Where some might just see a lot of obstacles living and working in a rural town, Jacob (below, right) and Malinda Meck see opportunity.

Their county, which takes two hours to drive across, is home to just 9,000 people, many of whom are low-income. “We have a lot of drive time, and supplies have to be brought in from other counties,” Malinda says. “It makes the jobs more difficult.” In such a small place, it’s also difficult to find labor, but the Mecks employ three carpenters who do everything but HVAC work. Green Bank is also home to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, so the area is a “quiet zone” — no cell phone or wireless computer use allowed in a 13,000-square-mile area.

The Mecks have adapted to their surroundings and have succeeded by networking through the Home Builders Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Lions Club. They also own two other companies: one that rents portable toilets and another that collects residential, commercial, and roll-off construction trash for the entire county. Developing relationships with homeowners at a nearby ski resort has also helped to strengthen the Mecks’ business.

Best Practices

  • Uses a design/build model for larger projects. 
  • Recently developed a checklist for prospective customers. 
  • Does 30 projects a year.

- Stacey Freed