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In January of 1975, Gladys went on a "recruiting" trip to the home of her son, Troy, who lived at that time in Los Angeles , California. He was working there for Xerox Corporation as the Employee Relations and Compensation Manager at their El Seconda facility. Her recruiting style was blunt. She informed him that unless he took the job of running Std Labs she was going to sell the company. She reported that she had offers in hand.


Troy had spent four years with the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) as both a Compensation Analyst and an Information Technologist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he acquired skills in organization development and personnel management. An additional assignment was to develop a computer model for corporate manpower forecasting of technical and managerial requirements. This assignment reflected Troy's thesis work at North Carolina State evolving computer simulation models. Later, he took a job and spent two years with Xerox in Rochester, New York. There, he first was a Compensation Analyst and then became an Employee Relation Specialist. After that, he was transferred to Los Angeles as Compensation Manager. At Xerox he gained a broad human relations background with first level managerial skills.

Troy experienced some hands on training in coal testing in that he grew up completely surrounded by the activities of an ongoing analytical lab. He held summer jobs in the family business while attending his prep school of Randolph-Macon Academy located in Front Royal, Virginia. These jobs gave him experience in field sampling and preparing coal samples for the lab as well as using an analytical balance for moisture and ash determinations and running the calorimeter. This acquaintance with scientific methods and theory instilled an interest in pursuing a degree in physics at Wake Forest College. However he later switched majors to Psychology where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966. In 1968 he obtained a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Psychology from North Carolina State University. His thesis was entitled "A Computer Simulation Model of a Modern School System" and it gave him experience in computers and programing. With this background he acquired his entry level job at Alcoa .

During Troy's tenure at North Carolina State he married Charlotte Davis of Whitesburg , Kentucky and together they had three children. A first son, Troy Frank, born May 24, 1968, unfortunately died in a sudden accident at the age of 24 before he could make a contribution to Std Labs. A second son, Warren "Todd," was born on July 6, 1970 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania . Todd's contributions to the company will be discussed further in future sections. A daughter, Stacey, born January 5, 1974, in Rochester, New York has not become an active part of the Std Labs story other than being a minority shareholder.

Troy accepted Gladys' offer of employment and came aboard on April 15, 1975. His job title was basically “Gladys' son" and the assignment was to learn everything he could as fast as he could. He started out handling purchasing, accounting and human relations.

An issue manifested itself shortly after Troy's hiring. The company was using an outside accountant (Jerry Gabell) to do its accounting and tax work. One morning Jerry called to say $25,000 was needed that very afternoon to meet tax obligations; unfortunately, Std Labs did not have that amount in its cash reserves. After a quick run to obtain a loan secured by the company 's pick-up trucks, cash was obtained to meet the requirement. This convinced the company that it needed some on-board expertise in the accounting area to be more proactive in handling the company's financial demands. The hiring of Ron Koster in 1975 met that need completely.


Ron had just graduated from West Virginia University in accounting and he brought to the company someone capable of developing and implementing an increasingly sophisticated accounting system with the processes and procedures still used today.

Another crisis arose in August as it was discovered that the Whitesburg manager, Curt Hensley was taking bribes from some of the local coal producers to improve their analytical results. Troy was dispatched to dismiss Curt (who went to work for a competitor and violated his “Non-Compete Agreement” ) and quickly had to hire another manager.

Troy's sister (Gladys' daughter) , Susan, was married to Delano Thomas who was then a football coach at Elkhorn City, Kentucky. He was a great high school football player (leading scorer in Kentucky - 1962) and played at Indiana University before getting a degree from Morehead State University in 1969. 


Delano was successful as a coach and dearly loved the sport but was seeking a change to some kind of profession that might be more rewarding financially and challenging professionally. He had worked for Std Labs for several summers in coal prep during his high school years.  Obviously, Delano was very well thought of by Gladys and had been offered a training position with the Corbin lab (to be discussed later) under the supervision of Jan Demar.

Delano took the Whitesburg position as manager and since that time has made immeasurable contributions to the company.  The Whitesburg lab continued to be a vital component in the company’s history under Delano for many years.  Eventually, with his move to Division Manager he was succeeded by Rick Champion, Sonny Mullins and Dale Thomas (Delano’s son).  The lab grew, under Delano’s direction, to 86 employees and serviced parts of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia.  Unfortunately, with the demise of the coal production in those areas, the lab was closed in 2016.
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