Each year, a small number of inductees is welcomed into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame who have made significant and lasting contributions in the areas of national/international business, state-based enterprises, and entrepreneurial and family businesses.
On November 13, the Hall of Fame inducted Frank Alderman, M.D., CEO of MedExpress, Morgantown, West Virginia; George Bennett, entrepreneur, Brookline, Massachusetts; and Patrick Graney, III, Chairman of One Stop Stores, Charleston, West Virginia. Induction ceremonies were held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown.
The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics (B&E) initiated this award in 2001 to recognize people with strong West Virginia ties who have made a significant impact on the landscape of business. The West Virginia Business Hall of Fame now has 60 inductees.
“Like the inductees who have come before them, the individuals in this induction class are very special people,” said Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, B&E Milan Puskar Dean. “The successes these three gentlemen have had in their careers and the overwhelmingly positive impact it has had on West Virginia and the national landscape speak loudly, and we are so very happy to welcome them into this unique group.”
In 2001, Alderman founded MedExpress, an innovative outpatient healthcare delivery model, as he sought to provide a customer-service approach to health care and address the need for access to patient-centric, high quality, affordable care. Under his guidance, MedExpress has experienced exponential growth while maintaining its devotion to treating each patient as if he/she were the only patient. MedExpress neighborhood medical centers are now located in Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Alderman, a West Virginia native, earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a medical degree from WVU.
Bennett has been a successful “serial entrepreneur” for more than 40 years. In 1973, he co-founded Bain and Company and in 1976 co-founded Braxton Associates, both highly regarded international consulting firms. He later co-founded Symmetrix, a management consulting firm that specialized in helping large firms, and Health Dialog, an international health care services company. Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from WVU, and Master of Science and doctoral degrees from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010 the West Virginia University Alumni Association inducted Bennett into its Academy of Distinguished Alumni and in 2011 he received an honorary Doctorate of Science from the WVU College of Engineering.
Graney’s One Stop Company currently operates 41 stores throughout West Virginia. He recently retired as the Eastern Regional President of Maxum Petroleum (now known as Pilot Logistics Services), a nationwide independent distributor of petroleum products. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he was involved in the coal and petroleum industries early in his career. He then returned to his alma mater to earn an MBA, and has since been active in all phases of sales, operations and administration of businesses in the two industries over the past 39 years. His Petroleum Products, Inc., has grown from 11 employees to a multi-state enterprise serving the coal, construction and oil and gas drilling businesses. He maintains a significant equity interest in the firm, now associated with Pilot-Flying J.
“The West Virginia Business Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates those with West Virginia connections,” Sartarelli said. “They are champions of business and examples of skill, leadership, innovation, energy and determination.”