15 Jan

Justice Names Alan Larrick To Run WV Lottery

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that he appointed Alan Larrick director of the West Virginia Lottery.



Alan Larrick has practiced law for 38 years in Beckley, WV. He earned his undergraduate degree and his law degree from West Virginia University. Larrick was partner in the law firm of Ragland and Larrick. He remained there until 1996 when he formed Larrick Law Offices.



Mr. Larrick was appointed to the Board of Directors of  First State Bank and Trust in 1994 and subsequently served on the regional board of directors of City National Bank.




He has served as the president and treasurer of the Raleigh County Bar Association. He has served as president of the Raleigh County Chapter of the West Virginia Alumni Association.  In addition, he has served on the Beckley YMCA Board of Directors. He resides in Daniels, West Virginia with his wife Renee.




“Alan Larrick will be a real asset to our administration and help bring the West Virginia Lottery to new heights,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “I’ve known Alan for a long time and he knows how to think big. I want everyone working in my administration to bring fresh ideas to the table in order to make state government more efficient and Alan will help us get there.”




“It’s truly an honor to serve West Virginia and I am humbled to have the opportunity to help Governor-elect Justice make our state number one,” said Alan Larrick. “I hope to bring my private sector experience to this post and make the West Virginia Lottery as successful as possible.”

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14 Jan

Justice Appoints Tom Smith Transportation Secretary

Smith will also oversee Division of Highways

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Tom Smith will serve as the secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation and commissioner of the Division of Highways. Smith brings a background in engineering and experience with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to his duties.

Tom Smith has served as Senior Transportation Advisor for the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington, D.C. since January 2016. Prior to that, he worked for the Federal Highway Administration for 37½ years, most recently serving as the Division Administrator for the West Virginia Division for the over 16 years. During his first 20 years,  he occupied various field engineering positions in a number of states, including: Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and California. Tom is a Registered Professional Engineer in West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Smith graduated from North Carolina State University. After he finishes his duties with the Appalachian Regional Commission, he will start with the Justice Administration in February.

“Our roads and bridges are crumbling and Tom Smith is the right choice to spearhead the effort to upgrade our transportation infrastructure,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “He has the hands-on experience building roads I want in this position, and Tom understands how get the most out of every transportation dollar. It’s no secret that we’ve got to trim the fat in the Division of Highways and make it accountable. Tom is the right man to help me fix our roads and be responsible with every dollar of taxpayer money.”

“I am honored for the opportunity to serve the Governor-elect and the people of West Virginia,” said Tom Smith. “Transportation is an economic driver because it creates jobs in the short term and brings the potential for long-term development benefits. Upgrading our roads means more jobs and a better quality of life for West Virginia families. I also want to bring a strong focus on improving the safety of our many roadways and work zones.”

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14 Jan

Justice Taps John Myers For Secretary of Administration

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that he selected John Myers to serve as secretary of the Department of Administration. Myers is currently the acting director of the West Virginia Lottery. Before he started his career in public service, John was the manager of corporate administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Buffalo, West Virginia.



John Myers graduated from The Ohio State University with a business degree. He’s previously served as the chairman of Board of Directors for the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Point Pleasant and Logan Lions Club.



“John Myers’ dedication to public service and his love our state make him a great choice for secretary of the Department of Administration,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “John just won’t keep the trains running on time, he will help my team make government operate more like a business. He has the experience in the private sector and public sector to really make government function more efficiently.”



“I am excited for the opportunity to continue my service to the people of West Virginia and to be part of the team the Governor-elect is building,” said John Myers. “In my new role I want to help the taxpayers by making government run more cost effective. It will take innovative ideas to achieve the Governor-elect’s goal of making West Virginia number one and I am ready to help him in every way.”

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13 Jan

Justice Appoints Gayle Manchin To Be Secretary For The Department of Education And The Arts

Career in education and public service has prepared Manchin for her new role

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Gayle Manchin will serve as secretary of the Department of Education and the Arts. Mrs. Manchin previously served on the state West Virginia Board of Education from 2007 to 2015.


Gayle Manchin previously worked at the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts, where she put in place the WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success initiative (WV PASS). She earned her bachelor’s degree in language arts and education and a master’s degree in reading from West Virginia University. In addition, she holds a second master’s in educational technology leadership from Salem International University. She has taught at Fairmont State University and in Marion County public schools. She also led FSU’s first Community Service Learning Program.


Manchin is a native of Raleigh County and is married to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. As West Virginia’s first lady, Gayle Manchin served as a commissioner on the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service, the chairwoman of the Governor’s Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and the West Virginia Citizen’s Council on Children and Families, and as co-chair on the Governor’s 21st Century Jobs Cabinet and the Intellectual Infrastructure of Vision Shared.


“Gayle Manchin has a real passion for our state and making sure our kids get a fair shot at success,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “I know she will help shine a spotlight on West Virginia’s rich history and culture in her new role. She will help my administration share the beauty and spirit of West Virginia with the world, and work to improve the lives of our people.”



“I am honored to serve the people of West Virginia in this new role and help Governor-elect Justice move our state forward,” said Gayle Manchin. “West Virginia’s history and culture must be preserved and promoted, and I am looking forward to this opportunity to help our state. I want to enhance the quality of life for all of our citizens in this new role.”

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13 Jan

Justice Selects Austin Caperton for DEP Secretary

Caperton brings private sector experience to the job

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Austin Caperton will serve as his secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

He is currently the president of Caperton Inc., a strategic business consulting company. Caperton has experience working with companies to create jobs in the energy industry. After he graduated with an engineering degree from Virginia Tech and a law degree from West Virginia University, Austin Caperton held a number of senior leadership positions in the business world.

In addition, he’s served as the director of the Beckley – Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce, United Bank WV, the West Virginia Council for Community & Economic Development and the vice chairman of the West Virginia Public Energy Authority. He is the cousin of former Governor Gaston Caperton.

“Austin Caperton has the management experience to make the West Virginia DEP run efficiently,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “Austin understands the energy sector of our state, and he will strike a balance between protecting our environment and getting rid of needless red tape that hurts job creation. He has the private sector experience I want to help me make state government operate with business-like accountability.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity to serve the state I love so much,” said Austin Caperton. “Just like Governor-elect Justice, and others in his cabinet, I’m walking away from a successful business career to play a part in turning around West Virginia. I look forward to working with the Governor-elect to grow jobs while protecting our land, air, and water.”

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13 Jan

Justice Names Key Staff in Governor’s Office

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced the following appointments in the Governor’s Office. The new hires bring significant experience to the Justice Administration.



“We are building a top-notch team that will help our state achieve greatness,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “They will each bring a unique skill set to my office. I am honored that we will have such  talented and dedicated public servants in the governor’s office working to make my administration a success.”



Jason Pizatella– Deputy Chief of Staff: Jason Pizatella is an attorney and has worked in some leadership capacity for the last three West Virginia Governors, Jim Justice will be the fourth. Currently, Pizatella is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization representing over 400 businesses throughout greater Morgantown and Monongalia County.


Pizatella’s service to the State has included a wide range of leadership roles including Deputy State Tax Commissioner, Acting Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Acting Secretary of the Department of Administration, and a prior stint as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Governor’s Office while also serving as the liaison to the State Legislature.  A lifelong West Virginian and native of Fairmont, Marion County, Pizatella graduated from West Virginia University and the West Virginia University College of Law.



Derek Scarbro– Director of Intergovernmental Affairs: Derek Scarbro has been in public service for his entire professional career. He has served in four different state government departments, was the Executive Director of the West Virginia Democratic Executive Committee from 2009-13, and most recently worked as Campaign Manager for Justice for Governor. He is now serving as the director of Governor-elect Justice’s transition team.


He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Marshall University in 2003. He is married to Sara Payne Scarbro, who now serves as Senator Manchin’s Senior Advisor.  Derek, Sara, and their daughter Willa, reside in Charleston.



Pam Rhodes– Assistant to the Governor and Director of Scheduling: Mrs. Rhodes has worked for the Justice Corporation for the last seventeen years where she served as the executive assistant to Governor-elect Jim Justice. She has been an invaluable resource for Jim Justice while he managed over 100 businesses. She worked for several West Virginia banks prior to her work at the Justice Corporation. Pam and her husband Richard are both natives of Beckley, WV. She attended Mountain State University where she earned a degree in banking and finance.

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13 Jan

Justice Names Bob Ashley Legislative Director

Ashley’s legislative experience is asset to Justice team



CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that outgoing Republican state Senator Bob Ashley will serve as his legislative director. Ashley brings 30 years of experience in the legislature to his new job leading the legislative team for Governor-elect Justice.


Bob Ashley was first elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1984 and went on to serve as Republican Leader in the 72nd and 73rd Legislatures. He was appointed to the state Senate in 2015. He was a Delegate-at-Large to Republican National Convention 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2012. Ashley is the owner of Ashley Insurance Agency. He is a graduate of Marshall University.  He is also a member of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce and served over twenty years on the Board of Directors for Roane General Hospital. He is a member of the Spencer, WV Rotary Club and the former president of the Allohak Boy Scout Council.

“Bob Ashley is a dedicated public servant who knows the issues facing our state inside and out, and I’m thrilled to have him on our team,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “It doesn’t matter to me if the people serving in my administration are a Democrat or a Republican if they love this state and have the skills to get us to number one I want them. Bob’s experience in the House and Senate and his strong relationships on both sides of the aisle make him the perfect fit to break through any log jam in the Legislature.”

“It’s an honor to continue serving the state I love, and I look forward to this new opportunity to help Governor-elect Justice make West Virginia thrive,” Ashley said. “The Governor-elect is truly nonpartisan and wants to work closely with the legislature to get things done. The governor’s office and the Legislature must work together to attack the budget crisis and create jobs, and I am excited to do everything I can to make that happen.”

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11 Jan

Justice Appoints Dale Steager State Tax Commissioner

Steager has 45 years of experience working with WV tax and revenue laws

CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced the appointment of Dale Steager as State Tax Commissioner.


Dale Steager practices law in Charleston, West Virginia, with Spilman Thomas and Battle PLLC. He has more than 45 years of experience working with West Virginia’s tax code and revenue laws. Steager earned his undergraduate degree and his law degree from WVU.


Mr. Steager previously worked for the State Tax Department as general counsel and before that he was the director of the Tax Department’s Legal Division. In 1989, the Department of Tax and Revenue was created by the West Virginia legislature and Steager became its general counsel, a position he held until his retirement in the fall of 2005.


“Dale Steager has public service in his blood and will help our state get its fiscal house in order,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “He has the experience working with Democrats and Republicans to get things done. Dale is a tax expert and will be fair to our people and the businesses operating in West Virginia.”


“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the people of West Virginia  and look forward to working with Governor-elect Justice and his team,” said Dale Steager. “ In light of the revenue shortfalls, our department must be efficient and accurate. The stakes are too high to let politics get in the way of doing the right thing for our state.”

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10 Jan

Justice Taps Dave Hardy for Department of Revenue

Hardy brings years of budget experience to cabinet post


CHARLESTON, WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Kanawha County Commissioner Dave Hardy will serve as his secretary of the Department of Revenue.


Commissioner Hardy is a practicing attorney and a Certified Public Accountant who has years of experience balancing the budget for state’s largest county, Kanawha County. He’s taught college courses in accounting and public policy at WVU Tech, University of Charleston, and WV State University. Hardy is currently teaching public budgeting at WVSU as part of a master’s program.


Hardy was elected to the Charleston City Council in 1995 and then elected to the Kanawha County Commission for the first time in 2002. He is a native of Pratt, WV and currently lives in Charleston, WV.


During his tenure in local government, Dave Hardy has passed twenty-one balanced budgets, for Kanawha County and the City of Charleston. Hardy will resign from the Kanawha County Commission effective midnight January 19, 2017, and will officially start his new post in the Justice Administration the following day to avoid any overlap.


“Dave Hardy has the experience to help my administration conquer the budget crisis,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “Dave Hardy is a real asset for our team because he knows how to pass a responsible budget. Our state finances are a mess and require a watchful eye over every penny. We will not achieve greatness until we get out of the financial hole.”


“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Governor-elect Jim Justice and the taxpayers of West Virginia,” said Commissioner Dave Hardy. “I welcome the challenge of digging into the books and solving West Virginia’s budget crisis. This isn’t impossible; it will take innovative ideas and creativity.”



Dave Hardy earned a B.A. in history and government and a B.S. in accounting from WVU  Tech. He went to law school at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Upon graduation, Dave entered the field of energy law in 1988 and was named a partner in the Jackson Kelly law firm in 1993. In 2012, he formed the Hardy Pence firm, which specializes in mining and energy law. He serves on the boards of the Clay Center and the Charleston Area Alliance.



Dave Hardy and his wife, Nadia, have been married thirty-one years and are the proud parents of Scott, a graduate of Virginia Tech and the William and Mary College of Law and Kristen, a graduate of the University of Southern California and a medical student at WVU.

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09 Jan

Justice Reappoints Pat Reed as DMV Commissioner

Reed will continue to improve the DMV for WV citizens



CHARLESTON,WV— Today, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Pat Reed will continue to serve in her role as commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles.


Pat Reed was first appointed to the post by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in January 2015. Before joining the DMV, she served as deputy commissioner in the West Virginia Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Commissioner Reed ran a successful real estate and insurance agency before joining the Tomblin Administration. She served in the House of Delegates and two terms on the Raleigh County Commission.


Commissioner Reed has led the charge to expand the DMV’s online services. She will continue to lead the roll out of self-service kiosks across the state for vehicle registration and driver’s license renewals.


“Commissioner Reed has worked tirelessly to modernize the state DMV, and I’m thrilled she will continue to have the highest standards for customer service for her operation,” said Governor-elect Jim Justice. “She is an innovative thinker, and that’s exactly what I am looking for in my administration. I look forward to seeing more of her big ideas become a reality.”


“I feel honored to be reappointed as Commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles by Governor-elect Justice,” said DMV Commissioner Pat Reed. “The DMV is a service to the citizens of West Virginia, and our team has worked to improve access to these services for all our citizens. I want to make the DMV the most citizen-friendly experience possible by continuing to extend services.”

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