To understand Pat Minnite, one first has to understand his beginnings. His father, Pasquale Minniti, came from Locri, Portigola, Italy, as a 17-year-old boy, and started working in Pittsburgh in 1915. When World War I broke out, he had to choose whether to fight as an American soldier, or go back to Italy to enlist. He chose Italy, and that’s how the family began.
He married his wife Rosina Oppedisano there, and he returned to the states after the war, working and sending money home. He would go back and forth between countries, and his family started to grow. Two of his children were born in Italy, but they had all moved to Meadowbrook, WV, just outside Clarksburg, by the time the youngest, baby #6 was born in the 1930’s. So Pat was a first-generation American citizen.
Pasquale’s father worked in the coal mines for years, while Rosina (the true boss, according to Pat) managed the family. They decided he was done with mining, and opened Minnite’s Grocery, which included a beer parlor and gas pumps, and family business began. That store still stands today, and his descendants still run the business.
According to Pat Sr., that’s where he learned to be charitable. The family lived in a very poor area. The store was a school bus stop, and his dad would always have breakfast ready for kids he knew weren’t getting enough to eat at home. His mother also fed families in the neighborhood – in fact, on holidays, Pat remembers that he and his brother would have to deliver meals to those families before they themselves could eat. That’s just how it was – the family took care of those around them.
Pat Minnite Sr.
Pat Sr.’s Parents
Pat moved to Ohio when he grew up, and attended American Technical School, learning to design buildings. He married Judy in 1961, and they came to Vienna, WV, to be closer to home. He worked for a time for Penn Metal Company, selling movable walls for building. But soon Pat, like his father, decided to go into business for himself. He called a business associate, Dan Reddington, who was a mentor. Pat shared his desire to open a business, and Dan offered to finance it for him – if Pat would do all the work. He agreed, and purchased a franchise of the Penn Metal Company. Within four years he was able to buy the business from Dan, who remained his close friend for the rest of his days.
Soon Pat saw that he could not only provide the walls, but he could completely finish the inside of the buildings. Then, he purchased his first rental property in 1980. Next, he started building the entire building. From there, he began purchasing property and developing all over the Mid-Ohio Valley, as PM Company. He taught his three children the same work ethic he has: “We come up with the idea. We put a lot of work in. We make it happen!”
While PMC owns and develops everywhere in the area, perhaps one of Pat’s greatest achievements is the Spirit of Giving fund. At one point he was spending money on Christmas gifts for tenants and thinking there must be a better way to thank them for their business. He decided to turn that money into a nice holiday party so they could all get together and socialize – and typical of his giving nature, that became an opportunity to ask those partners to help raise money for some favorite local charities. Pat decided to match their donations. These days, The PM Company and associates donate annually to area groups like the Humane Society, Habitat for Humanity, food banks, and others who make a difference in their communities. In 2015, they contributed over $60,000 to area agencies. Like the influence of PMC, that number grows each year.
Pat feels blessed by his three children, who have decided to make their homes right here in Vienna and raise their children, so each can be a part of the growth of PMC. He said, “The Lord blessed me with a vision of how things can be. All of a sudden, it’s all in front of me! It’s been hard work, but I have a great family, and that’s the biggest gift of all — they’re a part of the company now and we’re all a part of this, together.”
One of the biggest current PMC projects in the area is under development just across the Ohio River in Belpre, where Marietta Memorial Health System continues to build. PMC properties include several office complexes, retail spaces housing both local and national companies, hotels, and a conference and event center. Pat’s next vision is happening on Fort Boreman Hill in Parkersburg, WV. That’s another chapter of The PM Company, as everyone watches to see what will happen on one of the most scenic overlooks in the Mid-Ohio Valley. There’s no doubt it will be something amazing — as long as Pat Sr. has a say, he WILL make it happen.