Construction firm based at Crossroads lands $6.5M contract

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Crossroads Success Stories

On April 30, the few at Crossroads Institute who knew exhibited quiet satisfaction.

Candor Construction Inc., a general contractor that three years ago entered the Crossroads incubator in Galax, had just landed a $6.5 million shopping center construction project in Morgantown, W.Va. “You don’t hear numbers that big in this building very often,” quipped one Crossroads board member.

“Using the services Crossroads offers, people who believe in themselves and who have a good idea and work hard can succeed and bring others along with them,” said Candor president Steve Winesett.

Candor represents what Twin County officials had in mind a decade ago when they established Crossroads, whose purpose is to further education and economic development. The incubator is designed to assist new and expanding businesses.

Winesett, a Carroll County native who graduated from CCHS in 1989 and earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1993, started Candor after 20 years’ construction experience in 18 states with John S. Clark Co, in Mount Airy, N.C.

He learned about Crossroads while working on community activities with the institute’s former executive director, Dr. Oliver McBride, who retired June 30. Early in 2012, McBride introduced Winesett to Mandy Archer, director of the Small Business Development Center based at Crossroads.

Archer helped Winesett with a business plan and explained about the incubator, which provides reasonably priced office space, including internet, fax and copier services, to new and expanding businesses in the region. Candor opened its office there in June 2012. “The incubator was very helpful in getting us started, especially that first year,” Winesett said.

Unlike most starting new firms in the incubator, Winesett came with extensive experience and professional licenses, as well as potential clients. He just needed projects.

Candor landed its first job, remodeling and repairing a Charlotte, N.C., office building, in December 2012. The company has since grown to 15 well-qualified employees currently working on six projects in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.

“Surprisingly, we’re doing much more work than I expected in the Twin Counties,” said Winesett, who is married to the former Tina Frazier, also from Carroll County. The couple has two sons, Brandon, a Virginia Tech junior; and Corey, a CCHS junior. The family lives outside Hillsville.

Some of Candor’s local work has helped new and expanding firms working with regional economic and small-business development agencies. “We’re very pleased we can be part of the growth and development in our hometown,” Winesett said.

“In our first three years, we’ve grown and established the foundation so that we can handle projects such as the [$6.5 million] job we were awarded today,” he added in April.

Candor is currently negotiating for several additional projects. “Landing some or all of those could make for a successful company for the next four to five years,” he said.

Winesett acknowledges his experience and business associations have contributed to Candor’s success. “But I also needed an office to operate from and guidance establishing a business plan. Crossroads and the Small Business Development Center provided both.”