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“The sky is the limit” for Sistersville Tank Works

By Staff | Jul 31, 2013

Representatives of the Korean Gas Standard inspected the Sistersville Tank Works earlier this year as part of the Korean Gas Safety Certification. From left, Jeremy Garrison Sistersville Tank Works engineer; Dawn Kim, a translator from Wheeling Jesuit College; Won-Jung Jang, a translator from Wheeling Jesuit; Young Houn Chung, Korean Gas Standard; Sang Yong Jung, Korean Gas Standard; Jongsu Bae, Korean Gas Standard; Janet Wells, president of Sistersville Tank Works; Zach Morgan. tank works operations manager; Darlene Morgan, vice president of the tank works; Don Rush, tank works plant manager; Rick Hendershot, tank works quality control; James Poling, tank works receiving. (Photo Provided)

Sistersville Tank Works (STW) is a West Virginia custom vessel fabrication company that has been built into the history books of the state during the last 115 years of its operation.

This family-owned business has seen milestone after milestone of success in their industry since it was purchased by a mother-daughter team in 1984.

Now it has seen yet another history-making accomplishment that allows it to stand at the front of its field yet again. In January of this year, STW received their Korean Gas Safety Certification, which allows them to fabricate equipment for South Korea.

This marks the second time that certification has been awarded to a United States company.

With the assistance of the West Virginia Department of Commerce, namely the office of Diego Gattesco, and the strong support of the office of Senator Jay Rockefeller, STW was visited by the Korean Gas Safety (KGS)department for audit and inspection to receive their stamp of approval. The KGS is a governmental testing, inspection and education organization under the control of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE). The inspection team visited Sistersville, W.Va. for five days in November of 2012 and worked closely with the management team at STW.

At Trade Winds ASIA in South Korea, Sistersville Tank Works (STW) Plant Manager Don Rush shakes hands with Francisco J. Sánchez, under secretary of international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Also pictured are Helen Hwang, chief of the commercial section at the American Institute in Taiwan, and Tresa Taylor, STW secretary. (Photo Provided)

For a company that has its roots in the oil boom in the Mid-Ohio Valley (1894), it was phenomenal that its reach has grown so far in the last 115 years so that even oceans are no longer an obstacle for this plant that calls West Virginia its home.

“Sistersville Tank Works is a perfect example of a small West Virginia company that’s making a successful leap into the global economy,” said Senator Rockefeller. “The company knew their pressure tank was a great product, so they worked hard to find a growing marketplace that would be receptive to it. It’s impressive the way they navigated the Korean certification process in order to obtain a Korean Gas Safety certification – a step that unlocked the door to the Korean marketplace. With this kind of innovative thinking and commitment to success, Sistersville Tank Works certainly has a bright future. I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.”

In May of this year, two STW representatives accompanied the Department of Commerce on a business trip to Seoul, South Korea as well as Taipei, Taiwan. The team consisted of Don Rush and Teresa Taylor. They also had the opportunity to attend Trade Winds ASIA 2013, which included meeting many potential customers as well as new connections with both American and Korean government agencies.

“The trip was exciting and showed us a great number of opportunities to expand into new markets,” said STW Plant Manager Don Rush.

“Throughout the years our dedication to producing top quality ASME vessels has never let us down. The ability to work closely with our friends and partners in the state departments has been critical to allowing us the opportunity of a lifetime here. I truly believe we will make our state and country proud in this new market. “

The future is ever changing. If someone had asked President of STW, Janet Wells, who bought the company where she had been employed since 1960 in 1984, if she believed she would ever be doing business in other countries, she would give them a look like they were crazy. Now 30 years later, Janet and her daughter Darlene Morgan have made way for this geographical advancement with dedication to quality and hard work.

Following in the footsteps of Janet and Darlene are the brother team of Jason and Zach Morgan, a third generation family that work at the plant and are looking towards the future and expansions into new markets.

“I believe that the sky is the limit,” said STW Assistant Plant Manager Jason Morgan. “A very talented and driven team of professionals here at the Tank Works, both in the office and our shop, have allowed us the opportunities we have today. I look forward to working with our partners in the state department and our government to further the growth of our brand and further stand out in our industry. My brother Zach and I truly believe that our mother and grandmother have paved the way for the company to do great things in the future and we are just excited to be a part of history to be made.”