Green Field Energy Solutions
Not the principals and employees of Green Field Energy Group, Inc., dba Mid-America Facility Solutions, a full-service construction management, facility services and maintenance company headquartered in Lone Jack. Green Field successfully bids on many contracts, notably a recent custodial contract with Alliant Techsystems (ATK) Small Caliber Systems, operator of the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Independence.
According to the U.S. Army’s Joint Mission Command, the sprawling, nearly 4, 000-acre facility has 511 structures, 420 of which are utilized in day-to-day fabrication, manufacturing and testing of small arms, staffed almost 24 hours a day by about 2, 500 people. That’s an awful lot of cleaning and laundry. About 35, 000 pounds of laundry a month, to be precise.
Green Field had an established reputation, so ATK awarded the firm its custodial contract in late 2011. ATK was so pleased that the ammunition manufacturer then awarded its laundry contract to Green Field as well in fall 2012.
Laundering ammunition workers’ antistatic, flame-retardant coveralls and other protective clothing is not exactly like doing laundry at home. The workers’ clothes may contain toxic chemicals produced during assembly or from live rounds workers have picked up but forgotten to set aside. The worst that can happen to household laundry is color fading or whites turning red; the worst that can happen at the Green Field-run laundry is almost unimaginable, so the firm trains its workers very carefully.
These contracts, combined with other projects, have transformed Green Field into a thriving, nearly million a year company with more than 20 full-time plus a number of part-time employees. But it wasn’t always that way.
David Villines, vice president of Green Field, had decades of facility management experience when he founded Mid-America Mechanical in 1996. Mid-America had three divisions performing commercial HVAC and control, facility management, construction, energy conservation and renewable energy solutions. Villines also owned a heating, cooling and electrical company in Warrensburg.
These businesses did quite well until 2008-09, when the economy took a nosedive and dragged Villines’ business down with it. Suddenly a number of large contracts totaling millions of dollars vanished, and companies that owed him money began sending him bankruptcy notices. He could not collect so he could not pay his bills. Villines found himself more than a million dollars in debt with no clear path out.
So he turned to Darrell Brammer, University of Central Missouri SBTDC director, in late 2009. Brammer helped Villines network and coached him on acquiring smaller contracts and how to build on these successes. Brammer also recommended looking into reliable subcontractors to fulfill contracts Green Field might not have the capacity to handle.
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