MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When Fairmont, West Virginia-based MVB Financial Corp. rang the Nasdaq closing bell in New York City on March 28, you could hear that bell all the way back at West Virginia University.
The present met the past at Nasdaq that day, as finance students at the WVU College of Business and Economics joined MVB officials — many of whom are B&E alumni — at the podium for the ceremonial ringing. It had already been a big week for the business school students, who had also visited the New York Stock Exchange, globally recognized financial companies and alumni such as Wall Street executive Penni Roll, a B&E alumna who is CFO of Ares Capital Corporation in New York.
Dr. Naomi Boyd, B&E’s Fred T. Tattersall Chair in Finance and an associate professor of finance, led the latest student experiential learning trip for finance students to New York’s Financial District. And from visits to RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and The Match Group to a dinner with B&E alumni, she said the student experience was unprecedented.
“The week was truly magical,” Boyd said. “Students got to experience things they had only dreamed of, such as visits to Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange and meetings with highly successful B&E alumni. The experience of being there when MVB Financial Corp. rang the closing bell at Nasdaq is special in so many ways, and to be there with a West Virginia-based company was just incredible.”
“The opportunity to see what a West Virginia-based company is capable of will transcend the trip to New York,” she said, “because it shows bright, young minds that staying in the state of West Virginia and building companies in the state can bring them all the way to Wall Street and beyond.”
MVB — which had gone public only a few months prior and was the first West Virginia-based company to go public on the Nasdaq in nearly two decades — is led by CEO Larry Mazza, who earned a B.S. in Business Administration at B&E in 1983. He said the Nasdaq experience was monumental for him and for MVB, and was made even more special with B&E students who joined the company for the special ceremony.
“Sharing this special day with the finance students from WVU added to our experience and reminded me of my time as a student. I enjoyed meeting Dr. Boyd’s students; they are winners! I hope that MVB’s growth journey can serve as an inspiration to them in their future careers. I loved my WVU experience. Like Dr. Boyd, my professors gave me the foundation of confidence and base knowledge of continuous learning to be a leader in business.
Among those joining Mazza at the Nasdaq podium were MVB Chief Financial Officer Don Robinson, a 1997 B&E accounting graduate, and MVB Board Chairman David Alvarez, a successful business executive in West Virginia and 1985 B&E alumnus with a B.S. in Business Administration.
But the B&E and WVU connections at MVB don’t end there. MVB’s senior management team includes B&E alumni Susan Carlock, senior vice president of human resources; Ed Dean, CEO; and Matt Dean, vice president and chief credit officer, a two-time B&E alumnus. Additionally, Gary LeDonne, a member of the MVB board of directors, is a member of the B&E Visiting Committee and is an executive-in-residence at the business school. Other notable WVU connections at MVB include Matt West, senior vice president of operations and a graduate of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources; and Stephen Brooks, who earned degrees from the WVU School of Pharmacy and WVU College of Law.
“I am excited that MVB was the first bank from West Virginia in 18 years to be listed on the Nasdaq,” Mazza said. “MVB Financial began trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market on December 7, 2017. Ringing the Nasdaq Closing Bell in March was the celebration of a major milestone in MVB’s growth journey. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our board of directors and senior management team on the stage at Nasdaq and seeing MVB represented on the Nasdaq tower in Times Square was the culmination of more than a decade of teamwork and dedication.”
“It was phenomenal that MVB pulled B&E students into the entire experience and made them a part of that unbelievable moment, and took time to network with them during the event,” Boyd said. “It’s something this group of students will carry with them throughout their careers and lives.”