MORGANTOWN – West Virginia native Elliott Portnoy talked about his “Morgantown roots” and shared how they helped to lead him to a post as the global chief executive officer at law firm Dentons during a Nov. 6 event at the West Virginia University Erickson Alumni Center.
“I am enormously proud to have been born and raised in West Virginia, and regard my personal and professional experiences in West Virginia to have a great deal to do with current career path and success,” Portnoy told The West Virginia Record.
Although he attended school out-of-state bt spending his college years at Syracuse University and Harvard Law School and studying as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Portnoy said he worked for the West Virginia Legal Aid Society and the West Virginia Attorney General while in college. He also later worked with the U.S. Senate for a committee chaired by a U.S. Senator from West Virginia.
“These experiences – through the lens of West Virginia interests – very much shaped my interest in the law and the intersection of law, policy and business,” Portnoy said.
Portnoy graduated from Morgantown High School and looked forward to returning to his hometown for the event.
“I'm very happy to be coming back to Morgantown, as the community is filled with people who helped me along the way,” he said. “That’s what West Virginians do – we look out for each other. Indeed, that's one of the things I look forward to talking about: our capacity as West Virginians to help the next generation of talent and to pay it forward.”
Portnoy said he had been asked to speak about “the way in which my connections to West Virginia contributed some of the ingredients of my career trajectory, and how lessons and relationships forged in West Virginia continue to infuse my professional life with meaning.”
According to a WVU news release, the title of Portnoy’s speech was “Go Big and Go Home!”
The WVU College of Business and Economics, the WVU College of Law, and the WVU Alumni Association are hosting Portnoy’s visit to Morgantown.
In addition to serving on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, WVU said Portnoy founded and remains president of the board of Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, which provides sports opportunities to children with severe and profound disabilities in the (United States) and the United Kingdom.