Case Studies

Native American Services Corporation

Innovative solutions for diverse construction projects

Dennis “Rusty” Sheppard and a partner founded Native American Services Corporation (NASCO) in 1998 as a small environmental reclamation firm. In 1999, the business entered the federal 8(a) program through the Small Business Administration; however, rapidly outgrew the small business program.

Today, NASCO is a large construction management business working on projects across the United States. With approximately 160 employees, the business is working on as many as 600 projects around the country at any given time.

“We specialize in construction management,” Rusty explains. “Our experience has helped us build the capabilities to manage large projects in remote locations. We run everything out of our headquarters in Kellogg, Idaho, with remote offices in the regions we work in.” The company’s clients mostly include government entities such as the military, although the team does perform several private projects each year.

Rusty takes great pride in his employees. He touts a strong management team as well as construction managers and in-house trades workers who keep the company moving and growing. The staff is well trained and utilizes cutting edge technology to design and plan projects as well as to communicate clearly and efficiently with clients and strategic partners.

A growing portfolio

NASCO predominately manages multi-year, task order programs for 13 military bases and other federal installations throughout the country. The military is a major client for the business, offering opportunities for unique vertical construction projects. Recent work on these bases includes the just-finished Battle Command Training Center at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, Colo., which was a $35 million job. The team was also recently awarded the contract for a new command headquarters, also at Fort Carson.

“We have worked at Auburn University, where we built the largest Starbucks in the world,” Rusty notes. “It is a pretty good sized coffee shop. We are building new stuff everywhere. We are working on large high-rise in Las Vegas right now. We have the preliminary design work done and we are ready to put shovels in the ground.”

The company also assembles renewable power generation systems and facilities. The renewable energy sector has been taking off in recent years for the team. “Right now we are helping a client get funding to build a 10 megawatt plant out of Atlanta,” Rusty notes. “This is a really unique job. Atlanta has a major problem getting rid of wood, construction debris, grass clippings and other natural waste. This plant will produce 10 megawatts of power, which is enough electricity for about 10,000 homes by burning the woody debris and yard waste that currently costs Atlanta $20 per ton to dispose of.”

The company’s work in power generation continues with national and international contracts. NASCO is currently putting together a team for an overseas project for bio-power. Together, the crew will be planning and managing the construction of power generation pads in Africa.

A strong team

The company’s public work has kept the business going strong throughout the recession, although it has not all been smooth sailing. “We are not as busy as we were,” Rusty notes. “But because we changed what we do, a lot of that depends on what the administration is doing. We do a lot of work on the Navajo Indian Reservations and work frequently for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

The company’s record for performance has been a major factor in NASCO’s stability. “You have to have good past performance to get work for government jobs,” Rusty elaborates. “I had fairly good cash and a strong contracting background so I did things a little different from the normal. We would bid on jobs knowing we wouldn’t make any money off them and in a few years we had great past experience and were out of debt and getting federal work.”

Rusty and his team have also built strong relationships within the industry that help ensure efficiency and performance. “We do some electrical in-house, but a as construction management company we sub out most of the trades,” he says. “Our subcontractors cannot work with us unless approved by our business office. We are very strict when we check out the subcontractors we use. Working for the government, if we award contract to a sub we do great job of controlling them and make sure they do finish the job.”

These connections have helped fuel the business toward steady, strong growth in the coming years. He sees the company tripling in size as the economy and markets pick up. As NASCO grows, the management team is constantly reinvesting in equipment and technology to give the team a leading advantage over competitors. With strong relationships and an unwavering commitment to quality, Native American Services Corporation continues to turn over diverse and challenging projects across the country.

Published on: January 8, 2015

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