Key Personnel

Rick Backus – Chairman / Chief Executive Officer

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 raised four amazing children and recently celebrated their 32nd anniversary together.

Richard Huey – Chief Financial Officer

Richard Huey has been our Chief Financial Officer since November 2005. Richard has over thirty years of financial management and accounting experience including fourteen years in commercial and residential construction. Prior to working in construction, he gained eight years of public accounting experience with the international accounting firm KPMG. 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, 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.

Garrett Smith – Vice President of Northern Region

Garrett began working in construction in 1990 and joined Eleven Western Builders in 2003. Originally working out of our Escondido office, Garrett was a Project Manager for many of our big box construction projects. In 2007, Garrett relocated to Sacramento to take over the leadership of our satellite office in Northern California. He has been successful in strengthening existing relationships and gaining new clients unique to the area.

Garrett is responsible for the oversight and coordination of operations and project management for our Northern California satellite office.

Garrett and his wife, Mary, have three children and a grand-daughter. He can often be found enjoying his kids’ sports on the weekends.

Doug Child – Director of Estimating

Doug Child grew up in a little farming town in Quincy, Washington. At a very young age, he started working alongside his dad and siblings in the fields and in the shop, operating equipment, and working with tools. Working on the farm is where he learned 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 being a Project Manager to become the Director of Estimating. Doug is responsible for the estimating department, the development & retention of client relationships, and preparing budgets for new jobs.

Outside of the office, Doug spends his time with his family. He has a wife named Kristen, and three boys named Jacob, Ryan, and Josh and one girl named Riley. 

Greg McDonald – President

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 hand in hand with Rick Backus and Richard Huey to ensure that Eleven Western Builders consistently exceeds our clients’ expectations.

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

Vern Alderton – Vice President of 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 to ensure that our projects meet the company’s high standards for quality and safety without sacrificing schedule and budget.

Vern enjoys fishing and hunting in his free time. He has raised three daughters and he and his wife have a son at home. Vern recently welcomed his third grandchild to the family.

Gene Chesterton – Vice President of Construction Services

Gene Chesterton began his construction career in 1993 working as a finish carpenter and fixture installer in the retail industry. In 2002, he joined Eleven Western Builders as the Retail Service division began to take shape. Beginning as a Superintendent and working through the ranks to become a Project Manager, Gene has been imperative to the growth and success of the division. He took over leadership of Retail Services in June 2010, and in 2019 Gene was named the Vice President of Construction Services.

As the Vice President of Construction Services, Gene coordinates and manages 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 met with diverse resolutions and our client expectations are surpassed.

Gene has two teenage sons with his wife, Christine, and spends most of his time following their baseball games. When he can get away for a weekend, he can be found enjoying the great outdoors while camping.

Brett Backus – Director of Business Development

Brett Backus started working in the construction industry at 14 years old. Following in his fathers and grandfathers 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 Contractractor and is most intrigued by the ever-changing nature of the construction industry and the challenges brought on with 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. Now, as the Director of Business Development, Brett’s role includes fostering new business relationships, ensuring existing client satisfaction, and working with our marketing team to spread brand awareness and manage communication between our organization and the public.

Outside of the office, Brett enjoys spending time with his wife April, his daughter Roslyn, and his dog Porter. Whenever he isn’t golfing, Brett enjoys spending time in the ocean catching waves and catching fish.