Wade Linger is the President and CEO of TMC Technologies of West Virginia, located in Fairmont, West Virginia – in Marion County. After serving as a computer programmer in the Air Force, he began working as a defense contractor for ManTech International Corp., where he wrote and maintained U.S. Navy software that tracks aircraft maintenance and parts; and pilot flight hours.
In 1992, Linger established ManTech’s West Virginia operations in Fairmont. Linger has spent much of his professional career in the fields of technology and research, including a stint as the first vice president of research for the West Virginia High Technology Consortium. He later established TMC Technologies, Inc., an information technology company that had grown to over 80 employees when it was acquired in 2005. In 2010 Linger re-formed TMC Technologies. Linger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business from St. Leo College, Florida.
Linger was a guest on the Positively West Virginia Podcast, where he talked with the host, Jim Matuga, about how he got started in the industry, the one thing he is most excited about right now and his advice to young entrepreneurs.
How did you get started in this industry?
“Well, in the very beginning, you would have to go back to my Air Force days; they trained me as a computer programmer. That’s what got me interested in the business,” said Linger. “That would have been in 1980.”
“I was nearing the end of enlistment. One of my former Air Force co-workers had gotten out of the air force and understood that I was down in Virginia, right in the middle of the Reagan 600 ship Navy build-up. My buddy convinced me to get out of the Military and to go work for a contractor, which ended up being ManTech. I worked on navy systems there and then ManTech in ’82 decided to open an office in West Virginia and having been from West Virginia, they selected me to come out here to open the office.”
What is the thing you’re most excited about for your organization – right now?
“I am excited about the kinds of different programs that our people can work on from West Virginia. I spent quite a bit of time in the Norfolk area and the D.C. area, it never occurred to me that people could work on spacecraft and important FBI programs and live in a place like West Virginia,” said Linger.
What is the best thing about being in business in WV – right now?
“Aside from the quality of life and the short commute to work, in this state, we are all one step away from being able to talk to anybody from the governor to the bankers, whatever we need to be successful is just one step away in this state,” said Linger.
What is one piece of advice you would give to young business owners and entrepreneurs in West Virginia?
“I would advise anyone who wants to go into business to make sure that the business can make money. If you get past that and you do think you have a business that can make money, I would advise you to work for someone else and learn the business. You can make mistakes on someone else’s payroll. Then, when you start the business, figure out what you think it will cost for a year if everything goes wrong, gather up that much money and then double it. Then, you are probably ready to jump in,” advised Linger.
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