Gary Moore

After 15 years of insurance restoration work, Gary Moore decided to follow his passion and start an environmental remediation company. He met with several banks in search of a small business loan to fund his new venture, but each one advised him to come back once he had an established company. Instead of heeding their direction, Moore took out an equity line of credit on his home.

“I’ve been in the restoration and environmental [remediation] business since high school,” says Moore, who used the financing to launch American Technologies Inc. in 1989. “It’s [about] the joy of being in this business—seeing something in a disaster-ridden mode and seeing it restored, and getting people back into [their homes] or the business back to [its] normal running conditions.”

American Technologies Inc. initially consisted of a three-person staff in a small office and warehouse in Orange, California, until 1992, when Moore expanded its Southern California presence with the opening of offices in Chatsworth and San Diego. He then moved the headquarters to a 28,000-square-foot facility in Anaheim in 1994 to house his fleet of vans and trucks along with a growing staff.

Moore continued to open new offices in the late 1990s and early 2000s and spread the company into Northern California as well as Arizona and Nevada. In October 2008, he instituted a 15,000-square-foot facility in Naperville, Illinois—about 30 miles west of Chicago—so the organization could offer its Midwest customers a personalized service experience from the management team.

“I think there’s a trust factor that we have and a professionalism with the quality and reputation that we [provide],” Moore says. “They see that we can always be counted on, and we’re always going to be there to help their needs. Not only am I engaged, but the management and staff also feel they are engaged in something more—that ownership has their interest and care [at heart].”

In 2010, the company established branches in Tucson, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, to handle the demands of the growing Southwest market. In the fall of that year, Moore opened an office in Dallas that now serves as the headquarters of all the Southwest operations for the restoration business, which never stops searching for competent employees.

“Trying to find carpenters, painters and skilled craftsmen is difficult, but once you have a core team [in place], that group attracts other people for us,” Moore explains. “We’re always looking for people on the project management side of it and project directors, and people who are in the industry or—if not—[people] whom we can train.”

With the addition of two New England branches in 2011, American Technologies Inc. became a national company. The organization created a consulting division in September 2013 and hired a vice president of sales and marketing. Moore says the company must continue to develop its associations with insurance providers as well as facility managers.

“Even though we may work with, let’s say, Liberty Mutual in one location, we could probably improve [that relationship] in another location,” he adds. “We might be doing work with Zurich someplace else, so there are always areas for us to enhance our work with insurance companies, but also the end users who own the shopping centers, apartment complexes and office buildings.”

American Technologies Inc. recently opened a branch in Flagstaff, Arizona, after setting up shop in Seattle and Denver. The company does not intend to establish a new office soon, Moore says, but will instead focus on advancing current locations and progressing its health science work in hospitals.

“We are pushing that more and more on a day-to-day basis,” adds Moore, whose company now includes 20 branches and more than 800 full-time employees. “There’s a huge market opportunity in the health care environment.” | QR

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