Beaver Excavating knows a good catch when they see one, and they saw promise from an early age in one of their standout employees, Rich, who currently works with the company as an Area Superintendent.
Rich knows a thing or two about determination. Growing up in a little town called Uhrichsville, Ohio, Rich first got a taste for the construction industry around 7 years old. A neighbor got a bulldozer, and Rich took every opportunity he could to become familiar with the machine. His curiosity started when he was young, and over the years, Rich came back to construction again and again.
After an injury prevented Rich from playing sports in high school, Rich started considering other options for his future.
“I took college prep classes and pretty quickly knew that college wasn’t for me,” Rich said. At age 15, he knew that the college path wasn’t going to be his path. “I went back to construction, which I had some experience in with my dad.”
Rich’s father had developed a strong career in the construction industry, and after starting as a paid contractor, he ended up working up through the ranks and retiring from a large construction company here in Ohio.
“When I knew that college wasn’t the right fit for me, I always came back to that bulldozer.”
The time Rich spent playing around on his neighbor’s bulldozer had started a path that would turn into Rich’s career.
“I decided to set some goals for myself, and construction was part of the plan.”
But first, Rich decided to enlist in the Army. He joined in February of 1995, and because he was not yet 18, his parents had to sign permission for him to join. Rich spent the rest of his high school career going to local training on the weekends and then to Missouri for basic training during the summer between his junior and senior years in high school.
While Rich’s friends were doing typical high school activities, he was setting out to accomplish the goals he had created for himself–and already making a mark through his service with the Army. At the time, the young military training program was still evolving, and Rich was the first young student in the area to participate in the high school program.
“My dad had a background in the military, and I had an idea of what I wanted to accomplish and who I wanted to be at the end of my time in service,” Rich said. “I was fortunate to be able to join as a combat engineer–62-Echo.”
The designation of 62E is Army Heavy Construction Equipment Operator, and Rich was on his way. He went to the Reserves the summer after high school and started his advanced technical training.
“I absolutely loved it,” Rich said. “I was 100% focused.”
When Rich’s time in the Army Reserves was finished in mid-1996, he returned home to Uhrichsville with plans to enroll in the local union. But when that plan didn’t turn out, Rich was undeterred.
“I had a friend at home whose dad was working in construction,” Rich recalled. “Every Sunday morning, I would stand in front of Gary’s house with a cup of coffee. After four months of doing this, I got a phone call from him. He was in Cincinnati on a job site, and he had someone quit on him. He asked if I could come the next morning and run their bulldozer.”
Rich headed down to Cincinnati, and when he arrived, he had the fresh challenge of convincing Gary’s boss to let Rich, who was just 19 years old at the time, to join the team.
“I promised him that I wouldn’t disappoint them if they gave me the chance,” Rich said.
He was right. Rich stayed on with that company for the next 2.5 years. During that time, he got his operator’s permit and joined the Operating Engineers union. Although Rich’s father offered to get him work at his current company, Rich passed on the opportunity.
“I didn’t want to be someone’s kid on the job, so I waited for nine months to get my next opportunity,” Rich said.
Then, in June 1999, he got the call to run scraper during a night shift with Beaver Excavating. It was the opportunity that Rich had been waiting for.
“It was big work with a family company, and I was ready to go,” Rich said.
Rich’s commitment was evident, and Beaver employees started showing him the ropes around the company, jobs, and different positions as they opened up.
“When something needed to be done, I wanted to be the one they called every time,” Rich said. By this time, Rich was married and building his own family, and he knew that his success was going to be built on consistently showing up and doing great work.
“I took on a lot of experiences and got to travel a bit, and I would take pretty much every opportunity that they sent to me,” Rich said. “I wanted to provide for my family, and that meant taking on work and being a reliable worker.”
Rich knew that he was surrounded by the best operators in the industry, and he took full advantage of that. At the same time, Rich pushed his career forward by interviewing for positions and promotions, even if he knew he wouldn’t get them so he could gain the experience of trying. Eventually, Rich got into several of Beaver’s internal leadership programs and worked his way up through the company. By 2007, Rich was in Supervision, and his role progressed and expanded every year. In 2015, Beaver landed the Portsmouth Bypass, a $150 million project. They handed the project in part to Rich, who had developed a reputation as a consistent, reliable leader.
Today, Rich continues to build with Beaver as a Large Project Supervisor and Area Superintendent managing multiple projects. To learn more about Beaver Excavating, visit https://www.beaverexcavating.com/.