Five business and industry leaders with strong ties to West Virginia will be inducted into the 2009 West Virginia Business Hall of Fame Thursday, Nov. 19, in a ceremony to be held at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown. The induction begins at 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by a reception. The event will be webcast at

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 as top business leaders are:

_W. Marston Becker, chairman and chief executive officer, Max Capital Group Ltd.

_John T. Chambers, physician and real estate developer, former chief of staff, Charleston Memorial Hospital

_John W. Crites, chairman, Allegheny Wood Products Inc.; owner, Allegheny Dimensions

_Benjamin A. Hardesty, president, Dominion Exploration & Production Inc.

_Parry G. Petroplus, partner, Petroplus & Associates Inc.

“The state of West Virginia is fortunate to have individuals committed to improving the economic status for its people,” said College of Business and Economics interim dean William Trumbull. “This year we will induct five loyal and successful individuals into the Hall of Fame who have and will continue to serve as role models, not just for our business students, but for all West Virginians.”

The WVU College of Business and Economics established the Hall of Fame in 2001 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, visit

2009 West Virginia Business Hall of Fame
Inductee Bios

W. Marston Becker
W. Marston (Marty) Becker is chairman and chief executive officer of Max Capital Group Ltd, a global specialty insurer. He has led insurance, reinsurance and insurance brokerage organizations both publicly traded and privately held, building on an insurance industry career that has spanned a range of advisory and private equity investing roles.

Becker, who earned a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in business administration at WVU, serves as a director of the Reinsurance Association of America, the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, the Clay Center for the Arts and the West Virginia Roundtable. He is an advisory board member of the Conning Funds and American Securities Funds. He has previously served on the boards of United Bank, the West Virginia University Foundation, the West Virginia United Hospital System, McJunkin Corp., the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute, among others.

Dr. John T. Chambers
John T. Chambers is a retired physician and a real estate developer and venture capitalist. He began his practice as an officer in the U. S. Army Medical Corp, the Ohio National Guard and the West Virginia National Guard. His private practice began at Charleston Memorial Hospital, where he was chairman of the Department of OB-GYN and later chief of staff, member of the board of trustees and member of the executive committee of the medical staff.

His community/public involvement includes service on the boards of Children’s Home Society, Kanawha Pastoral Counseling Center, United Way, and the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. He was awarded the Order of Vandalia, inducted in the Irwin Stewart Society, Woodburn Society, and together with his deceased wife, June, recognized as Most Loyal Mountaineers in 2001.

Chambers earned a bachelor’s degree at West Virginia University and a medical degree at Western Reserve University.

John W. Crites
John W. Crites is chairman of Allegheny Wood Products Inc. He started his first sawmill in 1973 with 13 employees in Riverton, and today the company has 500 employees and markets to 18 foreign countries plus the United States. He also owns Allegheny Dimensions, in Petersburg, which manufactures semi-finished furniture and stair-parts components.

He earned a bachelor’s degree at WVU in 1963 and a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Montana.

He is a member of the WVU Foundation Inc., National Campaign Committee; South Branch Valley National Bank, executive board member; Summit Financial Group, executive board member; WVU Forestry Endowment Fund, chair, trust committee.

Benjamin A. Hardesty
Benjamin A. Hardesty is president of Dominion Exploration and Production Inc. A native of Shinnston, Hardesty received a bachelor’s degree from WVU in 1972 and a master’s degree from George Washington University in 1976.

He joined Dominion in 1995, first as president of Dominion Appalachian Development Inc. and, from 2007, as vice president and general manager-Northeast Gas Basins. Prior to joining Dominion, he was president of Stonewall Gas Co. from 1982 to 1995.

He is a director and past president of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association and director and past president of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia. Hardesty is a trustee and past chairman of the board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. He also serves on the boards of directors of the West Virginia Roundtable, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and Huntington Banks of West Virginia.

Parry G. Petroplus
Parry G. Petroplus is a partner at Petroplus and Associates Inc., a Morgantown development firm. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WVU in 1973 and is involved with a number of community and statewide organizations including the WVU Board of Governors (2002-08); Centra Bank, West Virginia board of directors; Linsly School board of trustees; WVU Alumni Association; The Foundation of Monongalia General Hospital’s board of trustees (1993-2001); West Virginia Roundtable; Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce; Harrison County Chamber of Commerce; and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Petroplus has been recognized in Who’s Who in West Virginia Business, was Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, received the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau Edith Barill Award and the Association of Builders and Contractors Excellence In Construction Award and was West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year and West Virginia Tourism Person of the Year.


Contact: Vickie Trickett
(304) 293-7804

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