Key Personnel


Rick Backus
Chairman / CEO

Rick Backus started working in construction at fifteen as a carpenter and then a supervisor at Desert Coast Construction in Arizona. At eighteen, he moved to San Diego and became a Project Manager for Colorado Pacific Contractors. In 1983, Rick founded Eleven Western Builders, Inc. with his father, Wayne.

During the early formative years of the Company, he served as Vice President and Chief of Estimating along with any other required responsibilities. In 1988, Rick assumed the responsibility of President and Chief Executive Officer. As of 2019, Rick Backus holds the titles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eleven Western Builders, Inc.

Outside of the office, Rick enjoys off-road racing and traveling with his family. He and his wife, Tammy have been married for over 30 years and together, they have raised four amazing children.


Greg McDonald

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Chico State University in 1990, Greg McDonald joined Eleven Western Builders’ team as a Project Manager. In 1997, he became the company’s Chief Estimator. As the client list grew and the company relocated from Vista to Escondido, Greg offered project oversight as the company’s Senior Project Manager. In 2002, Greg assumed his role as Vice President of Construction and in 2015 became the company’s Senior Vice President. In 2019, Greg was named the President of Eleven Western Builders, Inc.

Greg is responsible for developing and maintaining customer and client relations as well as overseeing all aspects of estimating and management of company operations. He provides general oversight for all construction and administrative matters including project management and interoffice operations. He works in unison with Rick Backus and Richard Huey to ensure that Eleven Western Builders consistently fulfills the needs and expectations of our clients, subcontractors, corporate family, and community.

Away from the office, Greg rarely turns down a sporting event or a cold beer. He and his wife, Patti, have two wonderful children.


Brett Backus

Brett Backus started working in the construction industry at 14 years old. Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Brett initially joined the construction industry because he enjoyed working outside and enjoyed the physicality of the job. Now, Brett is a CA Licensed General Contractor and is most intrigued by the ever-changing nature of the construction industry and the challenges brought on by each new project.

Brett has been with Eleven Western Builders since 2002, pushing a broom at age 14 and working his way through the ranks of being a Site Laborer, Mill Shop Carpenter, Project Engineer, Assistant Estimator, Project Manager and Estimator.

In 2018, he became EWB’s Director of Business Development where he fostered new business relationships, ensured existing client satisfaction, and worked with our marketing team to spread brand awareness and manage communication between our organization and the public.

Even after becoming the Chief Operating Officer of Eleven Western Builders in 2021, Brett continues to play a critical role in Business Development as he guides the company down the path of success.

Outside of the office, Brett enjoys spending time with his wife, April and two daughters, Roslyn and Jade. With the exception of “family first”, when he isn’t golfing, Brett enjoys spending time on the water catching waves and catching fish.


Vern Alderton
VP, Field Operations

Vern Alderton became a union carpenter in 1979, following in his father’s footsteps. In 2001, he joined the Eleven Western Builders’ team as a Project Superintendent. His ability to drive a project and manage subcontractors led him to become a General Superintendent and then Project Manager. Vern became Vice President of Field Operations in 2013.

As Vice President, Vern is responsible for the coordination of all field operations and ensures all projects meet the company standards for quality and safety without sacrificing schedule and budget.

Vern enjoys fishing and hunting in his free time. He has raised three daughters, one son, and has a lovely wife. Vern recently welcomed his third grandchild to the family.


Richard Huey

Richard Huey has been our Chief Financial Officer since November of 2005. Richard has over thirty years of financial management and accounting experience including fourteen years in commercial and residential construction.

Prior to his work in construction, he worked for the international accounting firm KPMG for 8 years. Richard is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA).

Richard is responsible for all financial matters including internal and external financial reporting, tax planning and compliance, cash management, forecasting and banking relationships, legal financial matter, insurance and bonding relationships and requirements, employee compensation and benefits, and owner/client and subcontractor contract review and approval.

He is an avid sports fan and aspiring golfer. Richard and his wife, Maribeth, have raised four outstanding children together.


Gene Chesterton
Senior VP

Gene Chesterton began his construction career in 1993 working as a finish carpenter and fixture installer in the retail industry. He joined Eleven Western Builders in 2002, just as the Retail Service Division began to take shape. Initially working as a Superintendent and quickly progressing into a Project Manager role, Gene has been imperative to the growth and success of EWB’s Retail Services. He took over leadership of Retail Services in June 2010, and in 2019 Gene was named the Vice President of Construction Services. Shortly thereafter, he took on the title and role of Senior VP.

As our Senior Vice President, Gene coordinates and manages numerous company processes and services, including estimating, rollout programs, facility planning, retail store conversions, project surveys, pharmacy robotics, in-store remodels, refrigerated box installation, case installation, and fixturing. He works closely with his team to ensure that project obstacles are overcome and client expectations are met.

Gene and his lovely wife, Christine, have raised two fine young men. He spends most of his free time with his family and following his sons’ baseball games. If he can find the time on a weekend, he enjoys getting away with his family and experiencing the great outdoors while camping.


Doug Child
VP, Construction

Doug Child grew up in a small farm town in Quincy, Washington. At a very young age, he started working alongside his dad and siblings in the fields and in the shop. Working on the farm is where he learned the fundamentals of good labor and the value of hard work.

 Doug graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. Recognizing the influence of the USGBC, he became a LEED AP in August of 2004. This certification has allowed him to be an invaluable asset to clients on projects seeking LEED certification.

Since joining Eleven Western Builders in 2005, Doug has worked his way from Project Manager to Vice President of Construction, where he oversees all construction projects and personnel assignments.

Outside of the office, Doug is a family man. He and his wife Kristen have raised three boys by the names of Jacob, Ryan, and Josh and one girl named Riley.