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Meet Alan Lerchbacker of Naval Coating

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alan Lerchbacker.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alan. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Company was started in 1969 by two brothers, Jim and Jack Kuvelas. I bought the company from them three years ago. Next year is our 50th Anniversary, we are extremely excited. When I bought the company I was the only Veteran at the company, we now have over 20 vets and their spouses working here. Our company is also extremely proud of our leadership. Over 30% of our leadership at NCI are women.

Our whole team is EXCEPTIONALLY proud of what we do!! When we finish a ship or a tank or a bridge or the zoo, our team steps back, and we know we have created something awesomely beautiful. Each day each of us strives to give back to each other and to our community. Since buying NCI, we have grown by 150% to 50% each year!!! That is a tribute to the character and values of the people who have been here for over 20 years plus, and also how they have assimilated their new teammates into our family culture.

We are excited for the future. We have started four new divisions, an Industrial Division, so now we blast and paint all over southern California. A waste reduction division, where our Green Machine can actually help the people and companies that are currently in the waste removal markets. A NASA division working with HVAC and electrical consumption requirements and improving the environment.

Also, our Cyber division, which is our first white collar division where we work with companies to be in compliance with all Cyber requirements working with the government and government agencies.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Business is NEVER smooth, but it should ALWAYS be fun. Our first year was exceptionally bumpy, but we have weathered the storm and are riding on the waves of growth. We have found several great teammates. We started with Comerica as our bank, and they did a fantastic job helping us start to grow.

We have now teamed with Umpqua Bank, and they are an Oregon Bank. Because we are now positioned to grow to be as big or bigger than we are in San Diego all through the West, but including Oregon and Washington State, they are a perfect partner for us.

The original owners, Jim and Jack, have been superstars to work with and continue to help us as we grow. Our Board of Directors and our Advisory Board, are from all over the world and are some of the most talented people in our industries.

The Navy has significantly changed the way they are doing contracting, not for us but for our Primes, so we are now more uniquely positioned to help each other. Our new divisions were very slow to get moving, but now that we are growing each of them, momentum is going to launch us to a whole new dimension.

Naval Coating, Inc – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our people and our teams set us apart. As I said, we are extremely proud of each other and what we do. In the words of one of the government inspectors, who was indicating that although we are NOT the lowest price option, we are worth it.

He told his team of accountants, “have you been down to the ship and been inside one of their tanks, it is beautiful work!! It will outlast the five years of service others provide!!” We specialize in coatings. We are the world experts in application of coatings in all environments.

Some people think this is like painting a home, it is NOT. There are critical temperatures, humidities, dry times, and surface conditions that must be met and if they are not products will fail. Failure is NOT an option for us when schedule adherence is so important to our clients.

Teamwork, final product condition, pride in workmanship, and owning each other back are key to what we do and how well we do it!!!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I love to build great teams. Naval Coating is a GREAT team!!! Standing next to a finished ship, looking up in the drydock with our entire team and knowing no one can do what we do, is an amazing feeling!!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3475 E Street, San Diego, CA 92102
  • Website: www.navalcoating.us
  • Phone: 6266446452
  • Email: alan@navalcoating.com

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