Grow nearly 40 percent in your past two years and you must be doing something right. Now consider that J. Bowers Construction is in its 42nd year, and it’s an even more agile feat. Though its work is largely insurance restoration, J. Bowers Construction also takes on residential improvements. The company often piggybacks other work onto an insurance loss. “If insurance pays a big chunk to restore what was lost, why not take on parts of the rest of the house?” says Rick Bowers (center), president, whose late father, Jim, started the company. He now runs the business with the help of vice presidents Bob Motz (left) and Bill Watkins (right).

The company’s systems are more sophisticated than those of some insurance firms. It can receive claims, handle them, estimate, and take photos all digitally. But Bowers insists his best asset is the skills of his field staff—carpenters, painters, drywallers, and other craftsmen. They all vie for customer “attaboy letters.” Bowers writes a note with each letter, making copies for employees on that job. “I want them to take it home to their wives and talk about it,” he says.