Friday, December 21, 2012

A very HMT Christmas...


Christmas: Hatfield-McCoy Trails style
 Hey folks, Big Jim here,
  Just figured I would let you all in on the 2012 Hatfield-McCoy Trails Christmas Dinner- an event held annually for all of the employees who work for the world famous Hatfield-McCoy trails. This time of the year everybody from the rangers, to the field maintenance team, to the executives and the customer sales representatives gather at HMT’s new headquarters at Lyburn for a delicious dinner, a day off with pay, and a chance to relax with friends and enjoy the holiday season.
 These get togethers are a little more fun than your typical run of the mill Holiday Office Party. Because for one thing, the folks who work for HMT literally are like one very big family. Many of us have worked together for years and we are all good friends. This little phenomenon not only creates loyal employees, it makes for a fun work environment as well. There is a camaraderie at HMT that you generally do not experience at other places.  I am not knocking any of the places I have worked in the past, mind you. I am just saying HMT is SPECIAL.
 And there is more to our annual company Christmas Dinner than picking up your bonus and a gift. You get to see the guys and gals who work out in the field at other trails and in different territories that you do not get to work with every day. And you get to find out about different parts of the world of HMT. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how interested many of our riders are about every aspect of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. The field crews, the Rangers, etc.. are often humbled to find out that the public enjoyed seeing a picture of them on one of our web pages, or reading about them on our community forums or McBlog. Guys and gals, you too help make this a very special place to live and work by your love of the trails and your enthusiasm for what we do. And on behalf of my co-workers let me say, Thank YOU!
  Our annual holiday get together is cool for other reasons too. We find out about upcoming things and changes. For example, this year, one of our young Rangers got a promotion to Sargeant- and he will be joined by some new ones in his territory. What you may not know is that not only do our Rangers enforce the laws on the trails and handle emergency situations or needed investigations, these are also the guys who handle a LOT of the regular, routine maintenance on our trail systems! Yes, they are certified law enforcement officers for the Great Mountain State of West Virginia, but they are also more than just ‘cops.’
 I spoke with one of my friends who works in the field and he said this year’s two major projects are Ivy Branch, a new system that will be coming online to be added to our existing trail systems and the trail system for Lincoln County. Even though there are other things that come into play, these two will be the top priority jobs for 2013.
 Our Executive Director, Jeff Lusk gave us plenty of good news this Christmas as well.
 “We have had a fantastic year sales wise,” he said. “Our permit sales are up 12 percent this year and our merchandise sales are also up.” He noted that over the past three years while the rest of the country was in an extreme economic downturn, Hatfield-McCoy continued to grow and expand and see more business. “Our sales have gone up steadily in the seven years I have been with the company,” he noted. “And right now we have some of the best employees in the world. These are the best people we have ever had in our work force right now that we have ever had. And we are growing and have several new people with us this year as well.”
 “This was a banner year for us and we were able to do pay raises for our employees across the board, which speaks very well to the financial health of our company. We truly appreciate you and we hpe the holidays are good for you this year,” he added.
 New employees were introduced to the long term HMT team, and everyone enjoyed a delicious catered meal.
 On behalf of my friends and fellow HMT employees, I would like to say we all wish you, our riders a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 

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