Award Recognizes Hubbard Peanut’s Resilience

Sep 13, 2012

 University of Virginia recognizes 60-year-old business

 Hubbard Peanut Co. Inc. has been selected for the Chairman’s Award in a University of Virginia competition that highlights and promotes the most resilient businesses in economically-challenged parts of the commonwealth. A key component of the award is commitment and service to community.

“Because my parents, Dot and HJ Hubbard, were both very active in our community, our family learned that there is a symbiotic relationship between business and community,” said President Lynne H. Rabil, president of the Sedley, Va.-based company. “We are so honored that the Darden School of Business has named us as a 2012 Resilience Award winner. It is particularly meaningful to receive the Chairman’s Award given that the namesake of the institution, Governor Colgate Darden, is a native son of Southampton County and was a neighbor.”
During its nearly 60 years in business, Hubbard Peanut has endured numerous setbacks, including a fire that destroyed a key part of their facility, and challenges beyond their control within the peanut industry. Despite these obstacles, the company—most recognized for its Hubs brand peanuts —has persevered and grown.
Dot and HJ Hubbard started the company in 1954 using a unique peanut cooking process, and their daughter, Lynne Rabil, with support from her family board of directors and a strong team of employees, continues to manage it with their founding values and the welfare of the community in mind. The company’s location in a disadvantaged area has inspired Hubbard family members and managers to support local schools and charitable organizations, not only financially but through involvement and leadership.
Selected from 59 applicants statewide and a field of 11 finalists, other 2012 Resilience Award winners include: A Bowl of Good Cafe Inc. (Harrisonburg); Ballard Fish & Oyster Co. Inc. (Cheriton); (Norfolk); and Service Center Metals (Prince George).
Together, they represent the most resilient businesses in Virginia—those which displayed growth, a dogged entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to community in areas facing high unemployment, high poverty and low entrepreneurial activity. 
All 11 finalists were honored at a special awards ceremony on Sept. 5
“These winners represent resilience in the classic sense of the word—in the face of some daunting challenges, they have bent but not broken, adapted, and become stronger for their efforts,” said Greg Fairchild, E. Thayer Bigelow Research Chair. “With annual double-digit growth rates in profit and employment and a clear commitment to their communities, these main street businesses have accomplished something that anyone interested in business would do well to learn from. It is our pleasure to be sharing their stories and highlighting their success.”
To help spur economic growth and entrepreneurial efforts in areas of the Commonwealth facing particularly difficult economic challenges, the Tayloe Murphy Resilience Award supports winners through ongoing media coverage, opportunities to engage key business and government leaders and enrollment in a week-long Executive Education course at Darden valued at $8,000–$12,000.