Five business and industry leaders with strong ties to West Virginia will be inducted into the 2010 West Virginia Business Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 18, in a ceremony at the Morgantown Event Center, Waterfront Place Hotel. The induction begins at 6:30 p.m., immediately followed by a reception.
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:
Gregory S. Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corp. and Bayer MaterialScience LLC, who is responsible for the North American activities of the worldwide Bayer Group, an international health care, nutrition and high-tech materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany.
In addition Babe is chairman of the Bayer Political Action Committee and the Bayer USA Foundation. For five years he also served as the executive sponsor of the Bayer Diversity Advisory Council.
Babe currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers and American Chemistry Council. In addition, he serves on the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee and on the West Virginia University Foundation Board. A native of West Virginia, he holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from WVU.
Dr. Addison M. Fischer, who created his first high-tech start-up company in 1973, and has been involved in seed venture capital investing since the early 1980s. He founded Fischer International Systems Corp. and serves as its chairman. As major owner of RSA Data Security, he founded VeriSign, the internationally recognized standard of Internet commerce integrity.
During the 1980s and 1990s, he was a member of official committees that set U.S. standards for computer security and electronic commerce. In addition to his business interests, he is involved in preserving the environment, resources, health and freedom. He also works with numerous organizations to reduce climate change. In 2005, Fischer began supporting and working closely with Dr. Jane Goodall and her worldwide conservation efforts. He presently serves on the board of the Jane Goodall Institute. He received a degree in mathematics and an honorary doctorate from WVU.
Bob Reynolds is the president and CEO of Putnam Investments. Reynolds was named “Fund Leader of the Year” by Institutional Investor in April 2010. During more than 20 years, Reynolds has been an architect of the modern retirement industry by popularizing employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. In recognition of his leadership, in 2005 Reynolds received a Lifetime Achievement Award from PLANSPONSOR magazine for his contributions to the retirement services industry.
Prior to joining Putnam Investments in 2008, he was vice chairman and CEO of Fidelity Investments from 2000 to 2007. Reynolds serves on several not-for-profit boards, including those of West Virginia University Foundation, the Concord Museum, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Lahey Clinic and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City in Boston.
Among many awards and recognitions, he received an honorary doctorate in business administration from WVU and a President’s Medal of Excellence from Boston College. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration/finance from WVU.
Thomas J. DeWitt, a partner in and president and CEO of Swanson Industries Inc., a manufacturing, re-manufacturing, metal finishing, engineered products, and distribution company headquartered in Morgantown, with 10 operating companies in the United States and one joint venture company in Shanghai, China.
He started his career in 1968 working evenings at Morgantown Machine & Hydraulics while studying mechanical engineering at WVU. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1971 and received a master’s degree in 1972. He became part owner of Swanson Industries in 2000. Under the leadership of DeWitt and his partners, Swanson has grown nearly 10-fold since 1995 and now has 742 employees. Swanson Industries serves numerous industries, including coal, off-road equipment, steel and offshore drilling. DeWitt is also senior managing director of, and a partner in, Tiefenbach North America LLC, a Morgantown, W.Va., joint venture that provides electro-hydraulic controls and other products for the mining industry.
Don Hoylman is owner/operator of Donmar Enterprises Inc. He founded the Salem Mineral Processing Group including, Industrial, Fairmont, W.Va.; A.L. Lee Corp., Lester, W. Va. (formerly Industrial Pneumatic Systems); West Virginia Electric, Fairmont, W. Va.; and Salem Automation, Rotherham, England.
Hoylman served in Marine Corps in World War II and went to work for Industrial Engineering and Construction Co. in 1951, working in Industrial’s shop in Dakota, W.Va, and becoming vice president in 1960, general manager in 1963 and president through 2006. Hoylman was responsible for design, manufacturing and construction of a mineral processing and handling systems used in the mining industry throughout the nation and many countries. He also designed and installed many complete coal preparation plants throughout the United States.
“The state of West Virginia is privileged to have individuals such as these who have provided so much toward the prosperity of our state and nation,” said Dr. Jose V. Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean, West Virginia University College of Business and Economics. “These individuals we will induct into the Business Hall of Fame have and will continue to serve as role models, not just for our business students, but for all West Virginians.”
The College 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 www.be.wvu.edu/hall_fame.
Contact: Brenda Walker; WVU College of Business and Economics
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