Success Stories

Larry and Margaret Brown, owners of Weston Transfer Inc. and Jack’s Septic Inc. located in Weston, West Virginia, have been in business since 1979. Margaret is president of Jack’s Septic Inc. and Larry is the president of Weston Transfer Inc.

The couple doesn’t sit around waiting for things happen. They are movers and shakers getting the job done through running their own businesses, joining local business organizations, and encouraging others to get involved in community activities.

Both companies are centered on waste disposal. Weston Transfer is a garbage collection service and Jack’s Septic is a waste management company providing portable toilets and solid waste disposal.

Margaret said, “Our businesses are just like a baby. There are a lot of sleepless nights worrying about the equipment failures, portable potties freezing up, or a wind storm turning over a customer’s portable toilet. It’s a lot of hard work but you do what you have to do even... Read More

Jeff Smoot, owner of Sahara Dry Basement, LLC, located in Martinsburg, West Virginia, is smiling as he watches his latest television commercial. In the ad, he’s sitting on the couch in the den with his wife, Stephanie. The couple is reading the paper when three of their children jubilantly rush by, wearing swimsuits, snorkels, face masks and fins. Stephanie looks up from the paper and remarks matter of factly, “honey, the basement is leaking again.” The ad, written by Jeff, then unveils the many virtues of the company’s unique basement water proofing system and ends with one of the children rapturously observing, “thanks to Sahara Dry Basement, we can save enough money to buy a real pool!”

That clever commercial vividly underscores Jeff’s basic business philosophy which is “market, market, market.” He estimates that 80% of the money he spends is on advertising. He is a self described “bulldog” on “branding.”

“Every place I went, I handed out business cards,”... Read More

Jean Hawks has had to overcome a lot of challenges throughout her business career, but it hasn’t affected the outlook she has on life. Hawks, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Fort Hill Child Development Center in Charleston, WV, is never without a smile or a positive word.

Her daughter, Jamie Gaeger, who recently began working as the co-director and accreditation administrator, best describes Hawks as someone who has been “given the gift of patience, understanding, perseverance and forgiveness which she shares with every person she has touched.”

Hawks has always dreamed of helping her community in every way she could. That dream turned out to be the opening of a daycare and child development center. Hawks has two attributes that are essential elements of being a successful childcare giver. The gifts of being able to love and teach and managing the many challenges pursuing that dream presented.

“I was a single parent with three children,... Read More

Larry Zaccagnini is opening lots of doors for companies in West Virginia. No, he isn’t a doorman at some exotic resort or hotel, but the owner of a small business called Capital Doors located in Fairmont.

“We install and service industrial and commercial garage doors, coiling doors, shutters, fire doors and many other specialty doors,” said Zaccagnini. “We’ve installed doors from the size of a regular entry door to hanger doors. Sizes can extend to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide.”

Zaccagnini purchased the business, which employs 15, in 1999 from Lyle and Bradley Helmick. He has worked at Capital Doors since 1990 as a sales representative and jumped at the opportunity to buy the business from the Helmicks.

“I worked and helped my father run a construction business for about 20 years,” Zaccagnini said. “So I guess you can say entrepreneurship runs in the family.”

Chances are you’ve seen or walked through a product from Capital Doors without... Read More