WILLIAMSON – Waiting for other “like-minded entrepreneurial spirits” to join him, Adam Warren is the lone occupant of six office spaces in the newly repurposed “innovation hub” located at the Williamson Health and Wellness Center on Third Avenue.
He is surrounded by repurposed relics of the coal field’s past. “Ninety percent of everything here is reused,” Warren states, proudly. The wooden floors, ceiling tiles, pillars and beams have all been repurposed to create a stunning office space. Like the office itself, Warren encompasses the hardworking, determined spirit of the coal fields.
Warren is no stranger to struggle. Like many in the area, he faced difficulties finding employment after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Western Kentucky University. For a year, Warren searched for employment to no avail. As the days went by, Warren was faced with a decision. He could accept defeat and leave the area in search of better employment opportunities, or he could find new ways to establish himself in the area’s declining economy. With a combination of determination, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a humble, good natured disposition, Adam Warren’s success story serves as a reminder that hard work actually does pay off.
In 2012, The Hatfield and McCoy’s Miniseries brought increased tourism in the area. Warren jumped on the tourism bandwagon founding The Hatfield and McCoy Guiding tours and the Hatfield and McCoy Exchange. He also became active within the community, getting involved with wellness initiatives and serving as a sports coach for local teams.
Eventually, Warren’s hard work was noticed within the community. He became an Amizade Site Director, where he coordinated living and food arrangements for volunteers traveling to Williamson to see and experience Appalachian culture. “My second group was the largest group that had been in Williamson. People took notice of my determination, drive and entrepreneurial nature,” Warren said.
The Coalfield Development Corporation noticed Warren’s hard work. One day, Warren had a missed call on his cell phone. He discovered that the founder and Executive Director of Coalfield Development, Brandon Dennison, had left a voicemail. Warren’s hard work and community involvement had been brought to Dennison’s attention and he had a position to offer Warren. Dennison explained the position to Warren, who agreed with Coalfield Development’s mission and values. Warren joined the Coalfield Development Corporation’s team as Construction Coordinator. “This job was everything I have done rolled into one,” Warren explained.
When asked about his success, Warren shrugs and laughs warmly. “Hard work pays off. I thank everyone that ever spoke highly of me,” Warren said. As an afterthought, Warren paused for a moment and added, “I hope it’s contagious.”
Adam Warren was raised on the Ky. side of Tug Valley. He was active in sports at Belfry High school before attending Western Kentucky University. He enjoys working out and staying fit and considers his self a “jack of all trades”.
To learn more about Warren’s story, a video can be found under “sustainable tourism” at www.sustainablewilliamson.org
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected], or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2279.)