ISSUED: 3 March 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Registration is still open for the Shepherd University M.B.A. summit Reinventing West Virginia: Respecting the Heritage and Realizing the Future, scheduled for Saturday, March 18, in Erma Ora Byrd Hall. The event, which hopes to provide guidance on how West Virginia can pull itself out of the current economic crisis, will take place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and is open to the public at cost of $39.
The summit will begin at 8 a.m. with a breakfast in the Student Center Storer Ballroom that includes a keynote address by Dr. Linton Wells II titled “Integrating Innovation, Economics, and Education.” Wells is managing partner of Wells Analytics, LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on the links between technology, strategy, and decision-making. He is also a former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and has served as acting assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration and Department of Defense and chief information officer overseeing the defense department’s $30 billion budget for information technology where he was responsible for enhancing the department’s networked capabilities and support structures. From 2010 to 2014, Wells led the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University.
The keynote speaker for lunch in the Student Center Storer Ballroom will be Patrick Morrisey, attorney general of West Virginia. Morrisey has been attorney general since January 2013. From 1999-2004, Morrisey served as the deputy staff director and chief health care counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. Morrisey, who has a law degree from Rutgers University, has also been an associate with the law firm Arent Fox and a partner at both Sidley Austin and King and Spaulding.
The summit will offer four one-hour long forums in Erma Ora Byrd Hall that will address specific topics relevant to economic growth in the state—energy, education and technology, tourism, and marketing.
- 9:15 a.m.—Energy Forum facilitated by Fred T. White, senior director, public sector, ABS Consulting of Arlington, Virginia, where he is responsible for conducting feasibility studies for renewable energy ventures, particularly wind and solar. Panelists will be Dan Conant, founder of Solar Holler in Shepherdstown, which helps churches, municipalities, and businesses across West Virginia lower their power bills through solar energy; Chris Hamilton, executive vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association and former deputy director of the West Virginia Department of Mines; John Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at West Virginia University; and Scott Freshwater, president of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia and vice president of Reserve Oil and Gas.
- 10:30 a.m.—Education and Technology Forum facilitated by Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix, president of Shepherd University. Panelists will be Dr. Michael Hieb, research associate professor at George Mason University’s Center for Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, and Cyber; Jack Shaffer, chief operating officer of KRM Associates, Inc.; and Chris Kyle, vice president for industry affairs at Shentel, a telecommunications company that serves rural Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
- 1:15 p.m.—Tourism Forum facilitated by Rick Pill, a Martinsburg attorney. Panelists will be Stephen Hilliard, CEO of Oglebay Resort in Wheeling; Sarah Guyette, marketing manager at Snowshoe Mountain Resort; and Dennis Frye, chief historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
- 2:30 p.m.—Marketing and Branding Forum facilitated by Jim Lees, a Charleston attorney. Panelists will be Rex Repass, CEO of REPASS Research and Strategy, a marketing company from Cincinnati, Ohio, that conducts the MetroNews West Virginia Poll; Mary Beth Blair, owner of Kisner Communications in Martinsburg; and Frank DeMarco, marketing chair, WVU College of Business and Economics.
- 4 p.m.—What’s Next for West Virginia? facilitated by Dr. Gordon DeMeritt, associate professor of business administration at Shepherd, who will lead a recap of the day’s discussions and will help evaluate what the next steps to improve West Virginia’s economy should be.
For more information and to sign up for the summit, visit www.shepherd.edu/mba-summit.
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