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Inductees

  • Bill Bayless

    2019 Inductee

    As chief executive officer, Bill provides the guiding vision for American Campus Communities. Known for his contagious enthusiasm and true passion for student success, he is considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on student housing— having been featured in Fortune Magazine, NYSE Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and having appeared on CNBC.

  • Judy Sheppard

    2019 Inductee

    Judy Sheppard leads Professional Services of America, a human resources company she founded in Parkersburg in 1989. The company has grown into a global leader in human resources and business management, as Sheppard has overseen all operations of her company and its commitment to delivering quality services.

  • Leo Vecellio Jr.

    2019 Inductee

    Leo Vecellio Jr. is chairman, president and CEO of Vecellio Group, Inc., a fourth-generation, family owned and operated business with substantial heavy/highway, mining and petroleum operations throughout the southeastern and mid-Atlantic U.S.

  • Chris Cline

    2019 Inductee

    Chris Cline launched his career in the coal industry in 1980 at the age of 22. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father before him, he began working as an underground coal miner in southern West Virginia. He quickly moved into management, where he learned to use unique tools to motivate his workforce to develop and run low-cost coal mining operations. Working proactively with union and union-free operations, Chris Cline’s successes attracted the notice of major coal companies who engaged him to provide contract mining services for their own mines.

  • Richard M. Adams

    2002 Inductee

    Richard M. Adams' career in banking is marked by his exemplary leadership. By the age of 29, he had earned degrees from WVU and Rutgers and was named president of what was The Parkersburg National Bank.

  • Frank Alderman

    2014 Inductee

    Frank Alderman, MD is the Chief Executive Officer of MedExpress, an innovative outpatient healthcare delivery model.

  • John Crile Allen

    2004 Inductee

    As president and CEO of J.F. Allen Co., John C. Allen has demonstrated the ability to take a solid family business and make it grow.

  • Phyllis H. Arnold

    2007 Inductee

    Phyllis Huff Arnold is the State President of BB&T West Virginia and Regional President of BB&T West Virginia Central Region.

  • Gregory S. Babe

    2010 Inductee

    Gregory S. Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corp. and Bayer MaterialScience LLC, is responsible for the North American activities of the worldwide Bayer Group, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany.

  • Curtis Barnette

    2003 Inductee

    The distinguished career of Mr. Curtis H. "Hank" Barnette is certainly enough to make West Virginia proud of this St. Albans native. Now Chairman Emeritus of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Barnette served the company for 33 years, starting as a lawyer in 1967, becoming General Counsel, and retiring as Chairman and CEO in 2000.

  • W. Marston Becker

    2009 Inductee

    W. Marston (Marty) Becker is chairman and chief executive officer of Max Capital Group Ltd, a global specialty insurer.

  • George Bennett

    2014 INDUCTEE

    For more than 40 years George Bennett has been a successful serial entrepreneur. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University in 1967 and MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon University in 1970 and 1971, he joined the Boston Consulting Group.

  • Michael Bodnar

    2015 Inductee

    Currently, Mike is actively involved as real estate investor and equity capitalist in start-up restaurants as well as the more established restaurant brands such as Jim & Nick’s BBQ.

  • William T. Bright

    2005 Inductee

    While still in college, William T. Bright started a small business photographing churches for Christmas cards. When he graduated, he and his brother John expanded this home business into what became Bright of America, an international fundraising graphics, paper converting and marketing firm with 500 employees and over $20 million in sales. In 1990 he sold the company to Russ Berrie and Company, which continues operations in Summersville.

  • Wesley Bush

    2013 Inductee

    Wes Bush is chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a leader in global security.

  • Gaston Caperton

    2001 Inductee

    As a businessman, Gaston Caperton led a small insurance agency to status as the nation's 10th largest privately owned insurance brokerage firm. He used this same business acumen as West Virginia's governor (1988-96) when he rescued the state from crippling debt

  • Bray Cary

    2002 Inductee

    Bray Cary, Jr. is an experienced media executive who built his own television sports syndication business and then became the architect of one of the most significant sports television contracts in history.

  • John Chambers

    2001 Inductee

    As president and CEO of Cisco Systems Inc., John Chambers helped build a company known for being the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

  • John T. Chambers

    2009 Inductee

    Dr. John T. Chambers is a retired physician and a real estate developer and venture capitalist.

  • John W. Crites

    2009 Inductee

    John W. Crites is chairman of Allegheny Wood Products Inc.

  • Thomas J. DeWitt

    2010 Inductee

    Tom DeWitt is a partner in and president and CEO of Swanson Industries Inc., a manufacturing, re-manufacturing, metal finishing, engineered products, and distribution company headquartered in Morgantown, with 10 operating companies in the United States and one joint venture company in Shanghai, China.

  • H. Smoot Fahlgren

    2005 Inductee

    As a successful businessman and active leader in the state, H. Smoot Fahlgren is an outstanding example of business excellence. Fahlgren began his business ventures in outdoor advertising, and in 1962 he formed an advertising agency in Parkersburg.

  • Addison M. Fischer

    2010 Inductee

    Dr. Addison M. Fischer created his first high-tech startup company in 1973, and has been involved in seed venture capital investing since the early 1980s. He founded Fischer International Systems Corp. and serves as its chairman. As major owner of RSA Data Security, he founded VeriSign, the internationally recognized standard of Internet commerce integrity.

  • Patrick Graney

    2014 Inductee

    Patrick Graney, III, is the Chairman of the One Stop Company, which owns and operates more than 40 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.

  • Benjamin A. Hardesty

    2009 Inductee

    Benjamin A. Hardesty is president of Dominion Exploration and Production Inc.

  • David C. Hardesty

    2008 Inductee

    David C. Hardesty Jr. is president emeritus and professor of law at West Virginia University, where he teaches subjects related to professional responsibility (legal ethics) and the role of legislatures and statutory law in the legal system.

  • James H. Harless

    2001 Inductee

    Having built the Gilbert Lumber Company from humble beginnings into the multi-million-dollar International Industries Inc., James H. "Buck" Harless has used his resources and influence to make the state, particularly his hometown of Gilbert, a better place to live.

  • J. Brett Harvey

    2012 Inductee

    J. Brett Harvey is chairman and chief executive officer of CONSOL Energy Inc. Harvey also is a member of the board of directors of Barrick Gold Corporation (Toronto) and Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (Pittsburgh).

  • Glen H. Hiner

    2003 Inductee

    A child of a West Virginia coal miner, Hiner earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from West Virginia University and began his 35-year tenure with the General Electric Company. During the 13 years he led GE Plastics, the division grew from less than $1 billion to $5 billion in annual sales. Following his own advice to "look to the highest goal you can achieve," Hiner left GE to accept the leadership of Owens Corning in 1992.

  • Ernest L. Hogan

    2001 Inductee

    Ernest L. Hogan (April 10, 1913 - March 8, 1999) began his 43-year career in the insurance business as an agent for Peoples Life Insurance Company in Beckley, West Virginia, and retired as president, chairman and CEO in Washington, D.C.

  • Don Hoylman

    2010 Inductee

    Don Hoylman is owner/operator of Donmar Enterprises Inc. During his career, he founded and/or developed Industrial Contracting of Fairmont Inc.; Industrial Resources; Mountaineer Resources, Inc.; Industrial Pneumatic Systems; West Virginia Electric; West Virginia Electric Industries; McHal Corp., Salem Electric Co.; and Salem Automation in Rotherham, England.

  • Elmo J. Hurst

    2004 Inductee

    After graduation from WVU in 1953 (BS in mining engineering) and three years in the Navy, Elmo J. Hurst began work as an assistant chief engineer and assistant to the vice president and general manager for Winding Gulf Coals, Inc. in West Virginia. He then became vice president and general manager of J. O. Lively Construction Co. and Lively Manufacturing and Equipment Co. When these companies were sold to Elgin National Industries, Inc. in 1969, he became president of both.

  • Charles H. James

    2007 Inductee

    Charles H. "Chuck" James III is the Chairman and CEO of C.H. James & Co. Recognized as one of the oldest and largest African-American owned companies in the United States, the firm was established as a wholesale produce house by his great-grandfather in 1883 in Charleston, WV.

  • Charles Jones

    2017 Inductee

    Charles “Charlie” Jones is president and CEO of Amherst Industries. As a longtime West Virginia barge and coal operator, he’s been providing jobs through one of the state’s few home-based corporations. He has been referred to as a “coal miner, farmer, riverboat captain, and Renaissance man.”

  • J. Thomas Jones

    2012 Inductee

    Tom Jones is President and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System (System).

  • Earl G. Kendrick

    2006 Inductee

    A native of Princeton, WV, and a 1965 West Virginia University graduate with a degree in business administration, Earl G. "Ken" Kendrick, Jr. is a successful entrepreneur with a commitment to community.

  • Kimberly Brown Knopf

    2011 Inductee

    Kimberly Brown Knopf is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Innovative Mattress Solutions, a Winfield, W.Va. based mattress retailer doing business as Mattress Warehouse and Sleep Outfitters. The company has more than 100 stores in four states: West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

  • Raymond J. Lane

    2003 Inductee

    Raymond J. Lane has decades of experience as a pioneer and corporate leading in high technology. From his years of rising through the ranks at IBM, Electronic Data Systems Corporation, Booz-Allen & Hamilton, and Oracle Corporation, to his position as general partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lane has demonstrated a talent for leadership, a reputation for success, an unshakeable entrepreneurial spirit and a steadfast commitment to civic leadership.

  • Douglas J. Leech

    2007 Inductee

    Douglas J. Leech is Founder, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Centra Financial Holdings, Inc. and Centra Bank, Inc. in Morgantown, WV; formed in 1999 as a community-centered banking company.

  • John Leslie

    2008 Inductee

    John Leslie began working for his father at the family business when he was just a boy. He went to Marshall University after high school and graduated in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Leslie came back to his hometown of Cowen, W.Va., and bought his uncle’s half of Leslie Brothers Equipment Co., a John Deere equipment franchise. Leslie ran the business with his father until 1985, when he purchased his father’s half of the company to become the sole owner.

  • Edna B. & R. Emmett Lynch

    2001 Inductees

    R. Emmett and Edna Lynch's careful stewardship of the Davis-Lynch Glass Company kept the factory operating when many state glass factories were forced to close. Since they founded it in the 1940s, the company has witnessed three generations of the Lynch family work at the Star City company, which also employs 60 other West Virginians.

  • William T. McLaughlin

    2004 Inductee

    Because of Mr. William T. McLaughlin II, banking in West Virginia has significantly changed. With a BS degree in business administration from WVU, McLaughlin began as an examiner for the FDIC in 1960. In 1967 he moved to auditor for the Community Bank & Trust CB&T), where he became president, chairman, and CEO.

  • Michele Vigneault McNeil

    2004 Inductee

    Dr. Michele V. McNeill founded and operated a financially successful business with an unfaltering focus on her clients-patients with life-threatening diseases.

  • Marshall S. Miller

    2005 Inductee

    In 1976, Marshall S. Miller demonstrated his willingness to take risks by founding his own geological, geophysical, and engineering services company. Marshall Miller and Associates, Inc., headquartered in Bluefield, Virginia, now operates eleven offices in eight states. As chairman and CEO, Miller has established new fields in his industry, helped his company adapt to changing markets, and fostered its continued growth.

  • G. Ogden Nutting

    2002 Inductee

    G. Ogden Nutting has been a leader in the West Virginia publishing industry for more than 40 years. West Virginia's largest newspaper company, Ogden Newspapers Inc., publishes 38 daily newspapers, several magazines, weekly newspapers and shopping guides in 11 states.

  • A. Michael Perry

    2001 Inductee

    A. Michael Perry has been a key leader in the West Virginia business, education, and health communities throughout his long career. He helped guide Key Centurion Bancshares, West Virginia's first billion dollar banking organization, through its transitions toward becoming Bank One, West Virginia Corporation, for which he was chairman and CEO.

  • Parry G. Petroplus

    2009 Inductee

    Parry G. Petroplus is a partner at Petroplus and Associates Inc., a Morgantown development firm.

  • Verl O. Purdy

    2002 Inductee

    Verl O. Purdy's career as a business leader is notable for his high achievement and unceasing reach for excellence. On joining the BASF group in 1969, he played a major role in developing the company in the United States to a multi-billion dollar enterprise. He left BASF in 1980 to become president and CEO of Rio Tinto Zinc Chemicals in the United States and Canada.

  • Milan Puskar

    2001 Inductee

    As founder, chairman, CEO, and president of Mylan Laboratories Inc., Milan Puskar built a business that is one of the great business success stories in West Virginia. Originally only a distributor, Mylan has grown to one of the nation's leading generic pharmaceutical firms.

  • Robert H. Quenon

    2004 Inductee

    Robert H. Quenon, a fourth-generation coal miner, has made coal his life's work, and it has taken him from summer work at the bottom of Federal No. 1 mine to the top of the nation's largest coal company-Peabody Holding Company, Inc., now Peabody Energy Corp.