Doors open at 2:45pm. Please plan to allow adequate time for parking and to be seated in the theatre. The program will start promptly at 3:15PM. Free Parking is available at the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority Parking Garage / 530 Juliana Street



John WharffOwner Jawco Inc., President WMOA/WJAW Radio

John Wharff is President and owner of Jawco Inc. which operates 3 radio stations, WMOA AM 1490, Marietta. ESPN AM 630, St. Mary's, WV, and ESPN 100.9, McConnelsville, OH. John is a lobbyist and board member for the National Association of Broadcasters in Washington DC, and also serves as Past President on the Ohio Association of Broadcasters Board of directors in Columbus, OH.

He can be heard daily on WMOA's 7:50 morning sports in Marietta and with hourly sports updates on the ESPN AM 630 and FM 100.9. He also does play by play of local high school sports and is the radio voice of the 6 time Div. 3 National Champion Marietta College baseball team. Wharff is a previous Marietta area chamber of commerce Business person of the year and 2016 Radio Ink National Sales Manager of the year.

He lives in Marietta with his wife Carol, son John Barry and daughter Saylor.

Rebecca McPhailPresident, West Virginia Manufacturers Association

Rebecca McPhail was named President of the WV Manufacturers Association in November 2013. Prior to coming to the WVMA, she was the President of state economic development organization Vision Shared. Rebecca previously served as Assistant Vice President of Development at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.

Before returning to West Virginia in 2003, she served as Grant Development and Research Manager and Interim Director of Development for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio. She has also worked for non-profit health care organizations in both West Virginia and Ohio and as a development consultant in northeast Ohio.

Rebecca earned her bachelor's degree from the West Virginia Institute of Technology. She and her family reside in Charleston.

Special Guest Speaker
Bob HugginsWest Virginia University Men's Basketball Coach

Bob Huggins is the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball team. Huggins previously held the head coaching positions at Walsh College (1980–1983), the University of Akron (1984–1989), the University of Cincinnati (1989–2005) and Kansas State University (2006–2007). In 2007, he accepted an offer to return to coach his alma mater, West Virginia University.

One of only ten coaches ever with 800 or more career victories, Huggins has been to 23 total NCAA tournaments, including 22 in the last 25 seasons. He has led his teams to eight Sweet Sixteen appearances, four Elite Eight appearances, and two Final Four appearances (1992 with Cincinnati; 2010 with West Virginia). As of March 2017, Huggins has averaged 23 wins per season over the course of his career.

Wally KandelSenior Vice President, Marietta Site Manager, Solvay Specialty Polymers, USA

Wally is originally from Louisville, Ohio and is a 1987 graduate of Marietta College in Petroleum Engineering.

Wally has over 30 years of industry experience that includes both Upstream and Downstream operations that spans 4 continents.

Wally worked for Chevron for 20 years before joining Solvay in 2007.

Currently Wally is an international Senior Vice President of Solvay and is the Solvay Marietta Site Manager.

Wally is also one of the founding Directors of Shale Crescent USA

Jerry JamesPresident, Artex Oil Company

Jerry grew up in Muskingum, County, Ohio, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Marietta College where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He is a Registered Professional Engineer. Jerry has been President of Artex Oil Company, in Marietta, Ohio, since 1995. Prior to assuming his current role, he held positions with various major oil companies in Texas, Louisiana, and Wyoming and worked as a petroleum engineering consultant. Jerry previously served as president of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and as chairman of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program.

Dr. Tom WittPresident Witt Economics LLC., Professor of Economics, Emeritus, West Virginia University

Dr. Tom S. Witt is the managing director and chief economist at Witt Economics LLC, an economics consulting firm serving business, economic development organizations, universities and government. Founded in 2012, Witt addresses client's challenges through creative thinking, structured and impartial analysis based upon well-documented data and research.

He authored, Building Value from Shale Gas: The Promise of Expanding Petrochemicals in West Virginia, to guide West Virginians as to the economic potential of the natural gas industry. Recent clients include Advantage Valley, Braskem America, Energy Solutions Consortium, FirstEnergy, Moundsville Power, WVU Parkersburg, American Bituminous Partners L.P., and Columbia Pipeline Group.

Dr. Witt is an emeritus professor of economics at West Virginia University. Prior to his retirement in 2012 from WVU he served as the director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and associate dean for research and outreach in the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics. As BBER director he oversaw a team of economic researchers including three Ph.D., two masters and graduate and undergraduate research assistants in economics. He originated the West Virginia Economic Outlook in 1994 to bring economic information and forecasts to policy makers around the state, including Parkersburg.

Dr. Witt received his B.A. degree in economics from Oklahoma State University and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from Washington University (St. Louis). He is a member of the American Economic Association. He is the past-president of the Association for University Business and Economic Research, which awarded him the Thayne Robson Award, for longtime commitment and service to the organization and his role as an economic and public policy leader in West Virginia. In recognition of his economic research expertise, Dr. Witt was selected for Who's Who in West Virginia 2000 by The State Journal, West Virginia's leading weekly business newspaper.


The Shale Crescent USA Opportunity

The United States has recently achieved record levels in production of natural gas, propelling it to the number one natural gas producer in the world. However, what is not commonly known is virtually all the recent growth in natural gas production is in the states of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. When this decade started, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania provided only a few percent of the total U.S. natural gas supply. By the end of 2016, these three states provided nearly 30% of the record high U.S. natural gas production. Because Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are leading the growth of natural gas production in the United States, we have a great opportunity to attract substantial new energy intensive manufacturing plant investments to Wood County, West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio.

One of our priorities is to insure the world knows the source of this record growth in U.S. natural gas production is driven by the states of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Mid-Ohio Valley became a manufacturing powerhouse in the late 1800's because of early access to energy supplies, along with access to water for processing and transportation and close proximity to the large eastern United States markets. Energy, water and markets are combining again to make this area a world class asset for manufacturers.

The growth in natural gas production in the United States has happened very rapidly. Many companies that are expanding are unaware that the states of Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are the source of most of the growth of natural gas production in the U.S. Furthermore, most companies are unaware that Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have the lowest natural gas prices in the developed world.

Shale Crescent USA is targeting the 100 largest energy intensive manufacturers in the world who could benefit from the abundant natural resources in our area. Our goal is to insure they know the source of natural gas production growth has shifted and Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania are now a leading source. Our message is simple, Wood County, West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio have the rare combination of resources that high-energy intensive manufacturers need to succeed - abundant energy, affordable energy prices, water for processing and transportation and proximity to 50% of the United States markets along with a long history of manufacturing.

To date, much progress has been made. Market research was conducted to learn the key drivers needed by industry to invest and build in the Mid-Ohio Valley. A capstone class at Marietta College was engaged to help identify the top 100 energy intensive manufacturing companies in the world. Shale Crescent USA volunteers have spoken to many trade and civic organizations to spread the word. Marketing materials have been produced to engage prospects and were utilized at the World Petro Chemical Conference in Houston several months ago. Funds are being raised to sustain this innovative, collaborative economic development initiative that crosses the Ohio River embracing both Wood County and Washington County. But, we have much more to accomplish and are committed to attracting new manufacturing industries to the area to support our proud, hard-working people who call this area home.


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