The John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University will induct three alumni who have served as examples of lifelong leadership in the fields of energy, apparel and human resources into its 12th annual Roll of Distinguished Alumni.
The 2023 class is composed of Arria Hines, CEO of Allegheny Science and Technology; Charlie Brown, vice president global sourcing & supply chain at Johnston & Murphy; and David Merriman, executive human resource business partner at PepsiCo.
These three inductees will join 45 other distinguished Chambers College alumni on the Roll of Distinguished Alumni, forming the latest chapter in a history of highly-successful graduates whose efforts have transformed their industries.
Additionally, three recent alumni who have shown exceptional promise and high achievement in their professions will be honored with the Early Career Achievement Award at the same ceremony.
Those receiving the Early Career Achievement Award are Samantha Joneswood, research manager at The Knot Worldwide; Scott Branham, program manager at Honeywell; and Matt Cohen, audit partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP.
“Everyone being honored at this ceremony has more in common than a degree from the Chambers College,” said Joshua Hall, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College. “They share the courage, curiosity and perseverance required to succeed in their chosen fields. This event is not a capstone on their careers, but a milestone that will allow our community — our alumni, our faculty and staff, and most importantly our students — to celebrate how far they’ve come and how far they will continue to go.”
Arria Hines is the founder and CEO of Allegheny Science & Technology (AST), a leader in alternative and renewable energy technologies.
Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Hines grew up working in her family’s drilling business and sharpened her business acumen in leadership roles at Ranger Golf, PRC, and SAIC. In her role at AST, she has received numerous honors, including the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year,” TechConnect WV’s “Outstanding Woman in Technology,” Women Impacting Public Policy’s “Innovator of the Year,” and Enterprising Woman Magazine’s “Woman of the Year.”
In addition to serving as AST’s CEO, Hines serves on WVU’s Visiting Committee, TechConnect WV’s Board of Directors, and the West Virginia Governor’s STEM Council, and is also an executive member of the ARCH2 Board. She received an MBA from WVU in 2009.
To Charles Brown, “footwear” means more than what he puts on his feet. He serves as the vice president global sourcing & supply chain for Johnston & Murphy, a footwear company based out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Prior to his role at Johnston & Murphy, Brown lived around the world working in product creation, global sourcing, and supply chain management for companies like Nike, Under Armour and Hillerich & Bradsby. He has also served on WVU’s National Alumni Board of Directors, the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and the Chambers College’s Supply Chain Management Advisory Board.
Brown graduated from WVU in 1980 with a BSBA in Finance.
As executive human resource business partner at PepsiCo, David Merriman supports the beverage company’s South Division. He plays a key leadership role in shaping PepsiCo’s Talent, Culture and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy.
Merriman launched his HR career in 1990 with Cooper Industries. He has since held numerous HR leadership positions at Acuity Brands Lighting Corporation and The Home Depot. Over the years he has played an active role in the community by supporting numerous organizations including the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and Nap Ford Community School. He has also served as a board member of YMCA and INROADS and is currently chairman of WVU’s MS Human Resource Management Executive Board.
Merriman earned a BA in Business Management and an MS in Industrial and Labor Relations from WVU.
Samantha Joneswood's successful career in research has taken her to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she currently works as a research manager for The Knot Worldwide.
In addition to her professional achievements, Joneswood remains active in the WVU Alumni Association and volunteers with the Smoky Mountain Chapter. She received the Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumni Award in 2021, which was presented in recognition of her continued leadership on behalf of multiple WVU Alumni Association chapters, the Chambers College, and the Reed College of Media.
Joneswood graduated from WVU in 2018 with a degree in Marketing.
A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Scott Branham is a program manager in the Global Security Group at Honeywell.
Branham leads business development initiatives and strategic execution of Honeywell cybersecurity programs both domestically and internationally. He began his career as an IT consultant with IBM Global Services and has held leadership positions with Ernst & Young, Fannie Mae and Vencore, Inc.
Branham is a founder and advisor of the Data Driven West Virginia research center at the Chambers College, serves as an alumni advisor to the Center for Career Development, is a member of the Chambers College Visiting Committee, and regularly provides guest lecturing and mentoring support to Chambers students. He earned both an undergraduate degree and an MS in Business Data Analytics from WVU.
Matt Cohen is an Audit Partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, serving the financial services industry with a focus on investment management companies.
Cohen has served public and non-public clients in a diverse range of industries including private equity, media and entertainment, hospitality, oil and gas, and insurance. Over the years he has helped navigate clients through IPO readiness, SPAC opportunities, SEC filings, internal control implementations, complex transactions and new accounting pronouncements.
Outside of Deloitte, Matt serves on the Board of Directors of the UJA-Federation of New York and the Chambers College's Accounting Advisory Committee. He graduated from WVU with a degree in accounting.
CONTACT: Andrew Marvin
John Chambers College of Business and Economics