Mining is in B.J. Evans’ blood.
He grew up in Logan, WV, the fourth generation of his family to work in the coal industry. And that background instilled Evans with the typical southern West Virginia work ethic, a knowledge of how important mining is and a desire to make things better.
He spent many years in the mines. Part of his responsibility in mining was working underground, studying and upgrading systems.
And as a consultant, he’s been everywhere from 3,000 feet underground in a potash mine in northern Canada to a copper mine at an elevation of 15,000 feet in Chile… and that wasn’t even at the top of the mountain! He’s been in coal mines in Africa, iron ore mines in Australia.
As he says, he’s seen a little bit of everything.
Now, Evans is co-founder, CEO and managing director of Aridea Solutions, a provider of software and hardware systems that monitor environmental conditions.
Headquartered in Charleston, Aridea Solutions offers a comprehensive suite of solutions that provide its customers in a variety of industries and agencies with real-time, remote access to weather, water and air information for the purpose of lowering their compliance-related costs. The company’s cloud based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions are marketed to the extractive, chemical and utilities industries along with government, academic and private research.
Evans came up with the idea for Aridea Solutions a little over five years ago.
He saw that mining was really behind the times in terms of technology adoption. He saw a tremendous amount of labor effort put into monitoring remote water discharges, belts, etc.
He had the idea to use technology to help save sleepless nights for management.
Evans eventually wrote the business plan for what became Aridea in 2011. Still, he sat on it for a few years. In 2014, he thought the market and the hardware had matured enough.
Still, he said his team has had to spend time explaining the internet of things and showing them what it could do for this businesses. He says early adopters of the idea have had great success.
Evans is responsible for the strategic direction, sales and operations for Aridea Solutions. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications and mining industries, having held executive management and engineering positions with companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Metinvest Holding and Lockheed Martin. He has an MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Electronic Engineering Technology from WVU Tech.
After three years, Evans said he sees Aridea leaving its mark. There have been multiple success stories with units working in Alaska, Florida, Utah, Alabama and lots of other places.
Next, Evans wants Aridea to expand its horizons even more, maybe open offices in other states. And then, the global market awaits.
Evans has lived most of his life in his native West Virginia, having moved back in 2014 when he started Aridea Solutions with Richard Wilbur, owner of Advantage Technology.
Evans said Wilbur saw the potential for Aridea, so they worked together to make it happen. And they did it in the middle of one of the worst mining downturns in history because no matter if a company is mining coal, there will be a need to monitor the environmental issues.
Evans lives in Clay County with his wife and three children. He also is pastor of Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Duck, WV.