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WV Business Hall of Fame to add 3 new members

Staff report

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Three West Virginia business people will be inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame at the beginning of this year’s West Virginia Business Summit and Annual Meeting.

Inductees for 2017 are: Charles T. Jones, president and CEO of Amherst Industries, of Charleston; Robert O. Orders, CEO of Orders Construction Co., of Charleston; and D. Stephen Walker, former president and CEO of Walker Machinery Co., of Boca Grande, Fla.

Charles T. Jone, president and CEO of Amherst Industries

A new detail this year is that the Hall of Fame will partner with the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce to honor the inductees at a ceremony and reception on the evening of Aug. 29 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.

The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics launched the Business Hall of Fame in 2001 to recognize business leaders who have strong ties to West Virginia and have made a significant impact across the business landscape of their local communities, the state, the nation and around the globe. To date, 62 individuals from a variety of business sectors and from various parts of the country and world have received the award.

“Once again, the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame will be honoring three incredibly successful business success stories,” said W. Marston Becker, chair of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “The Hall of Fame is so important in not only recognizing those West Virginians who have achieved significant business success but also serving as an inspiration and role model for future business leaders in our state.”

Becker said honoring the inductees as part of the West Virginia Business Summit “is the right event and the right place to recognize these talented business leaders.”

Jones, who recently celebrated his 99th birthday, is referred to as a “coal miner, farmer, riverboat captain and Renaissance man.” Following his service in the U.S. Navy with the Navy Seabees at Guadalcanal and as an engineering officer sweeping magnetic mines around Japan during World War II, he joined Amherst Madison in 1946. Amherst Madison is a transportation and construction company based at Port Amherst on the north bank of the Kanawha River in Charleston.

He became president and CEO of Amherst Industries and today remains active as chairman of parent company Port Amherst Ltd. He graduated with a business degree from the Babson Institute in Massachusetts and also holds a Master of Towing Vessels, Western Rivers, license issued by the U.S. Coast Guard. He has served on several industry boards and is active in his community, as he will receive the YMCA of Kanawha Valley’s “Spirit of the Valley” award Aug. 12 for his long support of the organization’s youth programs. Jones was also recently honored as a Distinguished West Virginian by Gov. Jim Justice and inducted into Who’s Who in West Virginia Business by The State Journal.

Robert O. Orders, CEO of Orders Construction Co.
Orders graduated from WVU in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and went on to become a registered professional engineer in West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland. As CEO, he helped to grow Orders Construction Co. from a small West Virginia bridge construction firm into a regional provider of a wide range of construction services.

Orders previously served as president of the Contractors Association of West Virginia and as a trustee for the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Currently, he serves on the advisory board of BB&T in Charleston and is a trustee of the Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. He is a member of the board of directors of the WVU Foundation and the board of directors of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation. He also is a trustee at First Presbyterian Church of Charleston.

In 1971, Walker entered the family business of Walker Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer for western West Virginia and southeast Ohio. He was president and chief operating officer from 1983 until the sale of the business and his retirement in 2010. During his career, he served on numerous industry boards of directors, including the Contractors Association of West Virginia, the West Virginia Coal Association and the National Bank of Commerce in Charleston. Walker has also served on many nonprofit boards.

He was the past chairman of the West Virginia State University Foundation and on the board of trustees for West Virginia Wesleyan College. After earning his degree in marketing at WVU in 1967 and his service in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserves, he returned to WVU to his earn his J.D. at the College of Law in 1971 and was admitted to the bar in West Virginia. Walker is currently on the Professional Sales Advisory Council for the WVU College of Business and Economics.

D. Stephen Walker, former president and CEO of Walker Machinery Co.

“These three gentlemen are success stories in their respective industries, and through their innovation and business acumen they have contributed significantly to the business landscape,” Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics, said in a news release. “Each brings a unique sense of pride, passion and spirit to our beloved state and the business community. It is an honor to welcome them to the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, and to celebrate their recognition and the example they set for us all.”

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