253 E PINE GROVE RD PINE GROVE MILLS, PA 16868 Get Directions
Marie Porter DeVinney, President of Stone Valley Construction Inc., in Pine Grove Mills, can't rightly claim she still has the first dollar she ever made as an independent businesswoman. She can, however, produce a copy of the check she received after her company completed its first job. "We did some plumbing work for a guy in State College," she recalls. "We didn't even have our own equipment, we had to rent a backhoe to get the job done. Things went smoothly, though. Here we are, 20 years later, still in business."
Stone Valley Construction began in 1980, operating out of rented space with just three employees, all partners in the business: Marie Porter DeVinney, Vice-President Robert "Skinny" King and Secretary/Treasurer Harry "Whitey" Glenny. Now the company has its own shop in Pine Grove Mills as well as satellite locations in Huntingdon and Oceola Mills (all well equipped) and boasts a roster of 95 workers.
High interest rates made it a bit difficult to establish the business, but the three persevered. Their first big job was installing pipe for the State College Water Authority. "That work really put us on the map," she says. Today Stone Valley Construction specializes in site preparation. "We clear land for home development, and put in water, sewer, gas and electric utilities," she says. "We've also expanded to do concrete repairs."
Shortly after that expansion in 1994, they worked on a job for Conrail, renovating the Gallitzin Tunnel not far from the famous Horseshoe Curve. "We were not the primary contractor," says Whitey Glenny, "but we did help to excavate the tunnel so they could make the train a double-decker. We also did some concrete restoration in the tunnel."
The secret of SVC's success, DeVinney feels, is no secret at all - just good, old-fashioned honesty. "You've got to treat customers fairly and keep your word," she says. "If you're not reputable, you won't get the bid sheets."