West Virginia Executive Spring 2017 - Page 85

CMI Corporation BY ALICIA ELKIN. CMI Corporation prides itself on creating high- Appalachian Log Structures BY BLAIR DOWLER. In 1978, Fletcher Parsons, a pioneer in the wood preservation industry, answered the need for refined, durable quality and the unique construction of log structures for housing and commercial use by establishing Appalachian Log Structures. The company, with 22 employees between the corporate head- quarters in Ripley, WV, and the manufacturing facility in Princeton, WV, manufactures log home kits, as well as maintenance products, siding and railing. Dedicated to beautiful craftsmanship, Appa- lachian Log ships 60-70 percent of its products out of state and exports to countries like Mexico, Canada, Japan and Australia. The company is strategically situated in the Appalachian Moun- tain range, where Eastern White Pine trees grow naturally and abundantly. The family-owned and operated business uses timber from these trees harvested along the West Virginia-Virginia border. In addition to strong West Virginia roots, there’s something else that separates Appalachian Log Structures from the rest of the industry: it pressure treats its products with wood preservatives made with borate, a natural mineral that protects wood from water and insect damage, giving it longer-lasting capabilities. quality products and bringing jobs to the Mountain State. After several ownership changes and headquarter moves, the company found its home in Franklin, WV, where it focuses on enhancing its designing, manufacturing and selling of rock climbing hardware. For 12 years, CMI operated out of CEO Ronald Kirk Jr.’s West Virginia home basement until it erected its original build- ing in 1990, which has expanded seven times and grown to over 30,000 square feet. CMI has increased from $80,000 in sales per year to more than $3 million, and it now employs 22 West Virginians. “When I began designing our prod- uct line, my sons were young, and I took them climbing with me,” says Kirk. “I de- signed our products from the standpoint that I would hang my own sons’ lives on them.” Over the past 53 years, CMI’s products have evolved from strictly rock climbing hardware to rope-related safety hardware. CMI’s products can be found in fire de- partments; hospitals, where they are used for therapeutic apparatus ad- justment; and the zip line in- dustry. These West Virgin- ia-made products were also utilized during 9/11 relief efforts. Appalachian Railcar Services BY BLAIR DOWLER. Established in 2000, Appalachian Railcar Services (ARS) is a dynamic and growing rail services orga- nization serving customers throughout the country. Its services include railcar maintenance, mobile repair, track repair, railcar storage, coal loading and unload- ing, plant switching, short line operation and trucking services. Founded by Kurt and Trina Higgin- botham, the idea for ARS stemmed from Kurt’s 15 years of experience with railcars, a love for his home state of West Virginia and the dream of owning his own business. “For me, the key thing was that I felt like I could do this work just as well as the other railcar companies and give the work more attention,” Kurt, the president and CEO, says of the decision to start ARS. “I felt I could focus on our c ѽ́ѕ)ѡѡ$ݽɭȻt)ILݡ݅́եЁѡѕɵ)ѥѼѡɥа́ݼȴ)ͽɅѥݥѠMи̰)AѼ٥չ)]XQ䰁ݥѠɅєՅѕ)Ȱ]Xɽ᥵ѕ)啕̰ILɅѕ́ձѥ)ѥ́ɽ̀؁хѕɭ̰ͅ)ɥ%݄%-Ս䰁5)9Ʌͭ9Ѡ ɽ=)Q͕Q̰UхYɝ])Yɝ]͍ͥ)ѥ́ѡ͔ѥ́م)ݕձ͕٥ѥ̰ɥمє)չ͕́٥չ́ɕ䁙)́͡ЁɑȸIL͕٥ٕ)ɅɽȰՑɅ)ɕаఁх̸+q]ɕ܁ILɽѱ)Ѽѥɥгtͅ)-иq]ٕȁɕݔݽձ)Ѽѡٕ́]хѕЁ٥)ѱ͡Ёȁ-ݡ) ݥѠЁѡݼ̰Ё)ѕȁѡи=ȁ啕́ɔѡ)ѼȁՍ̸%ӊéѕа)ݔٔ݅́ɥٕѼхɔ)啕́ȁѽ̸ٕѡ)͔́t)]]\]Ya UQ%Y =4$)L@H$8Ȁ(