Four industry leaders with strong ties to West Virginia will be inducted into the 2006 West Virginia Business Hall of Fame Wednesday, Nov. 8.
The ceremony will be held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, W.Va., with the reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the induction at 7:30 p.m.
This celebration of business, which is open to the public, is a tribute to those who have demonstrated accomplishments in the world of business and who provide models for entrepreneurs and business people of the future.
Those being honored are: Earl G.KenKendrick, Jr., managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Marshall T. Reynolds, chairman and CEO of Champion Industries; Samuel B. Ross, II, chairman of Woodcraft Supply, board member of the Ross Foundation and retired chairman and CEO of SBR , Inc.; and Gary E. West, chairman of the board of Valley National Gases, Inc.
“These inductees embody the true West Virginian entrepreneurial spirit,said Stephen Sears, Milan Puskar dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics.Through hard work, perseverance and dedication, each of these leaders has transformed personal dreams into the success story we all love to hear about.
The Hall of Fame was established in 2001 by the College of Business and Economics to publicly recognize extraordinary business leaders and to establish a record of their achievement.
Those inducted into the Hall of Fame must have established a record of distinction in their field and industry in the categories of national/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. For more information, visitwww.be.wvu.edu/fame.
2006 WV Business Hall of Fame Inductees
Earl G.KenKendrick, Jr.
A native of Princeton and a 1965 WVU graduate with a degree in business administration, Ken Kendrick is a successful entrepreneur with a commitment to community.
He founded Datatel Inc., now an industry leader in integrated education and administration fundraising software. In 1990, he stepped down as president and CEO to explore new business opportunities, including partnership in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team won the 2001 World Series, and Kendrick is now the teams managing general partner.
In 2005, Kendrick was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Other successful ventures include a banking computer services company that he eventually sold for $511 million and a Texas bank that became one of the largest employee-owned banks in the United States.
Kendrick has expanded his investments in sports to stakes in the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team and several Arizona golf courses. Kendrick also has invested his leadership and wealth in the communities that have shaped him. He is president of the Datatel Scholars Foundation, which provides college scholarships to students in the United States and Canada.
He is one of the main investors in the Dodge Theater in Phoenix. He owns the Bumble Bee Ranch, which serves numerous children’s charities, and supports a variety of organizations that further the interests of youth and of nature conservancy in Arizona and beyond.
He serves on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors, has recently given funds to establish a free-market research program in the WVU College of Business and Economics and has contributed funds toward construction of WVU Athletics’Donald J. Brohard Hall of Traditions.
Marshall T. Reynolds
Marshall T. Reynolds has been successful in both business and civic ventures. He is chairman and CEO of Champion Industries, chairman of the Radisson Hotel Huntington, Protec Rail Products, Inc. and Pritchard Electric Company and director for the C.J. Hughes Construction Company.
He served as chairman of the state’s largest bank holding company prior to its sale to Banc One. His enterprises range from West Virginia, to surrounding states and as far as Louisiana and the United Kingdom. He is listed inWho’s Who in America,was named a Herald Dispatch citizen of the year and was inducted into the Marshall University Lewis College of Business Hall of Fame, the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and the Huntington Wall of Fame.
His civic activities include serving as chair of the United Way of the River Cities, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington and Spring Hill Elementary School. He is a member of Marshall University’s John Marshall Society and the Marshall University Foundation, Inc.
Samuel B. Ross, II
The career of Samuel B. Ross II is distinguished by a legacy of giving to the community. Ross recently retired as chairman and CEO of SBR , Inc., parent company of Simonton Windows and several other companies.
He is chairman of Woodcraft Supply, LLC , one of the nations largest woodworking companies. Woodcraft Supplys school-business partnership received the Education AlliancesGold Star Awardas a statewide model of excellence.
A Parkersburg native, Ross earned a bachelors degree from Ohio State University and a masters degree with emphasis in finance from the University of Washington. He is a member of the World PresidentsOrganization.
Ross devotes significant attention to community improvement. In 2002, he purchased and restored the Blennerhassett Hotel, an historic landmark in Parkersburg. He also has supported many educational projects and encourages employee and corporate involvement in education and community service activities. WVU s College of Business and Economicsexecutive education program joined with Simonton to deliver business education to Simonton employees.
The Ross family and Ross-associated companies have supported many charitable education projects, including ventures with the Mid-Ohio Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation and its Ritchie County affiliate, the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club and the Parkersburg Art Center.
The Ross familys charitable interests moved to an even deeper level when The Ross Foundation was created. The foundation is expected to become a major West Virginia charitable institution; its first grants are scheduled for late 2006.
Gary E. West
Gary E. Wests leadership and take-charge philosophy offer an excellent model of successful entrepreneurship. Born in Wheeling, he earned a business administration degree from West Liberty State College.
West purchased Valley Welding Supply Company and grew it from a one-shop operation to a business with 55 locations in 10 states and annual sales in excess of $85 million.
In 1997, under Wests leadership as chairman of the board, Valley National Gases, Inc. went public, and annual sales now exceed $220 million, with 84 locations in 16 states. West is also president of West Rentals, Inc., President of Plymouth Holding LLC and GEW Real Estate, LLP , as well as president and secretary of Acetylene Products Corp.
He was named West Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year, is a member of Whos Who in West Virginia Business and was inducted into the West Liberty State Colleges Alumni Wall of Honor in 1993.
West has invested considerable personal and financial assets in his alma mater. He and his wife Flip established the Guy H. and Mary Ann West School of Business Scholarship Endowment, and he serves as chair of the colleges capital campaign, which he kick-started with the largest lifetime gift commitment by individuals in the history of the college. He is also a member of the WLSC Foundation board of directors and serves on that foundations executive committee.
West holds a leadership position in the Ohio Valley Construction Employees Council and is a former director of the First National Bank and WesBanco. He has served as a president for the Wheeling Rotary Club and chair of the business division of the United Way.