It's fun! From tearing down buildings, crushing concrete, removing hazards, and helping in emergency situations, every single day, week, and month is different.
The fast pace of the job is exciting. I love to see old dilapidated structures get removed to eventually become green space, or new buildings and sites that help improve the different communities. I enjoy managing multiple aspects of the company, engineering and driving projects, as well as providing an opportunity for my employees.
My guys in the field and I are just a bunch of big kids that get to play with bigger toys in bigger sand boxes.
Why did you locate in Currituck County?
I was born and raised in Currituck.
My mom and dad were raised in Great Bridge, VA. The business was first located in Chesapeake, VA due to the target market. In Currituck he saw the availability for space to grow and expand the business, as well as the key location of being central to the NC and VA Eastern Region.
My parents moved to Currituck in 1987, at that time they built and established our maintenance facility on a 10-acre tract in Moyock. We purchased another 10-acre tract and after 10 years in Chesapeake moved our Corporate offices to Moyock enabling us to have our entire operation run from one central location.
Currituck was a place to get away from the congestion of Virginia and take advantage of being close to the water. Being able to live in Currituck, close to the OBX, and still run a successful company is a draw few could resist.
What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?
Dealing with a turbulent economy is an everyday challenge and focus. Bidding against other contractors on work and knowing your numbers is key. Due to the nature of what we do the completion timeframe is short therefore we have to ensure that we not only have continuous workflow but that our backlog is sufficient to sustain our day to day operations for months to come.
Once jobs are locked in, the focus is to ensure that they are executed efficiently and ahead of schedule to ensure the overall success of the project. This is the everyday grind, each employee contributes to our companies success and allows us to deliver a quality product each and every time.
What are the biggest rewards?
Completing large scale projects ahead of schedule and below budget. Engineering complex dismantling projects and working with the East Coast Team to accomplish them. The excitement homeowners and kids express when they see heavy equipment roll in and start tearing things up. Having employees who love what they do and love where they work.
What sets you apart from other similar businesses?
Turn key solutions to projects and jobs that most people do not have the skill or knowledge to complete. Hazardous abatement and removal of items that only trained professionals can complete. Demolition and dismantling of large scale, complex, or very fast paced projects. With many pieces of equipment and employees with vast experience, we excel in all aspects of our profession.
What's one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a business in Currituck County?
Do your research on the market, competition, and the need for your services in the surrounding area. Do you want to focus on Currituck as your sole market, or VA, or the OBX? Position yourself close to these areas and ask about the benefits the county can offer from a financial stand point.
There are many benefits to starting a business in Currituck County, and with the growing influx of people moving to this area, there will be many new opportunities to take advantage of. Strike while the iron is hot!
An edited version of this Currituck Small Business Spotlight
first appeared in COAST OBX.
East Coast Abatement and Demolition is located at
176 Windchaser Way in Moyock, NC.
Visit them online at www.eastcoastdemolition.com
Are you a small business owner in Currituck County, NC?
Do you want to be considered for an upcoming Small Business Spotlight?