It was in 1993 that The State Journal chose to recognize 10 people who made a difference in the business climate of West Virginia. Not because they passed laws or anything like that, but because they invested their time and money to keep the state working.
The idea was to tell the stories of people who bring strength and vitality to communities across the state through their entrepreneurship and leadership.
Twenty years later, Who's Who in West Virginia Business is still looking for such people, and it's still finding them.
This year's class joins 179 businesspeople, educators and other who keep West Virginia running. They've come from Martinsburg in the east to Chester up north, from Huntington to the west and Bluefield down south. In between honorees have been from the larger cities such as Wheeling, Weirton, Charleston, Morgantown and Beckley and also from smaller communities such as Follansbee, Moorefield, Sistersville and Crab Orchard.
Their backgrounds are varied, but they have some things in common. They could have played it safe, but they struck out on their own and succeeded. They have made a difference. They have changed their communities or the state by their work or by giving back to their neighbors.
They have stories to tell, of taking over a family business or starting something from scratch, of overcoming obstacles or filling a need few other people even knew existed.
And they tend to surround themselves with good people who accomplish the mission of an enterprise.
The 2013 honorees are: