The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 81

BUSINESSES CHANGING THE GAME

STERLING ES

St. Pierre Woodworking

SALEM

STERLING ES: COURTESY OF MIKE STEVENS / ST. PIERRE'S WOODWORKING: COURTESY OF ST. PIERRE'S WOODWORKING

Say you're a large utility, government
agency or business, and you need to invest in
a new technical system-uploading paper and
electronic files into online "cloud" storage, for
example. You don't have the in-house expertise
to do that, so you call Sterling ES. The Salem
business facilitates industrial connectivity,
linking specialty manufacturers to larger
clients such as American Electric Power and
the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Owners Reid and Lisa Garst and their six
employees act as fixers and troubleshooters,
drawing from their manufacturer network to
provide customized solutions.
Sterling maintains a core list of about 10
manufacturers but works with a total of about
two dozen, providing sales, service and support
to a broad range of several hundred customers
in Virginia, the Carolinas and West Virginia.
"More often than not, a company will
come to us and say we need something that
does this or that," says Reid Garst. "We take
one component or integrate several into
a system that will accomplish their goal."
The Garsts launched the company in
Richmond in 1996 before moving to Salem
two years later. The Roanoke Valley provides
a central location with access to the MidAtlantic region, and they've incorporated
the beautiful scenery of Virginia's Blue
Ridge into their marketing as well. (Editor's
note: Sterling ES was purchased by the BRAAS
company in early April.)

Reid & Lisa Garst with their dogs,
Auggie and Mango

TheRoanoker.com

ST. PIERRE

WOODWORKING
FLOYD

One man's trash is another man's
treasure, the saying goes, and Bill
St. Pierre has proven it by building
a business out of repurposing wood
otherwise destined for landfills and
scrap heaps. Whether it's an old tree cut
out of a park by the city of Roanoke, or
a chestnut beam dug from the bottom
of a silted pond, St. Pierre specializes
in finding overlooked, high-quality
lumber and turning it into premium
furniture and other wood products. He's
responsible for the gorgeous wood bar
at the Deschutes Taproom in downtown
Roanoke, as well as the woodwork
and trim at the refurbished Virginian
Railway Station on Williamson Road
by the railroad tracks.

St. Pierre started the woodworking
business in 2004 on the side f rom
his pr imar y job as a constr uction
superintendent, but it has grown to fulltime status, employing four workers, not
counting St. Pierre and his wife. Some of
his lumber comes from government sources:
He recently received a magnolia tree cut at
the White House, as well as a huge elm tree
from Elmwood Park. He often recovers
wood from old barns that have been torn
down.
"Nothing here is just an ordinary piece
of wood," St. Pierre says as he gestures
toward stacks of lumber stored at his shop
near Check. "It all has a story to tell."
The wood creations of St. Pierre
have generated attention and accolades,
including winning best new small business
at the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce in
2017. St. Pierre also appeared on "Salvage
Dawgs" in season 3, and sharp-eyed viewers
will spot him operating an excavator in the
show's opening. I
MAY/JUNE 2018

81


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2018

The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover1
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - Cover2
The Roanoker - May/June 2018 - 3
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