OAK HILL, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Judy Moore, director of the West Virginia Hive Network, cited Alison Ibarra of Pinheads in Oak Hill as its 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year awardee.
Moore said companies, partners, and higher education institutions are recognized by the leadership of the West Virginia Hive annually. “While we announced these over-achievers on October 16th at the ribbon cutting ceremony of our new offices and coworking space, I believe strongly that each of these compelling organizations deserve an individual shout out before the close of 2020,” said Moore.
Here is what Ibarra had to say about her experience working with WV Hive:
“The WV Hive offered so many resources to help us through a difficult period — marketing and financial planning assistance. I was so behind, working 90 hours a week trying to take care of everything. And I can honestly say, without the Hive’s support during that time, we still wouldn’t be here.”
“The assistance from the WV Hive has been a big part of what has taken Pinheads from a ‘pipe dream’ to a sustainable business. The WV Hive has been a trusted partner that I can lean on for training and mentorship to help me learn how to expand my customer base and plan future growth. Their help with marketing, business planning, and identifying sources and uses of
capital breaks down the complicated world of business management into workable areas where we can measure and plan. The help from the Hive gives me confidence and knowledge I need to continue to move forward. I am eternally grateful.”
Pinheads Bowling Center
Alison worked at the same bowling alley in her hometown as a teenager and has taken on its facelift as an adult. She and her husband have worked diligently to acquire bowling equipment from across the U.S. to renovate and repair the center. When parts were needed to repair the center to keep a nostalgic feel, the Ibarras picked up materials from other centers located in other states. They worked on the center with friends from the community to get it up and running.
Besides bowling, Pinheads now offers a restaurant with unique food options and over 100 craft beers. Bowling is tailored to all groups of patrons. They have time slots for families, leagues, and even cosmic bowling. Pinheads works to accommodate the special needs of individuals or groups to make the experience at Pinheads a positive one.
The 2020 pandemic hit Pinheads hard as it did many businesses. They were forced to close their doors temporarily. However, Alison used this time wisely with a kitchen remodel to make the restaurant even more appealing and successful. They also implemented sanitizing protocols that make their clients more comfortable and safer.
Not only did she work to improve her business during COVID, but she also worked diligently to improve her community. Alison began by feeding the folks at the free testing station. Pinheads provides free outside Wi-Fi to displaced students forced to do remote learning. This grew into a countywide initiative with other businesses following her lead. Moore also recognized business and university leaders with annual West Virginia Hive awards, including:
- 2020 Small Business of the Year: Kelli Harrison, Analabs, Inc.
- 2020 Social Enterprise of the Year: Chris Adams, Appalachian Furnishings
- 2020 Startup Business of the Year: Kristi Dumas, The Brain Training Center
- 2020 Partners of the Year: Dr. Carolyn Long, President of WVU Institute of Technology; the Region 1 Workforce Development Board; and the Beckley Presbyterian Church
- 2020 Community Advocate of the Year: Ann Worley
The West Virginia Hive has served 306 businesses and helped launch 44 businesses in its service area. It is currently assisting 79 clients with business advising and technical assistance support on business modeling, financing, human resources, marketing, and other services.
The Hive is the entrepreneurship program of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and the administrator of the Country Roads Angel Network. More information about the West Virginia Hive can be found at https://wvhive.com/.