Our Secret to Success: People, Passion & Community
When I launched my new asbestos abatement business in 1989 in a small storefront location in Orange – using a home equity line of credit and with a barebones staff of three – I was fairly confident that I could build a successful business with an impact in Southern California. However, I never would have predicted that a quarter-century later we would have grown to be the largest privately-owned, full-service restoration contractor in the U.S., employing more than 700 people around the country in 15 regional offices (and counting).
Over the past 25 years, we have responded to the country’s most devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, floods, and riots. ATI was on the ground to respond right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and following the Northridge and Loma Prieta earthquakes, the Southern California wildfires, and Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, and Wilma. We routinely help residents and businesses recover, reconstruct, and regain a sense of normalcy after losses ranging from minor incident to major disaster.
Looking at where we have been and where we are today, I realize that our people – more than anything – are truly at the heart of what we do. Hands down, what makes me most proud about our accomplishments as a company are the achievements of the individual members of our team. It’s their honesty, integrity, and eagerness to jump in and help the people affected by these events that enable us succeed. I can’t say enough about their commitment to our company and to our customers.
In fact, it takes a certain kind of person to thrive in our line of work. It’s an unusual business where we might put in a regular 8 to 5 day in the office, then suddenly be called to the scene to work around the clock and help restore normalcy. ATI had managers and technicians working onsite in New York City after Hurricane Sandy for nearly a year, and employees who traveled out of the country for extended periods of time to Mexico, Columbia and other faraway locations. The bottom line: we are enthusiastic about our work and fulfilled by producing positive results – whether it’s in the messiest of circumstances or in a high-end residential construction project. We are passionate about helping people restore their lives and their businesses, and persistent about getting the job done – and done right.
Although we’ve grown steadily over the years to our now-nationwide status, we remain a family business – and our roots as a family start-up carry over into the can-do spirit and personalized service that we are so proud to provide our customers today. I am honored to have my sons Jeff, Ryan and Scott all in leadership roles within the company, as well as to have many loyal, long-term employees still on board. I often say that we are a step ahead of the competition in every key aspect of the restoration business, but where we exceed the most is with our staff. Ensuring you have the right people in the right places – with the right shared vision – can be a huge challenge with growing a business, but this is where (after bumps along the road) we have learned to excel.
I am excited that within ATI we have cultivated a common vision and dedication to quality that is unmatched in our industry. We have earned a reputation among the insurers and customers we work with for providing superior, detail-oriented service that begins when the initial call for help is placed – and doesn’t end until final reconstruction is complete. This commitment to quality is exemplified when you meet anyone from ATI – whether an executive or a field technician – and witness their professionalism and knowledge, or if you have the chance peek inside our trucks and see the well-maintained, high-tech equipment and materials that we use on every job.
One fundamental principle that is important to me and that I encourage with our staff, is a sense of appreciation for the communities in which we all live and operate – and for showing it through giving back. My family and I have been lucky to have the support of so many local friends as well as the business community, and we have enjoyed getting involved through chartable outreach such as our annual golf tournaments to benefit Orangewood Children’s Home.
Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the Orange County Ronald McDonald House, along with Jeff Huddleston from my staff and several other employees from our Orange office, to provide dinner for the families staying there. The evening had a profound effect on us, and since then we have committed to steer all of ATI’s charitable donations to this great cause. I was both thrilled and humbled to be selected as a new member of the organization’s Board of Trustees.
We are pleased and extremely grateful to call Orange County our home, and we look forward to many more years of restoration and reconstruction, overcoming challenges, partnering with our communities, and healthy corporate growth. Thank you for 25 amazing years!
Owner and President, American Technologies, Inc.