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Snyder CEO Joe Carter on How the Abatement Industry Continues To Grow

3 min read

Before joining Snyder Environmental in 2010, Joe Carter led Cornerstone Insurance Group Inc. of Little Rock, which he sold in 2009. He is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School. Carter is a board member of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and the Arkansas Environmental Federation, a local association that deals with environmental, safety and health regulations. He also serves on the board of Our House.

Snyder Environmental, founded in 2001, specializes in asbestos abatement, mold remediation, dust control and lead paint removal in the Midwest and Southern U.S.

Do you see the day when you’ll no longer need to offer asbestos and lead paint removal because it’s not being used anymore?

I hope that there will come a day when all asbestos is safely returned to the ground, but that day is a long time away. Asbestos was used extensively for the better part of a century in over 3,000 building products by virtually every contractor in the nation. A relatively select group of companies has been removing asbestos in buildings that have been renovated or demolished since 1990. We’ve barely scratched the surface in the U.S. Internationally, asbestos is still used in many countries. Lead paint follows the same trend. As a result, there will be opportunity in both asbestos and lead abatement for decades.

What are the top challenges facing your company in the removal of toxic substances?

The top challenges involve the safety of our people and the general public. We spend a significant amount of money to train and retain our people. We also employ a safety director and external consultants to help ensure every job is done safely and well within regulations.

Snyder Environmental has been named to Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing, privately held, for-profit companies in the country three times. What’s behind your company’s growth and where do you see future growth?

The key to growth for any company is its people. We’re no different. Snyder Environmental has a team of fantastic, dynamic and capable people. Attracting and retaining such people is essential. From there, it is all about creating excellent and sustainable customer experiences. We do our best to be people of integrity and be extremely responsive to the needs of our customers. The early indications are that our plan is working.

Since 2008, we have grown from an Arkansas-only firm to one licensed in six states and in the process of being licensed in three more while considering national licensure. We’ve worked as far away as Nigeria. Snyder Environmental has also expanded its services to include demolition, soil remediation, tank removal and others.

It’s also important to not focus too much on the money. It’s really difficult to get anyone excited about monetary growth goals, even if you pay them to. Instead, people generally want to be a part of something meaningful that provides a positive legacy.

For all of these reasons, we believe we are well positioned for the future.

You’re a savvy communicator, having appeared or been interviewed in a number of publications in the last year (including this one). How does such exposure benefit Snyder Environmental?

I have the good fortune of being the face of Snyder Environmental publicly. Our team has put me in a position to share our experiences. Sometimes those experiences are good. Sometimes they are not. But whatever they are, I am proud to represent this team of people publicly. As to how publicity benefits us, in the words of my mentor, former partner and best friend, Brock Johnson, “I suppose we will know in 10 or 15 years.”

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