Join Generation Charleston for its Gain Prosper Succeed (GPS) breakfast with West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Woody Thrasher. Thrasher will offer an overview of why millenials are vitally important to the state's economic success and details on the Department of Commerce's work to promote economic growth, including creating new jobs and business opportunities. Regardless of your career path, Thrasher's business insight will resonate.
A Harrison county entrepreneur, engineer and business owner, Thrasher was appointed the West Virginia Secretary of Commerce in December 2016 by Governor Jim Justice. In that role, he oversees eight agencies including the Development Office, the Divisions of Forestry, Labor, and Natural Resources, the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training, WorkForce West Virginia, the West Virginia Tourism Office, and the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. As Secretary of Commerce, Thrasher’s main goal is creating more jobs in West Virginia by growing existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the state.
Thrasher is the previous president and chief executive officer of The Thrasher Group, Inc., a leading Mid-Atlantic engineering and architectural firm, with the headquarters based in Bridgeport. In 1983, Mr. Thrasher with his Father, Henry, started Thrasher Engineering in Harrison County with one employee. The company has grown to employ over 400 professionals in six different states. In addition to his engineering pursuits, Thrasher also held interests in commercial and residential developments in North Central West Virginia through High Tech Development, LLC, the developing company of the White Oaks Business Park.
Thrasher remains very active with his alma mater. In 2012, he was elected to the West Virginia University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and currently serves as its immediate past chairman. He is a distinguished alumnus of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and has been active on various committees within the College. He has served as past president of the West Virginia American Council of Engineering Companies and the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. In 2000, Thrasher was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the national professional services firm of Ernst and Young. He has also served as an officer on the executive and financial committee for West Virginia University Hospital. Thrasher is very involved in the community and is a member of chambers and local organizations throughout the state. He is past president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Generation Charleston, a committee of the Charleston Area Alliance, works to attract and retain young professionals to the Kanawha Valley through social networking, professional development and community outreach and empowering its members to create change that matters.