CHARLESTON –- Clarence E. "CEM" Martin III, a partner with Martin & Seibert in Martinsburg, has been elected to succeed Linda Kay Wellings, President of MPL Corporation, as Chairperson of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Martin was elected Chairperson by the Board of Directors during the Chamber's Annual Meeting, which was held Aug. 29-31 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.
Martin announced that his goals for the coming year will include focusing extra emphasis on both the 2008 legislative and judicial elections, as well as having the Chamber's board, volunteers and members working to recruit good candidates for public office who support the business community's views of growing investment and creating jobs.
"We must not be complacent politically," he said.
Martin also said he will form a working group to examine the staffing and physical needs of the West Virginia Chamber, which has experienced significant growth in membership and financial support in the past few years.
"We cannot rest on the success that the Chamber has accomplished," he said. "We must examine where we are and how we got there so that we can set reasonable goals and develop a plan for achieving those goals and a roadmap for going forward to continue our success. I want to take us from having a very good statewide chamber of commerce to having a great chamber organization."
He also congratulated Wellings on her outstanding year of service, particularly her success in expanding the Chamber's diverse set of policy recommendations. He said he is proud that the West Virginia Chamber continues to focus efforts in its committees to find solutions to impediments to investments.
"With great leadership in the Chair and Vice Chair positions, we can make important strides in creating the climate for all of our businesses, large and small," Martin said. "I look forward to working with all of you and I will be calling on this board to be active participants in taking long steps on this journey."
The board also approved the election of the following officers to one-year terms:
* E. Kent Hartsog, Group Controller of Eastern Associated, LLC,, as Vice Chairperson and
* James H. Covington, General Plant Manager of Bayer MaterialScience, LLC, as Treasurer;
* F. Scott Rotruck, Director of Corporate Development for Chesapeake Energy Corporation, as Secretary of the state's largest business organization.
New members elected to the Board of Directors are:
* Gregory A. Burton, President & CEO, Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Company, Charleston
* David H. Claudio, Operations Manager, DuPont, Belle
* Kevin J. Craig, Vice President of Business Development, Natural Resource Partners L.P., Huntington
* Thomas Graff, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP, Charleston
* Charles R. Hageboeck, President & CEO, City Holding Company, Charleston
* Paul Ratchford, President, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs
* Mark A. Sadd, Partner, Lewis Glasser Casey & Rollins, PLLC, Charleston
* Jason P. Thompson, Senior Vice President & Branch Manager, Morgan Stanley, Charleston
For more information about the West Virginia Chamber, go to www.wvchamber.com.