When the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics initiated the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame in 2001, the intent was to recognize people with strong West Virginia ties who have made a significant impact on the landscape of business. The three inductees into the Hall of Fame this year continue the high standards of the 54 inductees who came before them.
The 2013 inductees are Wes Bush, chairman, CEO and president of global security leader Northrop Grumman Corporation; John Mork, president and CEO of Energy Corporation of America (ECA); and Mike Ross, energy company owner and former West Virginia legislator. The induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 14 at the Waterfront Place Hotel at 6 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
“The Business Hall of Fame is a great way for the state to recognize individuals, through B&E, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to West Virginia,” said “Jose “Zito Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, WVU College of Business and Economics. “These three individuals have made significant contributions to our state, and we are honored to recognize them for their success.”
Inductees must have established a record of distinction in their field and industry in the categories of national or international businesses, state-based enterprises or entrepreneurial and family businesses. They must also have connections to West Virginia, either by birth, residence, education or business presence. This year’s class brings the total to 57 individuals who have been inducted since 2001.
Bush was named CEO and president in January 2010, and was elected to the company’s board of directors in 2009. He assumed the role of chairman in July 2011 and previously served as the president and chief operating officer of the company. Before that, he served as the corporate vice president and chief financial officer, and, earlier, as the president of the company’s Space Technology sector. Prior to the acquisition of TRW by Northrop Grumman, he had served since 2001 as president and CEO for TRW’s UK-based global Aeronautical Systems. Northrop Grumman’s primary West Virginia operations are located in the I-79 Technology Park in Fairmont.
Bush earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He serves on the board of directors of Norfolk Southern Corporation, as well as the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Conservation International and the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. He is chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association board of governors and chair of the Business-Higher Education Forum.
Under Mork’s leadership and headquartered in Denver, Colo., ECA is a privately held company that actively pursues the exploration, extraction, production and transportation of natural gas and oil, both in the United States and around the world. ECA owns and operates approximately 4,600 wells; 5,000 miles of pipeline; and 1 million acres in North America alone. Its Eastern Division is active in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New York; its Rocky Mountain Division is active in Colorado and Montana; its Gulf Coast Division is active in Texas; and its International Division is active in New Zealand.
Mork served in various capacities at Union Oil Company until 1972 when he joined Pacific States Gas and Oil, Inc. and subsequently founded Eastern American Energy Corporation (EAEC). Mork was president and a director of EAEC from 1973 until 1993 with the incorporation of ECA. He holds a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the Stanford Business School Program for Chief Executive Officers.
From humble beginnings in Coalton, W.Va, Ross was the son of an immigrant coal miner and a homemaker. In 1971, Mike and his business partner, Robert Wharton, started Ross & Wharton Gas Company which today provides livelihoods for several full-time employees and many other independent contractors throughout West Virginia. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Mike Ross, Inc., and President of Braxton Oil & Gas Company. In 1992, he was elected to represent the 15th District in the West Virginia Senate. During his 12 years in office, he served as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure, Rule-Making and various other committees. Ross was also appointed by then-Gov. Joe Manchin to fill the West Virginia House of Delegates 37th District seat left vacant in 2009 after the sudden passing of Delegate Bill Proudfoot. He is also well known for his volunteerism and his philanthropy.
For further information on the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, go to http://www.be.wvu.edu/hall_fame/index.htm. For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, please visit be.wvu.edu.
Contact: Patrick Gregg, College of Business and Economics
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