About Eleven Western Builders

Eleven Western Builders, Inc. is the only commercial general contractor offering the financial stability of a large corporation with the personal touch of a family owned operation.

Our Foundation

Our Story Begins in 1983…

The doors open at Eleven Western Builders with an initial staff of only eleven individuals dedicated to providing fast, quality construction for targeted groups of clients.   Eleven Western Builders grew rapidly, gaining a reputation as an expert in fast-track retail construction, with an emphasis on grocery stores and restaurants.


Eleven Western Builders opens our Millwork Division.  This expansion allows us to self-perform millwork, casework, and décor manufacturing and installation.


Eleven Western Builders expands our client base to include big box retailers.  On-time grand openings and in-budget construction cost continued to cement our position as a preferred builder with prominent construction managers.


Our expanding project team moves into our current corporate home.  The new location includes an expansive on-site millwork shop.


Client feedback inspires continued diversification and our Retail Service division begins to take shape.  Fixtures, cases and refrigeration, maintenance services, and other special projects are now completed in-house by team members trained specifically for this task.  This specialization continues to distinguish Eleven Western Builders from other contractors and helps save our clients time and money.


To better support our expanding presence throughout California and the Western United States, Eleven Western Builders opens a satellite office in the Sacramento area.

Today and Tomorrow…

Eleven Western Builders now employs over one hundred dedicated, accomplished, and personable men and women.  Our team members start each day with a deep sense of team spirit and a desire to excel.

We believe our continued growth is tied directly to the caliber of our staff.  Administration, field operations, estimators, supervisors, and managers alike possess the skills and motivation necessary to be successful in the work they perform.  It is who they are and why we are proud they are part of our team.  We understand that project success begins by assembling the right team of people who understand the uniqueness of every project our clients entrust to us.

Our key personnel have helped produce some of the finest construction projects built today.  They help younger generations develop confidence by training, promoting, and inspiring pride in our industry.  Eleven Western Builders could not be more proud of the dedicated employees who choose to build their career with us.

Memberships and Associations

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Relationships created on one project should be nurtured and sustained for a lifetime of projects.  As a young man, my parents instilled this ethic in me and it spills over into my business philosophy today.

You can count on my pledge to anyone considering using our services:  At Eleven Western Builders, we will treat you with respect, work to establish your trust, staff your project with skilled personnel, and perform the highest level of service necessary to complete your project beyond your expectations.  We are in the business of building more than buildings; we want to be your building partner for life.Rick Backus, President & CEO

Eleven Western Builders, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business. I started the business with my father, initially acting as general superintendent and managing all aspects of field operations.  As the company grew, so did my presence, where I provided estimating and corporate operational oversight.  Now, as President and Chief Executive Officer, I assume full responsibility and authority for Eleven Western Builders, Inc.  I’m active in all corporate operations, and I stand behind my word.

For over three decades, we have remained a family owned-and-operated business, and continue to stress the importance of sustained customer satisfaction and long-term business relationships with clients, potential clients, subcontractors, and other industry professionals to all Eleven Western Builders’ team members.

While our construction staff are doing their jobs, Eleven Western Builders’ Business Development Division works hand in hand with all aspects of construction operations, providing valuable feedback about our clients and how we serve them.  We take great pride in working first to ensure existing client needs are exceeded; and only then do we seek out new business opportunities. The highest importance is placed on building ethical and moral alliances and incorporating sound business practices on all projects bearing our company name.

You can count on my pledge to anyone considering using our services:  At Eleven Western Builders, we will treat you with respect, work to establish your trust, staff your project with skilled personnel, and perform the highest level of service necessary to complete your project beyond your expectations.  We are in the business of building more than buildings; we want to be your building partner for life.

— Rick Backus, President & Chief Executive Officer

Rick Backus – President & Chief Executive Officer

Rick Backus started working in construction at fifteen, as a carpenter and then 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, the position he continues to hold today.

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 27th anniversary together.

Greg McDonald – Senior Vice 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.

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 matters 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 wife, Patty, have two wonderful children.

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 account firm of KPMG. Richard is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA). He is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) in the State of California.

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.

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 to coordinate all field operations and 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.

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.

Gene Chesterton – Director of Retail 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 Project Manager, Gene has been imperative to the growth and success of the division. He took over leadership of Retail Services in June 2010.

As Director of Retail 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.