Founder / president, Coalfields Logistics and Transport, Sophia, 38
On his first paying job:
"I went to work at age 13 for my father in the construction business. I was the third man in a three-man crew installing home improvements — roofing, siding, guttering — and they didn't cut you a lot of slack."
Stephen Croy of Crab Orchard is following in his father's entrepreneurial footsteps and, at the same time, making his own way.
A Beckley native, Croy founded Coalfields Logistics and Transport in 2008, when he was 35.
"My father was a successful businessman, so I kind of grew up in that environment," he said. That business was Croy General Contractors, which was since sold.
Croy and his father started Croy Farm and Trailer Sales in Sophia together in 1993, a couple years after Stephen graduated from Greater Beckley Christian School.
"I worked in that business for several years as an owner and out of that business is where the trucking end of it developed from," he said. "And that's a venture I set out on my own."
Coalfield Logistics is a motor carrier specializing in the needs of the coal and heavy construction industries.
Croy still serves as secretary / treasurer for Croy Farm and Trailer Sales.
He hopes to lead his own business into continuing growth.
"I would like to grow the company to a point where I can find a little more freedom personally to pursue some things and be with my family more," he said.
Croy and wife Traci are raising three children in Crab Orchard; they will celebrate their 20th anniversary next year.
"She's a huge part of my success," he said.
He also credits good mentoring.
"Seeing the dynamics of what works and how men interact with each other and what it takes to meet schedules and get a job done, I think it equipped me as I grew up to be a more effective leader," he said of working for his father's business as a boy. And of their later work together, "I have to credit my father for allowing me the opportunity to get into business and still be under the umbrella of his experience and guidance."