2003 Sterling Abbey Retires After 27 Years of Service

In 2003, Sterling Abbey retired as a director after 27 years of service. To this day, we still have the Abbey motion at the end of the meeting, as Uncle Sterling was always the first one to say the meeting was over and it was time for lunch. Uncle Sterling was married to Ann Whitacre Abbey, Dad’s sister. He always had good advice for the board and Whitacre Greer.

Also in 2003, we signed a stock purchase agreement with Lynn Morrison. Lynn was looking to his retirement and wanted a stock repurchase agreement to be fully paid before he retired. We had a stock valuation performed and purchased his stock over the next two years. Lynn wanted to sell the plant and looked hard for a purchaser. Dad had agreed to a sale if the price of $10 million could be achieved. The best offer received was for $4 million, so no sale was completed.

In 2004, we began a short-lived venture, a single concert event on the land in Waynesburg. We felt having a concert on part of the land that formed a natural amphitheater would be a good way to begin to capitalize on our land assets. We financed the venture through a mortgage on the land with the Bank of Magnolia. We held the outdoor festival concert for three years; however, we could never get enough people to attend for the event to come close to breaking even. When the economy went into recession in 2008, the bank required us to discontinue the event.