Modern Machine & Tool Co., Inc.


Left to right: J.C. Lane, vice president–manufacturing; Rex Gay, vice president–administration; and Brent Meadors, president of Modern Machine & Tool Co., Inc., in their machine shop.

Current address: 11844 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News, VA 23606

Contact and title: Brent G. Meadors, president

Product or service: Engineering, manufacturing and calibration

Year business was established: 1947. In the heat of World War II, founder Thomas Hodge began repairing watches and doing precision work on a jeweler’s lathe at his home after working a full day at The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), now NASA. Hodge recruited five coworkers from NACA to help him perform precision work on film drums for flight instrumentation after working their day jobs for his first contract with NACA.

Reason for locating in Oyster Point: In 1951, Modern Machine & Tool Co. (MMTC) acquired a one-story, 4,000-square-foot building on Hosier Street in Newport News, building onto it over the years before relocating to the newly built Oyster Point Business Park in 1973. The new 53,000-square-foot building was the first in the office park. Meadors says it was a great location with room for expansion.

How long have you been with company? 55 years

Significant milestones: In February
1984, the company held an awards ceremony, recognizing 24 employees who served a combine 454 years at MMTC. Meadors was elected president in 1991 after founder Hodges died, and the
company celebrated its golden anniversary in 1997.

A significant story: In 1973, when MMTC decided to relocate to its present location, the company did so with some hesitation, as drainage issues abounded. “It was a brave thing to do,” Meadors says. “They called this the alligator farm,” he adds with a laugh.

Why has your Oyster Point location been beneficial to your growth? “Many of our clients are in this area,” Meadows says, pointing to long-time customers such as NASA and Dominion Virginia Power (now Virginia Energy). Many of his clients are acquired through word of mouth, he says. “We have a lot of satisfied customers who spread the word about us, especially in the aerospace industry.”

Plans for future growth: Meadors says business fluctuates, based on the number of contracts awarded to the company, but it is always looking to grow its client base. “We’re opportunists,” he says. “When we see opportunities, we take advantage of them.”

About Marie Albiges 8 Articles
Marie Albiges is a freelance journalist, covering local government, business, economic development and health. She is a 2014 graduate of Christopher Newport University, where she served as news editor of the Captain’s Log, the weekly student-run newspaper. She likes to write stories that start social, cultural and meaningful conversations. She has been writing for the Oyster Pointer since 2012.

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