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West Virginia Business Hall of Fame inducts three exemplary leaders for 2023 class

West Virginia Business Hall of Fame inducts three exemplary leaders for 2023 class

The West Virginia Business Hall of Fame has announced the inductees for its 2023 class: three proud West Virginians whose careers in the fields of energy, restaurant franchising and industrial service have set an exemplary standard for leadership in business.

The 2023 class is composed of Rusty Hutson Jr., CEO of Diversified Energy Company; Fred D. Clark, CEO and corporate secretary of IVS Group; and John Ebert, owner of J.W. Ebert Corporation.

“Succeeding in business takes more than hard work and knowledge: it takes character of the highest caliber,” said Pat Graney, chair of the Business Hall of Fame. “The leadership, commitment and sense of responsibility shared by these three inductees have made them examples to our entire state, and I am truly grateful for their contributions that will inspire future generations of rising business leaders.” 

The Business Hall of Fame is hosted by the John Chambers College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. The induction ceremony is held at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Business Summit at The Greenbrier. 

Over the past 22 years, 80 business leaders across a wide variety of industries have been inducted into the Business Hall of Fame, all united by both their professional success, their commitment to their communities and their West Virginia ties.

The inductees will be honored at a Ceremony on August 29th, at The Greenbrier for invited guests.

Rusty Hutson Jr.

Photo of Rusty Hutson Jr.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Rusty Hutson Jr. marks the fourth generation of Hutsons to work in the oil and gas industry, with family roots dating back to the early 1900s.

Hutson spent many summers of his youth working with his father in the oil fields of West Virginia. The first in his family to pursue higher education, he graduated from Fairmont State University with a degree in accounting. After college, he spent 13 years in the banking industry, progressing into leadership roles at well-known institutions such as Bank One and Compass Bank, and concluded his banking career as CFO of Compass Financial Services.

Building on his experiences in the oil & gas industry and the financial services sector, Hutson established Diversified Energy in 2001 as a cash flow model supported by mature, predictable long-life assets. After years of refining this strategy, Hutson and his team quietly took the company public in 2017 on the AIM growth market of the London Stock Exchange. Since going public, Diversified has acquired nearly $2.7 billion in upstream and midstream assets with net daily production of approximately 150,000 barrels per day of oil equivalency.

Since its public debut, the rapid growth of Diversified’s asset portfolio has allowed it to ascend to the premium listing on the London Exchange, as well as an FTSE 250 inclusion. Hutson continues to lead his team and expand the company’s footprint throughout the US while remaining focused on operational excellence, financial discipline and shareholder value creation.

Fred D. Clark

Photo of Fred Clark

Fred D. Clark was born in New Martinsville, WV in 1953 and grew up in Waverly, WV. He was a 1971 graduate of Williamstown High School and was awarded a National Merit Scholarship to attend West Virginia University.

Clark was a summa cum laude graduate in 1974 and received his Juris Doctorate from West Virginia University College of Law in 1977. After law school he worked as a law clerk for the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1977-1978, and also as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia from 1979-1980.

From 1980-1994, Clark engaged in the general practice of law in Charleston, WV and served as corporate counsel to IVS. In 1995, Clark began working solely on behalf of the IVS business enterprises, which included industrial services in chemical, plastics, power generation and related industries and construction related projects in the highway construction business sector. Clark has also been corporate secretary and a stockholder of IVS Hydro, Inc. since its incorporation in 1972.

In 2000, Clark acquired the majority of the ownership of IVS and began an expansion of IVS operations. The company grew from 60 employees in 2000 to over 300 employees in 2023. Growth has included adding environmental and hazardous waste operations and emergency response services to various industrial and municipal customers.

In 2002, IVS acquired Industrial SiloSource, Inc., which provides bulk storage cleaning, repair and inspections for the cement, grain, food and coal industries. In 2008, IVS acquired Underwater Services, Ltd., which provides diving and video inspection services for various IVS customers.

Clark is currently active in several business and industry groups including the West Virginia Contractors Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association and the Board of Directors of the non-profit Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences located in Charleston, WV.

John Ebert

Photo of John Ebert

John Ebert is a 1982 graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in accounting. That same year, he went to work for Arthur Young & Co in Dallas, which was then a Big Eight accounting firm, where his clients included Texas Stadium.

In 1988, Ebert was accepted into the McDonald’s training program as a registered applicant to purchase a McDonald's franchise. He purchased his first store with his father in 1990 in Bridgeport, WV. Ebert and his wife Cindy now own 40 McDonald’s franchises and are the 11th largest operator in the US McDonald’s system.

Ebert won the Golden Arch Award in 2000 and 2022, which is presented to less than 1% of McDonald’s owners and operators. In 2016, John received the Al Golin Brand Trust Award, which is presented to one operator in the entire McDonald’s system.

Additionally, Ebert serves on the boards of MVB bank and Alderson Broaddus University and is co-chair of the Clarksburg 10K.

Ebert is heavily involved in the community, providing a free baseball clinic for 8–10-year-olds and a Leadership Grit class for 8th grade students. In September 2012, he also began sponsoring and teaching a Math ACT prep class. Over 3600 students have attended this free class, which has helped many students improve their ACT math score and receive the West Virginia Promise Scholarship.

Ebert and his wife Cindy live in Bridgeport, WV and have three children.


AM 05/22/23

CONTACT: Andrew Marvin
Multimedia Specialist
John Chambers College of Business and Economics

Chambers College