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Rish Equipment Team Building ’Support Driven’ Culture

Tue June 12, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

Rish Equipment Company, which has sold and serviced construction and mining equipment in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland for more than 70 years, has announced that it has elevated several key employees to new management positions in order to better serve its loyal customer base.

The new management structure of the Bluefield, W.Va.-based firm followed the retirements in late 2011 of most of the company’s top executives, according to new CEO Myron Jones.

With an eye toward helping its clients work more efficiently, Jones said that the first thing the new management team at Rish Equipment has been busily working toward in 2012 is instilling a new culture within the company that focuses on being “support-driven.”

“To us, this initiative is more than just a motto,” he explained. “In that the mining side of our business generally operates 24/7, we are trying to improve on the support we give them around the clock. We now run day shifts and night shifts on parts and service to support their efforts and offer them a support-driven mentality that we’ll leave no stone unturned to service a client and get their machine operational if they are in need of any kind of maintenance.

“We are working hard to drive that culture throughout every facet of our organization.”

Rish Equipment is a privately-held company owned for decades by the Davis family of Coeburn, Va. Jack Davis Jr. now serves the company as vice president of business analysis. Jones said that he is confident that Davis will continue to infuse the company with his family’s “entrepreneurial spirit” in his new role.

“[Mr. Davis] has literally been with Rish since an early age and really provides a great continuity and future direction for our company,” Jones added. “In any privately held company, succession and continuity are always a concern for anybody working within that firm, including someone in my position as CEO. Having Jack Davis Jr. engaged in the company is both refreshing and quite comforting.”

After serving for 15 years as vice president of mining sales for Rish Equipment, Jones will now be responsible for day-to-day operations as the new CEO. He has spent 30 years in the construction/mining equipment industry, which included stops at Komatsu and Ingersoll Rand.

Like Davis and Jones, the five other new executives are all veterans of the industry who have long had ties to Rish Equipment.

• Wesley Burke, the new company president, has worked with Rish Equipment affiliates for 29 years and also has served a four-year stint on the company’s Board of Directors and has served as a managing director. He has worked in the Mining Group as vice president, president and partner of Fairbanks Coal Co. Inc. In addition, he currently serves on the board at the Miners Exchange Bank in Coeburn, Va.

• Dale Hall has been named vice president and chief operating officer and serves on the Rish Equipment board. He has logged 13 years of experience with the company and has worked for various Davis family owned businesses for 24 years. In his new job, Hall manages Rish’s product support division.

• Rish Equipment’s new vice president, chief financial officer and secretary/treasurer is Steve Hamilton. After starting out with the company as comptroller in 1986, he was later promoted to secretary/treasurer before assuming his current title.

• Buddy McGlothlin has been appointed vice president of sales in the Bluefield headquarters, after serving for 18 years in sales and branch management for Rish Equipment in Virginia and West Virginia. McGlothlin brings 32 years of experience in mining and industrial sales management to his new position with Rish.

• After having been a Komatsu equipment sales representative since 1982, Chip Bohlen has been elevated to the position of vice president and general manager of Virginia operations for Rish Equipment. He is a 12-year veteran of the Virginia Division of Rish Equipment (previously Mitchell). In his new role, he will be responsible for the daily operations of the sales and support team in Virginia.

Jones said that once the old management team decided to retire, Davis put together a succession plan with the help of Burke and Hall, who had both worked with Davis in his other companies throughout their careers, including the management of several of his golf courses.

“It is interesting to me, for instance, that Wesley Burke is our new president after having been a Rish Equipment customer when he was a principal in his own coal company,” Jones added, meaning that by once being a customer, he now brings “a fresh perspective to the equipment side of the business.”

Rish Equipment serves all of West Virginia, Virginia, the western panhandle of Maryland and the northernmost area of North Carolina’s Outer Banks through its 12 full-service locations.

The company offers a full-line of new, used and rental equipment and offers complete maintenance facilities in each of its locations. Rish Equipment employ 250 people companywide, including approximately 100 field service mechanics. Jones said that Komatsu makes up the firm’s largest product line, followed by Atlas Copco, Dynapac, Sennebogen, LeeBoy and NPK.

Headquartered right in the heart of coal country, most of Rish Equipment’s business is understandably mining-related. With coal companies located in the south near Bluefield all the way north to Morgantown, West Virginia is home to many of Rish’s top energy clients and coal mines, including its largest client, Alpha Natural Resources. Rish also does business with Arch Coal and Patriot Mining, as well as other coal companies.

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