White Sulfur Springs — West Virginia University was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame on Thursday in honor of three Ohio Valley business leaders.
WVU’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics will welcome its class of 2022 to the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame Thursday afternoon at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 86th Annual Meeting and Business Summit at the Greenbrier Resort. The we.
“Today we gather to celebrate four outstanding leaders.” WVU President E. Gordon Gee said: “Their respective careers demonstrate the audacity needed to move this state forward.”
Four people were inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Joseph Eddy, former president and CEO of Wellsburg-based Eagle Manufacturing. Elizabeth McIlvain, president and CEO of Newell-based Fiesta Tableware Co.; David Simmons from Wheeling, former Chairman and CEO of PPD Inc.
Eddy has been with Eagle for 25 years and has received numerous awards for his business acumen and leadership. Eddy still runs the energy development company He Enhanced Technologies LLC and the real estate company Heritage Holdings LLC. He also produces the television show Shale Valley and makes regular radio appearances promoting the natural gas industry and downstream manufacturing opportunities in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.
Eddy also serves as executive vice president of Justrite Safety Group, based in Chicago. Eddy was born in Parkersburg, Tyler County where he grew up in Friendly and graduated from Sistersville High School. He credits growing up on his family’s farm for his work ethic.
“Growing up on a farm has been a blessing for all of our lives.” Eddie said. “We learn the values of hard work, responsibility, determination and perseverance. It taught me the importance of a strong heart and a strong sense of compassion for life.”
McIlvain is the fourth generation of the Wells family to own and operate Fiesta Tableware Co., formerly known as Homer Laughlin China Co. After he left Fiesta to raise his three daughters, McIlvain returned to the company in 2007 and became president and CEO in 2013.
Last year, Fiesta celebrated its 150th anniversary and the 85th anniversary of its Fiesta brand of tableware, known for its distinctive colors and types.
“I am proud to work with the Fiestaware family.” McIlvain said. “Without the hard work and dedication of the potters, this company would have been out of business long ago. We are determined to be a proud West Virginia manufacturer with the privilege of providing jobs to the Valley community.”
Simmons was born in Wheeling and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He started his career at Wheeling Nisshin Steel, based in Follansby. He worked for major pharmaceutical company Pfizer for 15 years, where he served as president of his two divisions, Emerging Markets Products and Established Business Products.
Simmons joined pharmaceutical company PPD in 2012 and manages a company with 30,000 employees in 47 countries and a focus on drug development programs. He left PPD in 2021 after the company merged with Thermo Fisher Scientific. He continues to work in the medical industry, serving on the boards of Cordis and his CURIA, and advising his private equity and venture capital firms. Simmons also serves on the Board of Directors of Wheeling’s Linsley School.
“This is a real honor” Simmons said. “I’m proud of my roots. It’s very true. I’m a proud West Virginian and I can call this home. It’s really inspiring and it’s so lovely.”
Inducted into the Business Hall of Fame was Morgantown native Albert Lewis, president of Glass Inc. This glass and fiberglass company was founded in 1968 by him. Helen Lewis Medical Research Foundation. Lewis was unable to attend the ceremony on Thursday.
Steven Allen Adams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.