BECKLEY (WVDN) – The West Virginia Hive named top performing Hive client Falcon Mine Service in Midway as its 2022 Small Business of the Year.
Judy Moore, executive director of the WV Hive and deputy director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, said “Falcon Mine Service’s story is the perfect depiction of our southern West Virginia Entrepreneurs. The award judges and Hive staff were overwhelmed with the strong determination and entrepreneurial spirit of Amanda and Ceretha Green and Clint Henderson at Falcon Mine Service as they took on the operation of the business following the passing of its founder, Darrell Green, in 2021.”
Amanda Green is the daughter of Darrell Green and Ceretha is his widow; Clint Henderson is the company’s first employee, who now serves as lead salesman. Amanda said, “For Mom and for me, there was never an option that included us not devoting ourselves entirely to running Dad’s business and trying our hardest to be successful at it.”
Falcon Mine Service provides cutting tools, drills and bits products to the West Virginia mining and construction industry. Falcon was started in 2001 after Darrell Green retired from Fansteel VR Wesson after working there 30 years. Falcon became a distributor of Fansteel products and achieved success in his industry.
As with many small businesses, there were bumps in the road. Fansteel declared bankruptcy and Falcon was heavily dependent on its products. After finding a new mining parts manufacturer, Darrell Green managed Falcon as a one-man show for several years. Through cancer and mining industry fluctuations, Green still managed to operate Falcon successfully. In 2018, Falcon hired its first employee, Henderson, who had connections and experience in the mining industry. Falcon saw another season of growth, gained new customers, and expanded its product line, but in 2019 Green’s daughter, Amanda, saw that her father needed some more staff. While also working a full-time job with the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Amanda began helping her dad with paperwork and learning the business.
During 2020, the global pandemic helped bolster mining production. Falcon Mine Service remained steady in sales until June 2021, when Darrell succumbed to COVID. There being no time to grieve, Amanda and her mother, Ceretha, leaped into managing the business, as customers were depending on them.
Amanda resigned from her state job in August 2021 so she and her mother could devote full time to running Falcon. Henderson made a commitment to stay with Falcon Mine Service in spite of other opportunities.
One thing Amanda learned while working alongside her dad, was to always think of ways to grow the business. Since 2021, Amanda realized that while the coal mining industry is booming and Falcon’s sales are good, this might be a good time to diversify and explore growth. That led the Greens to become a WV Hive client in January 2022.
Falcon Mine Service leaders sought grants and help with a formal business plan from the WV Hive. The following are some of the key developments that led Falcon Mine Service to become the WV Hive’s 2022 Small Business of the Year:
- Because of the need to move away from one main manufacturer for their product line, they worked with Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) to create drawings for their best-selling products and ordered and installed upgraded machinery to produce them in-house.
- As a result of the new machinery, plans are being studied to venture into other industries, including aerospace.
- The company has designed additional warehouse space and is formulating a time for the build-out.
- Efforts are underway to partner with local technology schools and/or high schools to offer their space and time for teaching the trade.
- The company continues to show steady sales increases as it expands and grows.
The WV Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the NRGRDA and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. Its 13-county service area includes Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Nicholas, Webster, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Monroe, Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming, Logan, and Mingo counties. More information about the WV Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/.