Ask an Expert Webinar Series

Ask an expert webinar series

We’ll be speaking with small business owners in our community and discussing topics such as: how they got started, the challenges they faced, pivots and changes in their business model over the years and advice for those looking to start their own business.

Tuesday, October 10th at 10am

Topic: Online retail, manufacturing, distribution, and food service businesses

Experts: Irv and Laura Miller

We’ll be speaking with Irv Miller from Morgan County. He and his wife, Laura, actually own four separate businesses, they are true entrepreneurs! Irv’s background is in security and the first two businesses involve self-defense products, manufacturing and distribution and even developing his own formula for pepper spray. They have an online retail business, and his recipe is used by other companies across the country. Their other businesses involve the food service industry. They opened “The Naked Olive” retail store which is a gourmet olive oil, vinegar and accompaniment brick & mortar store in downtown Berkeley Springs. They also opened the Naked Olive Lounge & Restaurant right next door shortly after opening their shop.

Tuesday, October 24th at 10am

Topic: Renewable energy business

Experts: Mike McKechnie (president/founder), Kelly Waugh (VP) and Mike Studholme (PV & Battery Consultant)

We’ll be speaking with a team from Mountain View Solar from Morgan County. We’ll be joined by Mike McKechnie (president/founder), Kelly Waugh (VP) and Mike Studholme (PV & Battery Consultant). I’m excited to share Mike’s story with you. He started his company as a premier custom home builder and pivoted to Solar Installation after attending a builder/solar event and hasn’t looked back. We’ll discuss the solar industry, the process/software they use in house to determine feasability of solar arrays and a USDA grant which contributes up to 50% of the costs for small businesses in rural America (all businesses in WV qualify beginning in 2024).

Tuesday, December 5th at 10am

Topics: Retail, wholesale, customer service, and community engagement

Expert: Terri Beard

We will be meeting with Terri Beard of Blue Flame Propane Company from Morgan County. Terri is the business manager for Blue Flame and will be discussing the history and impact of this business. Blue Flame has been in business for over 50 years and serves the quad-state area. They also recently received the 2023 Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Small Business of the Year Award. Blue Flame is one of our community’s biggest supporters. They regularly sponsor events, teams, fundraisers and individuals working toward a cause. We’ll hear about how the company got started, how they’ve grown over the years and the products and services they offer.