QE Throughout the Years
The QE Story
Quality Electric Co. was founded in Virginia Beach, VA
Howard Murrell, Sr. opened Quality Electric Co., a small business focused on small commercial electrical and residential renovations in Virginia Beach, VA. Howard’s first purchase was a 1969 Ford Econoline Van - he took the risk and invested $1,900 of the company’s $4,400 bank account on the vehicle.
Company’s Big Break
Quality Electric Co. was contracted to change Esso gas signs to the now familiar Exxon signs in the Hampton Roads area.This was a milestone as the company shifted to petroleum-related service work and warranted the name change from Quality Electric Co. to Quality Engineering Company, Inc on August 2, 1973.
Expansion into New Markets
Quality Engineering expanded their petroleum related construction services to also include the replacement of fuel storage tanks at numerous service stations in the Virginia Beach area.
Focus on Service Stations
After Howard Jr. graduated from the College of William & Mary, Quality Engineering broadened their services from repair work and tank replacements to bidding on complete service stations.
Established Local Presence
The company’s expansion prompted the construction of a new corporate office and on-site maintenance shop in 1973. The new office building was located on Burton Station Road in Norfolk, VA where the company was based until the early 1990s.
Company on the Move
Due to the company’s fast-paced growth, Quality Engineering broke ground on a new office building in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Open for Business
By October of 1991, Quality Engineering’s larger office and in-house maintenance shop were completed, with all operations now based out of this location.
Installation of Fiberglass Tanks at Exxon Service Stations
Quality Engineering was contracted by Exxon to install underground fiberglass fuel storage tanks. At the time, many existing steel tanks leaked pollutants into the groundwater. Starting in the late 1980’s, EPA regulations required that service stations replace these corroded steel tanks.
Business is Booming
To keep up with the demand, Quality Engineering expanded its operations to include heavy civil, buildings, utility and mechanical piping installations, and asphalt and concrete paving. With its growing geographical presence and evolution of project experience, the company was renamed to Quality Enterprises USA, Inc. (QE) on May 12, 1995.
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
QE found much success in the 1990’s with federal government contracting work, completing multi-million dollar projects in Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, and Guantanamo Bay. One of these projects included replacing a water storage tank for the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Corporate Headquarters Relocates to Naples, FL
After Howard Jr. moved to Naples, FL in 1994, QE broadened its scope of services to also include underground utility and heavy civil work. QE found success in Collier County, FL and the surrounding areas and therefore decided to relocate their corporate office to Naples, FL. QE’s presence now reached from the Mid-Atlantic to the Southeast region.
Aviation Work Takes Off
With QE’s corporate office located at the Naples Airport, the company was approached to complete various aviation projects, including runway and taxiway replacements, private hangar construction, etc. This was the start of an ongoing market for QE.
Hurricane Katrina Relief Work
In response to Hurricane Katrina, QE mobilized resources to Mississippi and New Orleans to assist in completing over $100 Million worth of projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rehabilitation efforts included mechanical dredging, installation of steel sheet piles, battered H-Piles, and concrete for over 10 miles worth of flood walls.
Geographic Reach Continues to Broaden
QE identified a new geographic region in search of heavy civil contractors. With several projects out to bid, QE focused their business development efforts on the Savannah, GA and Hilton Head, SC areas. QE is ultimately awarded work focused on taxiway & runway construction, as well as local municipal utility and roadway projects.
Introduction of Trenchless Technology
With QE’s high volume of underground utility projects, the company saw the opportunity to expand their services once again and install large underground water lines by Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). This method reduced restoration in comparison to open cut excavation and is part of QE’s continued sustainability efforts.
After acquiring an equipment yard and office building only 1.5 miles from I-75, QE moved their corporate headquarters to this new location. The company wanted a single base of operation, and the close proximity to the interstate continues to allow for prompt equipment mobilization and enhanced project efficiency.
Material Sales Take Off
As QE continued to experience growth in construction projects and services, the Company saw the opportunity to vertically integrate material production and recycling into its business lines. QE added a crushing and screening fleet to its equipment inventory adding two Metso mobile impact crushers and several Sandvik screeners. QE can responsibly source the materials needed for its own internal projects in addition to serving hundreds of customers throughout the Southwest Florida region.
Implementation of Construction Technology
QE experienced a surge in new technological advancements, including 3D asphalt paving due to the need for higher accuracy and precision on the job sites. This complemented the already present electronic grade control in QE’s dozers and motor graders. Soon after, QE opted to also include grade control on their newest excavators.
50 Years of Golden Opportunities
QE celebrated a major milestone...50 years of service.
Three Generations Working Together
Today, QE continues to build exceptional infrastructure across the Southeast region and is always seeking new ways to expand operations. With this in mind, QE has rebranded the company to reflect our growth. Although we’re evolving, we still haven’t lost sight of our mission: Building Quality infrastructure to provide Quality lives for our families, customers, and our community.
QE rolls out a new brand, which presents a fresh, clear vision of Quality’s future.
QE expanded its concrete operations and now provides poured concrete for contractors with several Holcombe Volumetric Concrete Mixer trucks.