Last week, our EQR team said goodbye to our founder Carter McCamy, as he starts his new life as a retiree. Carter’s entrepreneurial spirit and his deep love for the environment and the Chesapeake Bay were the primary ingredients in the evolution of EQR.
Carter, a native of Rockville Maryland, graduated from Churchill High school and went on to receive his degree in Conservation and Resource Management from the University of Maryland. After graduation Carter found a career in the home construction industry, working for 14 years for the luxury home builder and developer Mitchell and Best. In his capacity as a developer he soon found himself spending much of his time working with regulators and engineers on methods and materials to improve the design of stormwater management systems and how to incorporate native vegetative communities into existing restoration practices.
Carter’s involvement in the regulatory process led to his decision on November 1, 1991, to start an environmental restoration company dedicated to improving the Chesapeake Bay Watersheds. Originally based in Silver Spring, MD, EQR was primarily an environmental planting operation. Carter soon recognized the industry need for an environmentally focused construction company and directed company growth to include site work in stream restoration, wetland mitigation and stormwater management. In the ensuing years, Carter added staff including Mike Farley (1993), Rick Scaffidi (1994), Joy Owen (1995), Daniel Brown (1996), Chris Choppin (1997), and Ken Williams (1998) who are all still with us to this day!
The office relocated from Silver Spring, to the Green Farm in Gaithersburg, to Arbutus, and with those moves EQR expanded from 10 employees to over 200. With this growth EQR made a name for itself as one of the most experienced environmental construction companies in the area! All thanks to Carter’s vision, initiative and determination.
Carter’s vision also engaged the world of environmental products. In 2003, he created Eco -Depot, a company developing and selling products specifically for the environmental restoration industry. He also invented products for the concrete industry, harnessing his “Mad Scientist” tendencies to develop the “pH Watchdog”, an automated system used to neutralize the basic (high pH) waste generated during the concrete production process.
Fast forward to January 1, 2014 when Carter decided to sell his shares of EQR to Reliable Contracting. This new ownership arrangement coupled with the existing shares owned by Chaney Enterprises, helped establish the financial support and business knowledge needed to meet the exploding growth in the environmental restoration industry in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. On February 11, 2014, we moved into our home in Millersville where we have been for almost four years. Since then we have expanded our regional footprint by opening a branch in Richmond, VA, and we are now close to 250 people strong. Everyone in EQR shares the same passion for the environment, and brings their own unique talents to meet the demanding goals of ecological restoration. Together, with our senior management team, office staff, equipment management group and our great field team, we will continue to grow as a company and as a leader in our field by following the example Carter set.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we won’t see Carter again. He will come back to EQR for a special project or two. We can’t thank Carter enough for what he has done for the environment, or for us as his coworkers when he created this wonderful and innovative company 26 years ago. We wish you good luck Carter!