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WVU chief economist Deskins named to business journal’s Generation Next class

Dr. John Deskins

The director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University, a student in B&E’s online hybrid MBA and a graduate of that program have all been named among the leading young professionals in the state.

Dr. John Deskins, WVU’s chief economist who also serves as assistant dean for Outreach and Engagement at WVU’s business school, was named to The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 class of 2016. Also named to this year’s class was Scotty Miley, a current student in B&E’s nationally ranked online MBA program, and Danny Scalise, a 2005 MBA graduate.

“The high caliber of our Generation Next: 40 Under 40 award winners never ceases to amaze me, and John Deskins is certainly an example of a young professional making a mark in the Mountain State,” said Ann Ali, managing editor of The State Journal. “The fun surprise for me each year is when we pinpoint exceptional people who, by all accounts, should have received the award but haven’t yet, and John fell into that category for us this year.”

Deskins and the BBER deliver economic outlook conferences in which economic updates and forecasts are provided for the state and various regions. He and his department research various economic questions for business and community leaders and policymakers across the state. He is also the co-author of the Mountain State Business Index, a monthly gauge of West Virginia’s economic performance.

Miley is assistant cashier and commercial and real estate lender at Grant County Bank in Petersburg, West Virginia, and is currently enrolled in B&E’s online MBA program. He is quite active in his native area, having been elected to the Grant County Board of Education at age 26 and immediately became its president. He is also a former president of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Grant County Development Authority.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of opportunities here in Petersburg, and I want my kids and their friends to have the same opportunities,” said Miley.

Scalise, who lives in Beckwith, West Virginia, is executive director of the Fayette County Health Department and a past graduate of B&E’s online hybrid MBA program.

“One of the joys of public administration is I get to make a difference in everything I do, whether it’s paying bills or hiring staff or managing a crisis. I get to make a difference somewhere in the community that I feel better about,” he said. “The challenges are doing it in the current environment where lots of budgets are predicated on coal severance taxes. States and counties don’t have the money they need, but are coming up with creative ways to fund programs so people are taken care of and the businesses we regulate get a fair shake.”

“Dr. Deskins has done a fantastic job of providing economic forecasting and delivering economic data, and insight and unbiased reports on a variety of topics that are important to our state,” said B&E Interim Dean Nancy McIntyre. “John has a unique understanding of his subject matter, and uses his expertise to allow economic findings to speak for themselves. On behalf of the College of Business and Economics, we are elated for him as he receives this well-deserved honor.”