When Michael Bonasso was inducted into Who’s Who in West Virginia Business on May 1, the event was representative of the hard work this B&E alumnus has undertaken all his life.
The 1975 magna cum laude Accounting grad was the 18th B&E alum to be inducted into Who’s Who since the inception of the honors in 1993. Selected as the College’s Outstanding Business Graduate in 1975, Bonasso went on to receive his law degree from the WVU College of Law in 1978, graduating with honors.
Since that time, he has practiced law for 36 years. In 1991, he was one of three founding members of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC, and was chosen as managing member of the firm, acting in that capacity since. Under his leadership, the firm has grown to the largest litigation law firm in West Virginia with nearly 70 lawyers practicing from offices in Charleston, Wheeling and Morgantown.
Bonasso credits B&E with giving him the basis to grasp the application of business principles to the law and legal disputes. “Broad-based exposure to the varied disciplines of the College of B&E, particularly accounting and finance, also gave me a solid foundation to run a successful law practice,” he said.
Bonasso insists his firm has followed the model of the WVU College of Business and Economics. “Surround yourself with good people and success will follow,” he said. “We strive to have lawyers and support staff who possess competence, character and work ethic.”
Bonasso noted that B&E has done precisely that over the years by attracting and keeping highly qualified professors, several of whom are still associated with the College.
And to say that attending B&E is a family affair for the Bonasso clan is an understatement. Michael, his wife Linda and three of their children (Kathleen, John and Corey) all graduated with degrees in Accounting from the College, while son Russ earned his undergraduate degree in Management and a Master of Science in Human Resources and Industrial Relations (MSIR) from B&E.
“The Bonasso family ties to the College of B&E run deep,” he said.
This Accounting graduate said at the induction ceremonies in Charleston, West Virginia, that his time at B&E was a springboard forward, and that all facets of his life are reflective of what he learned in his undergraduate years. His induction celebrates a great career thus far, one that truly started in the halls of B&E.